Thursday, 17 March 2011

3 signs you are a WORSHIPPER…

Hi Guys,

I saw this post on the blogsite '' by Richie Hughes.
I thought I should post here. Please let me know what you think:

Well, our “Weekend of Worship” concluded late last night in East Tennessee. Since Friday night, I watched people who are hungry for God, GO after Him in worship. Interestingly enough, it didn’t matter if we were in an arena of 15,000-20,000 teens or a smaller church venue with 200. What I learned this past weekend was God is truly no respecter of persons, yes, but how about “places?” You see the place doesn’t matter either. I thought the pinnacle of our weekend would be seeing thousands flood the altar at the UT arena, but it blessed me just as much to see a dozen flood the altar at an incredible local church.

1. A WORSHIPPER will go after God in worship regardless of the surroundings. God’s presence is not more prominent because a building is bigger or the crowd larger. The presence of God is just as powerful when I am alone with Him. (most often in my car or on a run with worship music blaring)

2. A WORSHIPPER will press through distractions to get through to God in worship. With 15,000 kids in an arena, there were ongoing distractions, but we must focus on the worship and the word. (Restroom breaks, babies crying, flickering lights, etc.) How about the music’s too loud, building to hot, etc.? Distractions….

3. A WORSHIPPER will as David did, sometimes become “undignified.” unashamed with hands raised, tears shed, on bended knee, intentional focus on God.

A truly powerful worship experience will linger and leave its residue on us and that’s something I don’t want to wash off! How is your worship lately?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Heart of Worship

Hey Guys,

We bless God for this forum, where we can give and receive and ultimately be informed, edified and lifted to a higher place of Praise and Worship:

Below is something I have been working on. It forms part of a larger volume of work still under construction. I trust you will be blessed.


At the heart of worship are you and I.

I am my worship and you are your worship. Worship is not categorised in the tempo of a song, be it fast or slow. Worship is not a song. Worship is the expression of your heart to God. You can worship in a dance, a clap, a song, a roll. You can worship on your knees, lying prostrate. You can worship with your tears; you can worship with a shout, you can worship with your finance. These are all expressions of worship.

Worship and Praise are interchangeable in the word of God. However neither is used to represent the speed of the song or even a song at all. For the purpose of this discussion we will be focusing and making sole use of the word Worship as it specifically depicts a more intimate kind of worship to God.

The mandate of worship has been given to all born of the spirit. “But the hour is coming and now is when the true worshippers will worship the father…God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth” John 4:23-24.

Worship is and should be the life of a spirit filled Christian. It is non negotiable; it is not optional; it is compulsory. It naturally flows out of the heart of one who is daily and continually in fellowship and communion with God.

With this understanding it becomes easier to lay the foundation for this discussion.

Worship is not learnt it is lived. Nobody can teach you how to worship God because what drives my worship is different from what drives your worship.

Worship is born out of a relationship with God. It is the outward expression of a personal love and unabashed passion for God.

Before we can worship effectively we must understand who we are worshipping.

Who is the subject of your worship?
This is not a strange question to ask Christians, because there are many Christians in Church who are not worshipping God.

Worship is the highest level of commitment and devotion to something or someone. Worship borders on obsession you might even say. With this definition it is easy to see how worship can easily be directed at many things even within the Church that is not God.

LET ME SOUND THIS WARNING: GOD IS NOT YOUR CHURCH, YOUR SERVICE UNIT OR YOUR MINSITRY; HE IS GOD – A PERSON, YOUR FATHER, SAVIOUR AND CREATOR. In the same way time is given and devoted to church, service, ministry and family, time must of a necessity and utmost priority be given to God the person. Do not deceive yourself into thinking that your endless hours in Church, playing an instrument, singing in the choir, working in the sanctuary substitutes for the time you spend with God. Matthew 1:35 – “Jesus woke up while It was yet dawn…”

Many of us worship our leaders
Many of us worship our service units
Many of us worship our Church attendance
Many of us worship the reputation of our Church – worship by association

However Worship by its purpose and creation was solely designed to be directed and given to God. Only when our worship is directed at God, is it positioned to transport blessings into our lives and the lives of others.

However worship can be expressed through these avenues, in fact your commitment to God is many times reflected in your commitment to the things of God. However we must be careful how we court that boundary. The line can be very thin.

To be continued....

Friday, 11 March 2011

The Mood of Worship

Recently I have heard the expression "Let's be in the Mood of Worship" when a Praise/Worship leader approaches the Altar to take a session. 

Anytime this is said, something stirs in me and I ask myself, is there really a mood of worship? Or better still a mood of Praise?

What do you think the "Mood of Worship"is? 

Is it the solemn and expression of piety on our faces when we sing a "slow song". Or is it just another phrase that is being continuously misused erroneously.

What are your views?

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The Story behind the Songs

Hello Guys...hope you've read the last post on 'Exploring Contemporary Praise and Worship'. If you haven't, please do. It would really expose you and hopeful challenge you to excellence.

As a music minister, I get to listen to a lot of songs and am constantly on the look out for songs for the choir/worship leaders. When I come across a really good song that blesses me, I love to research the original writer(s) of the song and also the story behind each song. It's always amazing discovering the deep stories behind each song. Some songs are birth out of people's personal experiences; some from a revelation in scripture or a sermon in church and others could be divine inspiration from God. Learning about the story behind the song really helps me connect with the song better and relate to the sentiments of the songwriter (s).

I'd like to encourage you as a worship leader to make it a habit of researching the story to a song. It will take your interpretation of songs to a whole new level in addition to making you an more effective worship leader.

Check out this video from Delirious, the group that originally wrote the song 'Majesty'. They are also the writers of 'I could sing of your love forever'.

Check this one out as well, the story behind 'How Great is our God'. If you are a contemporary worship leader and haven't heard about Chris Tomlin, you're probably in a different planet ....LOL.
Anyway, you'll most likely know the songs he's authored. He's the co-writer or writer of  'How Great is our God', 'Indescribable', 'Forever (Give thanks to the Lord)', 'Holy is the Lord', 'I know who I am', 'God of this city' and many other great songs that have blessed touches around the world in the past few years.

Finally, check out the story behind 'Everlasting God'; written by Brenton Brown, who is also the writer of 'Lord Reign in me'.

Let me know what you think about these song stories and research your favourite worship songs.


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Exploring Contemporary worship Part 1

Hi Guys,
I'm starting a series of posts which I've titled 'Exploring Contemporary Praise and Worship (CPW)'. I am very excited about this. I'd be looking at it from a very practical, common sense and technical point of view. Because contemporary praise and worship is foreign to the majority of us, it's important to embrace and learn the art and approach to it. It's the same thing as embracing a new culture. The same way the entire world uses English as common language, that's the same way we must embrace CPW. The same way you don't speak your native dialect in a foreign land because of adaptability, that's the same mentality we must adopt with CPW. Imagine this cycle:a praise leader looks for the next big 'contemporary song'. The choir doesn't learn it properly; or we sing our own version of it. We do it like we're doing high praise. Then we over-sing it and get tired of it, like sucking the sweetness out of an iced drink . Then it gets boring, routine and dry. Sounds familiar if you're a praise and worship leader in winners choir London..LOL.

Just a few days ago, a pastor in the church humorously asked me 'please free us once in a while to do canaanland style naw! Let's sing a ka marama...'. I honestly couldn't help cracking up. LOL. I kindly let him know that it wasn't my decision. This mentality should give us a reason to be purposeful in our approach to contemporary praise and worship.

What style or genre does Contemporary praise and worship fall under. The word 'Contemporary' actually means something that is 'modern', 'global' or in use at a certain period of time. The term 'Contemporary praise and worship' is actually a very bogus term that is so hard to define. This is because of the many genres that actually exist.

You have the following genres for instance-Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) or Contemporary Christian Worship (CCW) (most songs from Integrity music, Hillsong, Chris Tomlin, Michael W. Smith, etc. or what people tag 'white church's music');Traditional gospel ,what we refer to as Baptist in the choir (Hand clapping/feet stomping music that stemmed from the black-populated baptist churches in the 60's/70's/80's);Urban Contemporary Praise and Worship (songs by Fred Hammond, Byron Cage, Kurt Carr like 'We lift our hands in the sanctuary', 'Blessed', 'I will bless the Lord at all times', 'the presence of the Lord is Here');Gospel Praise/Worship (A newer style of Praise and Worship in the 21st century from the 'black church' from younger worship leaders like Jonathan Nelson, JJ Hairston, Vashawn Mitchell, William Murphy, William McDowell with songs like 'Chasing After you', 'Let it rise', 'Lord you are awesome', etc.) and even a mixture of different genre like you have with worship leaders like Israel Houghton and Martha Munizzi. 
We even do Raggae/Ragga in church and even south african-styled songs like 'All around', 'Come let us praise' and 'Lord Reign in Me'. I believe you see why the word 'contemporary praise and worship' is so hard to define.

Understanding these different genres and styles will help us in selecting songs effectively and knowing how to approach each Worship session. Doing different styles of CPW is a plus because it helps to serve different cultures in our congregation. The disadvantage of having many styles is that it makes us 'mediocre' at many styles and never becoming master at one. Most contemporary Churches having very experienced and professional musicians tend to focus on 1 or 2 styles and probably do another style once in a while; hence it's easy to see the excellence they demonstrate (When you say 'Hillsong'; you know what to expect). We must begin to think carefully about our approach to each praise and worship session to be relevant in our attempt to be contemporary.

Let's think carefully about this and also research different genres of contemporary praise and worship. Let me know what you think by adding your contributions and questions and let me know what you think about this post.


Welcome to Levites Talk

Hello Guys,
Welcome to this new blog 'Levites Talk'. It originally came about as a development programme for our praise and worship leaders. But we thought it would be quite beneficial to everyone. 'Levites Talk' is an opportunity to develop, challenge and inspire every member of the choir who values their assignments as Levites to a greater level of excellence. Though a major portion of the blogs here will be devoted to current and potential praise leaders, there will definitely be something for everyone. Because of our church's vision to be relevant in the world around us, the choir now assumed a greater role because music is a major language in every contemporary world. If you sincerely desire to grow vocally, musically and in your calling as a Levite and enjoy the process this blog will prove helpful to you. It's going to be very practical and fun. Therefore visit this space constantly to learn new stuff and to read what you've already read. Myself and others will be contributing to this blog.

Please make valuable use of this opportunity. We're encouraging everyone to make use of the 'COMMENTS SECTION'. Please add your name as you make contributions, ask questions and let's hear what you think about each post. Let's have a great conversation as we grow together. I'll be happy to answer questions asked. 

Welcome on board guys...enjoy the ride....