PT4: The Art of Squeeze
Updated: Feb 12
Some of the most intimate offerings of ones self (confession, dedication, and holy adoration) may best be done in the service ranging from the Offertory and into Communion.
It is here, in the Holy Place, where the worshipper - having been cleansed with the blood of Christ and washed with the water of the Word in the Outer Courts - can confidently enter into the Holy Place and lay his or her heart to God.
The Offertory. An offering isn't only about money, but can be the offering of one's heart, rededication, or a time to prepareto meet the Lord in the following actions of taking the Eucharist. Many churches use this time to "teach" the congregation a new song which will be sung in the following week(s) to come, but I prefer to teach new songs within the worship set itself and consecrate this time wherein the worshipper and do business with God as he or she offers herself to the Almighty.
Solo pieces. From time to time a solo piece can be offered here. A solo piece is one that the congregation simply listens to and makes it their own. A word of caution here: solo pieces can very easily turn into entertainment pieces and thus bring the attention onto the soloist and not the Lord. This is not the time for you to get into the lime-light and show the congregation what you really have. Stay Christ-centered in your solo pieces and you'll never go wrong.
Communion. The time of Communion can usually afford two or even three song selections. It's a beautifully intimate time wherein the band really needs to nurture what God is dong among his people through their gifts.
Recently in my setting, we have been using "silence" as a choice. We simply don't play, or we have extended periods of silence between the chosen songs. We've found these times particularly wonderful for our people in a world where silence is rare. Our goal is to create a breathable place for the Spirit to interact with his people, and vice vera. Another thing that does that particularly well are instrumental pieces on a piano, organ, or guitar. Mellow, nurturing and comforting melodies find their homes best at this part of the service.
The Eucharistic place in the service is pretty much akin to the Holy and Most Holy Places in the tabernacle. It is a time of intimacy which can roll from "The Revelation Song" to flat out desperation and clinging to the tassels of God. As I mentioned a few BLOGS ago, careful thought as to the life of the congregation and knowledge of what God is doing in the midst of his people can be a powerful aid when choosing music during the Communion set.
If you have opportunity for two or more songs here make the first one your desperation intimacy-type piece and the second one more of a song of thanksgiving for the things he has done kind of piece. This is the time in the service where things are closing out and we want to say thank you just one more time before we formally leave.
In our last segment, I'll briefly summarize where we've been present a couple of challenges for the contemporary music leader.