Hey there I’m Kieron, I’m the worship pastor at an awesome church in Greenstone, Johannesburg, called the Grace Place (http://www.graceplace.co.za/). With everything that is going on in the world today, I think we have all found ourselves in the same boat, and that’s having to move to some sort of online location.
Recently, I had the honour of hosting an online worship session for our church. I guess to some of us this can be quite a daunting task, myself included, and I do not profess to be an expert on this at all. Here’s just a few things that I did to help the process along. Hopefully some of this might help you.
When I was asked to host the session, we had just gone into lockdown, so there was a lot of fear, concern and uncertainty around what was going to happen. “Will I be able to go to the shops?” “Will I still have a job?”, “Will the economy collapse?”
So, my purpose for the session was to find the perfect balance between the spiritual and the practical. I don’t know about you, but I’m a practical guy and its easier for me to learn when I’m being shown as opposed to being told. We had people in our congregation lose jobs, lose loved ones, food shortages… I didn’t want to just quote a bunch of scripture, say a prayer and then send them on their way.
So, the question I asked myself after thinking and listening to what people where feeling was this… “How do I as a worship leader move the congregation from fear to faith?” The Quick answer is this, Worship. Worship is the catalyst that is used to move our concentration from our situation and onto God. It forces our focus and attention on Him. I’m not talking about just singing your favourite gospel slow jam (although there’s nothing wrong with that) but really focusing on God. Worshiping Him, giving him your thoughts and deepest fears, laying them at His feet.
On a Worship platform like this, it’s easy to say, “Just worship God”. But to the average person having to face their situation, that might come across as insensitive or uncompassionate. “Don’t tell me to worship God, when my fridge is empty.” Not everyone necessarily understands that worshipping God moves them from a place of fear to a place of faith in God.
So what I wanted to do was establish a common ground. Where in the Bible did people feel uncertain or uneasy about their situation. My mind took me to Abraham. Even though he was living in the land that God had promised him, he still had to live there BY FAITH. God is still in control even when its hard.
Hebrews 11:8-9 (NLT) 8 It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. 9 And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith
When it comes to selecting the songs, I always put a lot of time, thought and prayer into the selection. I was looking for songs that move your attention from your situation to your faith in God and then to full on worship.
The songs I selected were:
Tremble – Key G: “Peace bring it all to peace, the storm surrounding me” – I love these lyrics, exactly what I was looking for to open the session because it speaks about stilling your mind.
This is a move – Key G: “Mountains are still being moved”, ”We are here for you come and do what you do.” This reminds us that God still does the impossible, and reaffirms the fact that we are here for God.
Most beautiful (Just one look) – Key D: “One thing I desire, only this is seek, just to dwell, dwell, dwell here forever.” – This shifts our attention to God. We are here to worship Him, for Him, not for what we can get from Him.
Hungry – Key D: “I’m falling on my knees” – It’s great to end with a song that everybody knows, but also sums up why we are here – full and total surrender to God.
The songs are important to me, but what’s more important is allowing God, and the Holy Spirit to move through the songs. To move in-between the verses, and sometimes through a single line, and for me to not be afraid just to hang out there with Him. Not to rush song 2 where’s He’s moving, because I really want to get to song 4. Ever so often I have to remind myself that this is not about me at all.
The Technical Stuff:
For this session I was running pads through Abelton, that I was triggering from an APC Mini controller. I like the fact that I’m able to fade them in and out when needed. Running pads like this helps with the transitions between keys. I’m able to fade a pad in and out, and move between Keys without it being too distracting.
I used my cell phone camera to record the video, and an external Mic plugged into an interface to record the vocal. Put everything together in Premier Pro. Hope this helped someone
Join the discussion below and let us know what you think and how this helped you?