Worship is more than just the 30 minutes of singing on Sunday morning. But worship permeates every aspect of the church and our lives. In this article noteable worship leaders such as Darlene Zschech, Taya Smith of Hillsong UNITED, and Paul Baloche offer snippets of advice of how to worship in various settings of the church's life.
First, Taya Smith, who is the lead singer of Hillsong UNITED's #1 worship smash hit "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)," talks about how we can prepare ourselves for worship in church on Sundays. In her recent blog entry on the Hillsong's blog, she has this tidbit to share for worship leaders: "Your primary service to the church is to lead them to the presence of God.Don't think for a second that worship leading is your moment to shine or preach, especially when you are taking 'the gap'. If it adds to the service and allows you to arrest the atmosphere, then do it; but if it takes away from Jesus and what your primary purpose is, leave it out."
Second, moving away from worship in the church building to missions, Darlene Zschech has lots to share. Known as one of the founding worship leaders of Hillsong Worship and having led many of Hillsongs' Live Worship albums, Darlene Zschech is also the founder of a missions group called Hope Rwanda. For the "Shout to the Lord" writer, worship and missions go hand in hand.
In an article published in www.charismanews.com, Zschech shares: "As Christ followers, all that we are should be somehow resulting in bringing the love and light of Christ to our world. Is this mission? Yes. Is this worship? Yes."
"I'll never forget sitting in the South African dirt with a beautiful four-year-old boy in an orphanage in Johannesburg. It seemed nothing could reach his lonely little heart, no toys or games, not even the crazy young musicians traveling along with us could find a way to connect with him. His eyes were glazed over; I cannot bear to think about what he had endured at such a young age. So in the dirt, into his gorgeous, perfectly formed little ears, I started to sing, "Jesus loves me." It only took moments for his stunning tear-filled eyes to look up, and it was like our hearts connected right there and then. Building Jesus a throne in the middle of the dirt. As we drew near, he drew near to us (Jas 4:8). That's the promise."
Third, one area of worship we often neglect is in the area of grieving, particularly in arena of funerals. Funeral, according to veteran worship leader Paul Baloche, is the best time for worship. On his own blog, the singer and songwriter writes: "Songs of worship can be the most encouraging aspect of a funeral service or a time of intense grief. Part of my role as a worship pastor is to show up and "pastor" those who are grieving. Several times last year I was called upon to lead worship during memorial or graveside services. Silence can be powerful. Stillness consoling. Yet when a simple chorus or hymn begins with a guitar or human voice, you can feel something change in the air. Timely words sung at the right moment can bring a wave of comfort and release His faithful presence."
"Blessed be Your name when the road's marked with suffering, when there's pain in the offering, blessed be Your name." "Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see you." "I can only imagine .....I will rise when He calls my name, no more sorrow, no more pain." These are just a few of the songs that have served the moment and brought hope to those who have lost loved ones."