Closing Worship may seem like a strange title, and yet it is probably a very accurate description.
Have you ever been at the end of a worship time in a corporate meeting when the worship just ends, and without any sensitivity in transition something else like the notices start.
When I think about the time which our worship leaders spend practicing their instruments, training their voice, rehearsing with their team, learning & writing new songs, praying into the set, arriving early, and doing a sound check, I cringe at the thought that they can do all that and the set be closed and the most powerful of moments in a gathering can be passed over.
This moment in a service is what many give the title of Closing Worship.
You might not be aware that there is a training series for CLOSING WORSHIP (click to purchase).
It was produced out of a desire to train leaders and their teams in maximising what I consider to be one of the most potentially powerful moments in any corporate meeting where there is worship.
This course contains: 10 Sessions including interviews with experienced worship leaders like Brian and Jenn Johnson, Jeremy Riddle and others.
- Interview with Brian and Jenn Johnson
- Lessons Learned. Kristene DiMarco Clip
- Discussion with Steffany Gretzinger
- Lessons Learned. Jeremy Riddle Clip
- Discussion with Paul and Hannah McClure
- Lessons Learned. I’ll Stand Clip
- Lessons Learned. Brian and Jenn Clip
- Lessons Learned. Breaking the Rules-Shame Clip
- Discussion with Amy Miller
- Closing Comments
It is encouraging and inspiring to watch as either as an individual or as a team training for those called upon to close worship and also for worship teams.
As so many of us return to church this is surely a time to actively pursue stewarding the Presence of God as we move on from this past season.
“If your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.” Exodus 33:15
Moses had a clear understanding of the need for the Presence of God on the journeys he was leading. At times in the story of the Israelites in the desert, that awareness needed to be restored and the pursuit of God’s presence refocused on. This is not new. History gives us varying pictures of how humanity’s desire for connection with God has manifested. Martin Luther’s reforms introduced the ‘priesthood of all believers’ and led to congregational participation in the singing of hymns, which had previously been dominated by priests and choirs who were not even singing in the congregation’s native language. Partnerships between preachers and hymn writers have not been unusual – Moody & Sankey and John & Charles Wesley are just two examples. From the 1960s, we have seen the introduction of more contemporary praise and worship songs being written and sung, and in the present day, there are some places where the time spent in worship may equal or even exceed the time spent on preaching.
The ‘moves’ of God of the Jesus People, Vineyard, Toronto, Pensacola, Hillsong & Bethel and many others have all partnered ministry with music.
Songs and hymns carry words which we are more likely to remember than the preaching but this season is much more than just partnering songs with preaching. We have always been called to ‘go’ but this apostolic sending culture is teaching us to see that not only have we been sent, but as we are sent we need to say that “God, if [Your] presence does not go with us, don’t send us.” The apostolic desire to bring Heaven to Earth requires us to know the experience of His Presence in every scenario, circumstance and emotion of life.
We are quite simply being trained in the Presence for the assignment of bringing Heaven to Earth and expanding the influence of King Jesus wherever we go, whatever we do and whoever we are.
That is why it is essential that we ‘maximise the moment’ when the people are fully present in the Presence of God. The task of the worship team is not to usher in the presence of God, He as we know is here, rather it is to usher in the presence of the people.
It is in that moment that many of us in some form of church leadership are ‘sent’ on to a stage to ‘close worship.’ It has honestly become one of my favourite things to do, from small meetings to stadiums being asked to steward a moment in which I believe anything is possible.
Click here CLOSING WORSHIP to purchase this course for £25.