(Currently Listening to Quantity is Job 1, by Five Iron Frenzy) Here's our set from this past week:
"Kingdom" [Kristian Stanfill] "Salvation's Chorus" [Todd Fields] "Glory to God Forever" [Steve Fee] "God of This City" [Bluetree] "Jesus Paid It All" [traditional w/ add. chorus by Alex Nifong] Message: "It's Your Serve--Build an Altar" [Pastor Jay] INV: "I Want to Love You" [Todd Fields]
This week felt pretty good overall. I love it when the church sings "Kingdom" all together ("We are the Kingdom of God/ We are an army of love/ We carry truth to the world/ We are the Kingdom of God"). I also love the concept of "Salvation's Chorus," in that believers have a song that others cannot sing (even the angels), namely the song of the redeemed. We have been rescued from sin and death, and because of this we have much to celebrate. "Glory to God Forever" has become a major prayer of my life--specifically the bridge: "Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours." "Jesus Paid it All" is always one of my favorites, as the church celebrates by singing, "O praise the One who paid my debt/ And raised this life up from the dead." I don't think we can sum up the reason for our worship more succinctly than that. I think that's why it's so powerful a lyric for us to sing. There are certain things that we hear or say that strike a chord within the believer, as the Spirit confirms the truth of those things and stirs us because of it. This is one of those truth statements that provokes that kind of response from believers.
As I approach my last week leading the worship in music for Church at the Mall, many things are flooding my mind as we lead. I look at the students and feel burdened for their future, their leadership, and their ministry in the church. I find myself praying over them as we sing out to God about being the Kingdom of God ("Kingdom"), and asking God to take our lives and let them be all for Him and for His glory ("Glory to God Forever"). I find myself celebrating what God has accomplished in our midst over these past 4 1/2 years. I look out over the assembly of believers and see a huge transformation from the way things were in the beginning of 2006, with nearly half as many people meeting in the old Montgomery Wards, and many blank stares as people didn't really know what to do with the "music time" of the service. Many enjoyed the music, but did not feel the need or the motivation to participate in it. Many just spectated. Some just dreaded it. As we've grown together over these past few years, more and more of us are engaging in the songs and owning them, responding to God with thanksgiving and praise for who He is and what He has done. I see people passionately singing out to God. I see raised hands. I see people dwelling on the truths that we're singing together. I love it. It is hard to leave something that I have given so much of my life to building. I am so thankful to have been a part of God's working in Church at the Mall.
I hope you had a great day of worship wherever you were this week.
In the Son,