Instructional worship and praise dance videos in hip hop, pop, and lyrical styles

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Newsletter - Monday, June 9th, 2008

 

In this issue:

conference report
thoughts on worship
- need encouragement and a renewed passion for your team?
- new products reminder
- discount coupon


Conference report 

 A few days ago I came back from a prophetic conference called “Gathering of the Nations” in Rainier, Oregon. A good friend of mine had invited me to lead worship there. I used to live in that area and worked as a worship pastor at one of the local churches. We I moved away a few years ago so I really didn’t think I could pull together a worship band for the event, but all of my old friends that I contacted agreed to participate. We only had one rehearsal and were able to go over about a half of the songs I had chosen. It turned out we didn’t need so many songs. The conference participants came hungry for God. The worship team ended up ministering about 4 – 6 songs during an hour of worship. The crowd worshiped spontaneously and we got to prophesy on our instruments. The presence of God was tangible and sweet. People were blessed, changed and healed physically and emotionally. The conference ended on Saturday night and we were invited to do worship for the Sunday morning church service. The worship team’s approach and expectations were the same, but the Sunday morning crowd was different. During the third song I started thinking “This isn’t going anywhere”. We began to sing Jonathan Stockstill’s song “Open Up the Sky” that says:


“We won’t be satisfied with anything ordinary

We won’t be satisfied at all

Open up the skies, fall down like rain

We don’t want blessings we want You

Open up the skies, fall down like fire

We don't want anything but You”

 

Half way through the song the associate pastor came up to the microphone and with a broken heart and voice started repenting for being satisfied with things “somewhat ordinary” and wanting blessings rather than God himself. That did it! The worship went through the roof. Most of the people there came down to the front. The pastor shared that he had a clear vision of angels worshipping with us and invited the congregation onto the platform. The people came and completely surrounded the worship team and then  worship became wonderfully spontaneous and totally unified. We worshiped in the Spirit and truth and the musicians prophesied on their instruments. We all were loud with our worship and then we proceeded to be completely silent in the presence of the Lord, receiving His unconditional love. The pastor said he had to save his message until the next week because God himself had ministered to us that morning.

 

Thoughts on worship

Some people from the church where the conference was held said “If we had that band every Sunday, we could have this kind of services more often”. Well, that’s not the case. A good band sure helps but true worship is crowd-driven not the platform-led. In the book of Revelation there are several examples of worship in heaven. In every case there is no mention of any particular worship leader or band but only a worshipping crowd. Psalm 22:3 says that God dwells in the praises of His people (the crowd). True worship cannot be achieved from the platform only. It requires participation of “His people” who come hungry and thirsty for His presence (encounter with God). Singing even the best songs won’t cut it, because worship is so much more than a song. It’s a desire, longing, emotion, expression of deepest love and devotion. It’s not an event, it’s a lifestyle. Sadly, in our Sunday morning services we often participate in worship concerts rather than having true worship experiences. The band is tight, sound is loud but excellent, songs are new and arrangements are fresh and intricate. It feels good and exciting, but it all ends when the song ends.

 

Worship pioneer, LaMar Boschman, has said that we often get into the rut of singing Christian karaoke, but true worship starts when the writing on the wall ends. It’s like a Hallmark card. A written song is like a Hallmark poem printed on the card, but the card’s recipients always look for the hand-written note under the poem that expresses ones true feelings. God is longing for our personal expression of worship. Worship bands exist to initiate worship, not to replace it. They help give people a rhythm and a melody of worship using a song as an inspiration or a “spring-board”. God likes our songs, but “He inhabits our praises”. So, is singing worship songs to God worship? Yes and no. God is looking for more than a song (see “The Heart of Worship” song by Matt Redman), He is looking for our personal expression. If God was looking for a worship sound, we could easily replace our worship by playing CDs.

 

I am a musician and I realize that I am talking like one while sending this newsletter to worship dancers. But, just as a sound applies to musicians, movement applies to dancers. Some dancers do just choreographed pieces as specials and there is a great blessing in it, this is not about those specials. This is for those who dance spontaneously during worship services. God loves the true expression of your heart. Is He impressed with your technique? No, but don’t discount the training! A limited movement vocabulary can hinder that very expression. The scriptures encourage us to do things skillfully - we serve the God of excellence. Once you are on the platform (or at the front of it) you are the worship leader and you have the awesome responsibility to initiate worship in the congregation, not replace it. (If you are leading and no one is following, you are just taking a walk!)

 

Easily flowing with spontaneous worship doesn’t happen overnight. If you, as a dancer, practice choreographed movements only, you get a choreographed service. If you, as a musician, practice songs only, you get a song service. You have to practice your spontaneous worship by yourself and with your group. It will turn your rehearsals into God’s presence-filled worship encounters.

We would welcome your comments on this subject. If there is enough interest in continuing this dialog, we will consider starting a blog.

    

Need encouragement and a renewed passion for your team?

Invite us for a workshop. We will teach you, encourage you, work with you, pray for a renewed vision, fresh passion, and impartation.        http://www.worshipsteps.com/invite_us.htm


NEW PRODUCTS REMINDER

Till the Walls Fall - a very dynamic and powerful praise dance choreography video filmed live at the Word Youth Conference in Las Vegas. Each movement is a powerful statement of warfare through praise. It is an energetic and  strong declaration of Jesus' lordship and our victory in Him. The video features live performance followed by an easy to learn step by step instruction in a mirrored studio. Appropriate for teens and adults. See preview

 

REACH -flexibility and stretch video that will teach you how to properly warm up and stretch your body before dancing and increase your flexibility. Taught by world-class instructor, Craig Hempsted, and beautifully edited with the instrumental worship music in the background. Appropriate for dancers on all levels, as well as athletes, gymnasts, marshal arts people, and everyone else who gets tight neck, shoulders and legs doing their job or traveling.   See the results of Craig’s training

 


Discount Coupon

Since our economy isn’t doing so well lately, we are pleased to offer you a 20% off coupon valid on all* of our products. At the checkout enter code: 0609-0616. Valid until midnight of 06/16/08. (*10 DVD set excluded)

 

 
 

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Last modified: February 13, 2012