the baby and the bathwater

April 30, 2008, 5:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Bear with me just for a moment.

I want to yield to one of the things I intensely hate about the blogs of worship leaders: I want to start this article with the phrase ‘I have just come back from a conference and….’.

I know it’s unforgivable, but I just can’t see any other way of introducing this blog post. So please, try and indulge me this time, and I promise not to use the phrase again ever. Well at least until June when I go to the next one….


I have just come back from a conference, and during one of the sessions, I was reminded of what is probably the most beautiful sound in the world. Voices spontaneously worshiping God. In this case, some 2000 voices. (Of course, this last comment is also mandatory worship-leader-blog fodder, because it gives an indication of how big the conference was, and so just how important and famous and anointed I must be to have been there).

It had been a strange conference in many ways – one in which my theology had been tested and my mind stretched. Lots of things I need to think about. And some I don’t think I will think about too much! But on this last night I was leading worship with my great friend Eoghan Heaslip. The band played really well, and the congregation were really ‘up’ for worship. It was quite easy in one sense.

But I have to admit that it was long after Eoghan and I had left the stage that this beautiful moment occurred. It was nearing the end of the ministry time that the speaker/leader struck up a very simple note, and encouraged the 2000 voices to sing out. And boy did they. And it went on for what seemed like ages. Amazing harmonies, rising waves of colourful heart cries, all meshing together in a Holy Spirit sustained cacophony of sound, where any imperfections in individual voices somehow offset themselves and created this wonderful, glorious symphony of worship.

And it all happened without a band.


So I am not indispensable then.

OK, so this wasn’t church. It wasn’t even close. For a start it was in this amazing conference centre where the acoustics were great – were you could really hear the combined voices around you without them disappearing into the vaulted ceiling of some cathedralesque monstrosity that most Anglican churches seem to be like. And the conference was made up of people who had paid good money to be there, who were church leaders and so understood (at least in part I hope) what makes good worship. And it was the final evening, so everyone had gained momentum. And of course we had all left our children at home with our parents, friends, baby sitters etc. And of course there were so many of us.

Nothing like real church.

But still this was a beautiful moment, one to be cherished, one that illustrates a lot of what worship should be. Holy Spirit inspired and sustained; no individual or band or worship leader playing any more than a bit-part role. And of course nothing going on that would generate a song royalty.

What a beautiful sound it was. One that will stay with me for a very long time.

In fact, I recon that if Carlsberg made worship, then…


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Sounds exciting…

Comment by Andy

can i have your autograph??

Comment by Naomi

The phrase that came to my mind was ‘the harmony of many tongues’ that redman wrote about all those years ago. . . was a special moment.

Comment by MattCrossman

you are allowed to go to conferences and enjoy them and not feel guilty and meet with God.

no matter what my blog says!

Comment by David Gate

Andy:- it was
Naomi:- get lost
Matt:- i agree
David:- i did

Comment by Neil Bennetts

lol! I miss you bennetts!

Comment by naomi

And it all happened without a…

Strange and humbling how that happens, something we’d all do well to learn I guess – whatever service. Worship leaders, preachers, evangelists… all good gifts from God, but sometimes God just goes ahead and bypasses our systems to get stuff done!

Comment by thebluefish

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: