A few Sundays ago, June 17th, at our 11:00am service I got the sense that as we were singing familiar songs we were at risk of, yet again, doing what congregations can so often do, and that’s rush through, hurry along, and miss opportunities for heart-felt engagement with the living God.
We had a choir of men from our congregation that morning since it was Father’s day. I had chosen several familiar songs since we didn’t have much time to rehearse. But as we got to the end of “Shout to the Lord” I had a strong impression that God wanted us to put the brakes on, to come to a halt, to slow down, and to simply rest.
As a worship leader you can’t always bring things to a place of rest when you want to. We often want more time than we get, and we have to honor the Lord by honoring our pastor and keep things in the confines he’s given us. And we also have to be conscious of the fact that just because we’re a little frustrated with a disengaged congregation it doesn’t mean we should say so!
But on this particular Sunday I felt strongly enough about it to discern it was the Holy Spirit’s leading, so instead of rushing on to the next song, I sang a simple, spontaneous, song of trust in God. Several people mentioned after the service that it was helpful, so for them and for you, I’m posting it below.
So we run to you, O Lord
We hide ourselves in You
We come to you, O Lord
We trust in You
We cast our burdens at your feet
We lay our worries in your hands
We bring our lives to you, our Lord
We give our hearts to you, our King
You are our shelter, You are our help
You are our comfort and our defender
You are our Savior, You are our shield
And you never fail, You never fail
Time after time, day after day
Morning after morning your mercies are new
Lord, we love You. God, we trust You
You are our shelter and our comfort
And our shield
You’ll notice pretty quickly that these aren’t the most impressive words in the world. They didn’t need to be. They served a simple purpose that morning which was to help people settle in to a place of trust in God, instead of rushing through the songs and getting on to whatever was next.
Be sensitive, as you lead worship, to the moments when God wants you to put the brakes on. It’s in those moments that you might end up taking risks — some of which might not work at all — and God reveals himself afresh.