Engaging Worship

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A corps officer’s reflections

by Lt. Lisa Barnes –

The South San Francisco Citadel Worship team attended the Worship Arts with the intent to improve on the musical foundation that we have built as a team and to learn new things. We did accomplish this, but that was not all that happened while we were there.

On Saturday evening, our team performed. This pushed us past our comfort zone, and we enjoyed it. Other groups performed too, and it was encouraging to see how diverse this Army is—how, no matter what gifts God has given us, if we are willing we can use those for his glory, to lead people into the thrown room in worship, and to extend his kingdom.

The Redheads were the guest speakers. They challenged us with the question of how to truly engage everyone in worship. This struck a chord with me, because I have been guilty of focusing on contemporary styles of worship and ignoring more traditional styles. We need to understand that not everyone worships the same way. It is our responsibility as lead worshipers to facilitate the whole congregation in worship, and there is a good chance that means playing songs that may not be our personal favorites. It is not about us, though; it is about the body as a whole.

Discussion time led to some great brainstorming about why we do things in worship the way we do. It also allowed us to move past just speaking with our group, to talking with those from different areas of this territory and sharing ideas.

Every meeting started with the Worship Band, allowing us to sing to God and connect with him. Each time of communal worship was a reminder of why we were there. To be in communication with the Father, and to express our desire to be in relationship with him were high priorities of the weekend.

On a group level, those from our corps seized the opportunity to fellowship and laugh together. Not only was I blessed by the information presented at the Worship Arts Retreat, I was also reminded of what a privilege it is to be a part of this Army, to serve and worship among its newest soldiers and its older saints. It was a wonderful weekend, and we are looking forward to praising God together in the future.

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