Team from a church Philly led us this morning and once again very well done.
One thing I want to point though that I thought was great. They started on one song and it was in a couple of different keys. They had to tell me that. I didn’t even realize it. I just recognized that it sounded very bad at the time. So the worship leader stopped everybody and said something along the lines of “this isn’t how it’s supposed to go”. Bob Kauflin, the conference leader, came up and addressed it by making fun of it and reminding everyone that the Spirit loves this kind of thing. It turned an awkward moment into a worshipful moment.
Sean and I talked about how thing is invariably going to happen and happens a lot at Crew. So it’s ok, but we will need to be able to use those unexpected detours and celebrate them as Spirit given opportunities to make much of Christ. Essentially, everything is ok, just say it, and deal with it, right? I’d love to hear of any great awkward worship moments you guys have been a part of. I had a person pass out next to me once. Top that.
The speaker this morning was David Powlison is a great counselor and trainer of counselors at Westminster Theological Seminary. I have a couple of his books and he’s wonderful at exposing how our heart and our sin is the root of our struggles and how the grace of God in Christ is our healer. His topic is Enduring Trials With The Psalmist. His passage is Psalm 28.
The Psalms Change Our Lives Through a 3 Part Process. A Triangulation if you will
1. His Exact Need: There are outside possibilities of danger, our internal sin, our emotional apprehension, fear, anger, etc.
2. God Speaks to Our Need: Revelation (example is Psalm 23)
3. A Personalizatoin of God’s Speaking to my Need: I own Psalm 23 not as someone else’s prayer and promise, but my prayer and promise.
It’s this process that he wants us to begin to understand and apply. Particular to the Psalms.
He just made this statement: “The Psalter is tipped toward sorrow”. Great line! It is 2/3 or 60 or 70% about suffering, pain, and down times. But Christ, the man of sorrow, walked out the Psalms and lived out their suffering and tipped it the other way. We live, in Christ, generally, 2/3 joy or 60 or 70% joy. Obviously there are sorrowful seasons and some reading this will not feel this, but overall this tends to be the human experience.
A Few Ways The Psalms Help Us In Suffering
1. The Psalms help us live better. They give us patterns of how to think through our suffering, articulate our suffering, and apply to our suffering.
2. The Psalms teach us to be gloriously honest. Just being honest isn’t always holy. It can be ugly, self righteous, and sinful. The psalmist show us we can articulate emotion in a way that is healthy and honest and righteous.
3. Another thing the Psalms teach is that working through our suffering with God results in new songs, creativity, and a fresh vibrance in God.
• He paraphrased verses 1-2 very well. Something like, “I’m calling out to you God. Listen! If you don’t answer me, I’m going to die!”
• Faith isn’t always pretty. Sometimes it is painful. He believes that he can call out to God, but if God doesn’t respond death will take place.
• He names his problem. People are gossiping and slandering him in order to get him. Ever had that? We all have, right? Jesus had that too.
• Jesus in the Psalm: The NT letters respond to Christ who sufferED and diED. The Psalms as Jesus lived them show us Christ sufferING and dyING. Never thought of that.
• God has answered. Now faith feels Good
• There’s a shift from the personal to the communal. It’s now “his people” not, “I” and “me”.
• My need now becomes beneficial to the community.
Practical Tips to Song Writers and Worship Leaders
1. Remember the minor key. Don’t lose songs that articulate our pain and suffering and sadness.
2. Remember there are slow tempos. This gives us time to think and pause and reflect
3. Remember to let us rest. There needs to be time for silence. It’s the silence that builds the sounds anyway.
4. Remember the darker instruments. Those tools that have a more sad and darker sound that can score sorrowful emotions for us