Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Leading Songs in Worship & Congregational Leadership

I thought I should celebrate my 2nd year as a revived blogger with my 2.0 blog by writing a third blog-post for the day. I started blogging in May 2006 but stopped about 6 months last year, a kind of sabbath from blogging. I found I needed to blog if only to keep a spiritual journal of my personal journey in the Lord. I can look back 10 years from now and remember what I am doing right now on the 28th August 2013. Two-thirds of the year is about gone and after tomorrow, there will be 7 more teaching weeks and I hope by mid-November I can get all my marking of essays and exams done and proceed to my writing project. I have decided to remain in Singapore unless there is a late minute invitation to preach over Christmas. After travelling almost every month for the first seven months of the year, I hope to take a break from flying and do some solid research and writing. What I am experiencing in the past few days and weeks has been heavenly, by the grace of God. I can say like Job that when the fellowship of God is with you, you will feel no lack and be at peace despite great pressure from work and ministry. Just leading worship and prayers in Chapel for 20 minutes in 3 weeks' time already took a lot of my energy and effort.

I remember when I took up the pastorate more than 10 years ago, I told the elders of the church that I would be in charge of worship for the simple reason that the presence of God is experienced through worship and the pastor is there to ensure everything goes well according to the Lord's will. You do it right, God is enthroned in the praises of His people. You do it wrong, following human traditions, God will be absent for God will not show Himself to those whose hearts are far from him and a kind of worship that is by human precepts and rote. I attended almost every worship rehearsal for the first 3 years of my pastorate though we have a lay-leader in charge of the worship team. On the Sunday I would worship along the congregation and when moved by the Spirit, I would lead a song or two myself before and after preaching in praise of the name of our God. I preached in my homechurch last February and we sang Ku mahu cinta Yesus and the glory of the Lord descended upon us and many wept for joy and conviction of the Holy Ghost. I preached on Father's Day and we sang Hosanna Termulia a translation of a Hillsong, Hosanna in the Highest. The presence of God was strong and I prayed for 30 people who came forward to renew their commitment to the Lord and have their petitions brought before the Lord with the pastor-preacher supporting them in prayers and intercession.

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