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Braided Worship

worshippers smWe began like every other worship team...

We had some instruments along with some ability. We had some desire to worship the Lord. For a while we were content riding on that wave of well-written Christian music that is available to everyone. We practiced a lot. We fought even more. Our fight was not so much about team issues, the music, or the leadership. (Yes, we did fight about those things, and even some things that were pettier than those.) But the fight that I am referring too was on a much deeper level. Each one of us came to the table so hungry. Each one of us came with our strengths and with them came all our weaknesses. We mixed it all together and it created a raw and unpolished sound that was heart-felt and real. We knew we were made for something different but we couldn't pin point exactly what it was... and then it began to come in like a flood.

John 7:38
"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

Revelation 14:2
"And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps."

It started with a trickle... A song would extend a little past what was up on the overhead. There would be a spontaneous burst with a phrase or a word. We would hold on a little longer to a chord progression. As a team, we pushed the boundaries of our comfort zones. Our Senior Pastor encouraged us on in this new thing like a mid-wife assisting a delivery. We all knew that it was going to be one big bloody mess, but then again, so was the cross.

We continued pushing—this new sound continued in its appearing. For lack of any other name, we began to refer to it as "Braided Worship". Each person on the team had to experience their own personal cross by putting a death to performance, pride, self-consciousness, religiosity, and fear. We had to link arms with each other and fight to prefer one another. We found that only by truly loving one another could this new sound happen. It was in the unity that our instruments and voices began to "braid" together in a repetitive phrase style of worship that started to lift us higher.

We would start with a song that can gather everyone in. We all would sing the same song, the same words, together in unison. Some how after a couple of times through, that song became a diving board for us to leap from. One thread or thought, one word or scripture, began to set the tone and begin a theme that would always come full circle. It was truly a weaving and braiding of voices and song. As one voice would enter, the others would make room and continue to support vocally whoever "had it" at the time. Each member was sensitive to the others and keeping constant connection. It allowed a safe environment for the Spirit of God to flow in a way that mistakes could be made, notes could be missed, words could be lost, and yet His strength was made perfect in our weakness. Our prophets became psalmists, our psalmists prophesied. One song could last an hour, which would fly by all too quickly in this flow that united every one in the room.

We held fast to Ephesians 5:18-21
"...be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."

As we began to mature in this form of worship that was new to us, we became more confident in Christ who was appearing in us and through us to worship His Father. The phrasing got longer, the message increased. Self-consciousness left the room and each person began to take their part in a more powerful way.

Imagine this group of people. Believing wholeheartedly that they are created to declare the love of God, they get together weekly to write a devotion, story, or simply recount scripture. Each one is given the job of writing one paragraph and sharing it with the group with the idea that the end product of multiple voices will be one message. Without fail, week after week, that simply profound message comes forth. Now put it to music. Spontaneously. That's what we are currently doing at 3rd Day. I am not sure what to call it any more but I know that we have grown in this new thing and are constantly seeking the Father for more. This worship has brought us into greater levels of deliverance, healing, maturity, and Christ-likeness. None of us want to hold it too closely... its raw, pure and simple. I am sure that it will change. I am sure there is more to it... I am sure it will change us in the process. We want to be ready. We want to worship as He designed for us to do.

John 4:23-24
"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

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