It isn't enough for me to throw together a list of songs and call it "planning a worship service."
It isn't enough for me to just select a bunch of songs that our people like to sing.
It isn't enough for me to limit selections to only my favorites (or anyone else's).
It isn't enough for me to simply choose songs that fit a particular theme.
It isn't enough for me to go through the motions as if meeting some sort of lawful requirement of my worship...or of my job.
For me, being an authentic worship leader and planner serving my perfect God and Creator requires far, far more than any of the above.
There must be flow from thought to thought. There must be a journey in our minds. It must lead us to God's throne in awe, wonder, praise, confession, humility, submission. It shouldn't throw anyone off the deep end, nor produce spiritual whiplash. There is a realization of who we are, and a longing for and renewed commitment to who we wish to be.
I don't believe the flow has to be blatantly obvious to everyone for it to be effective in helping focus their worship. It is only an aid. I can't explain the Spirit's role. I only know that many times He has woven together thoughts and concepts that were far beyond my understanding at the time I was planning, but become obvious in the moment of worship. I know He often uses different phrases and concepts to speak to one person differently than the individual next to them, yet in a way that is timely and relevant to each.
It is enough only when I have gotten out of the way and not limited people's experience by my own humanity and imperfection.
It is enough only when we have stepped past comfort and into confession.
It is enough only when we have been inspired to deeper commitment and devotion.
It is enough only when God has been given room to speak to hearts.
Indeed, only a meeting with Him is enough.
Lord, please do that thing You do so often. That thing where You speak to hearts far beyond ideas that I had for any particular assembly. That thing where people are transported in their minds to a place of holy discomfort - where they feel that tension between who they are and who they long to be in You, and are inspired and energized to continue on in that relationship and journey with renewed strength. That thing where you peel back layers of sin and hardness and provide brand new tender-hearted, sensitive, dependant followers where unemotional and Pharisaical coldness once stood. That thing where we leave having been changed in Your presence. We can't produce such change in and of ourselves. If it is going to happen, it is going to be through Your Spirit at work, not through some clever combination of songs or words or rituals. So we invite You to meet with us, and we look forward to Your work accomplished by the same power which raised Christ from the dead. Amen.