Maybe you didn’t notice, but you stopped expecting God to show up. You got used to the idea that when you play on the worship team, everything’s going to go according to the neat minute-by-minute plan, and you’ll have a whole hour in between services to drive home, pick up the wife and kids, and get back to church before the 2nd service worship set starts. There was, for a while, that nagging doubt that asked, “Yeah, but what if… Maybe today’s the day that something different happens.” But nothing unexpected happened that day. Or the next week. Or the next.
So you thought this week was just another week with three songs in the first service, five songs in the second service, maybe some measures of “free” worship in the middle. You thought the pastor would close the sermon, and there would be a song for the ministry time slash altar call, and then everything would be done.
Maybe it was a warning sign when last week’s pre-service practice turned into half an hour of pre-service worship. Maybe it was another warning sign when the worship leader said on Thursday that we needed to get the congregation to break out of that programmed “X number of songs and that’s it” mindset. Maybe you had an idea something was different when pre-service practice today turned into about an hour of worship and prayer. But by then it was too late.
So, now you know. Sometimes the congregation will hear what God is saying through the sermon, and they’re going to want to respond. Sometimes, the whole church is going to be up on their feet crying out surrender and desperation to God. Sometimes, they’re going to want to keep singing when you’re thinking, “Ok, things can die down now and we can end this song.”
Sometimes you’re going to have to dash out the door half an hour later than you planned, while the crowd is still worshiping, because you didn’t expect anything to happen and you got caught unprepared.
That time of corporate, unplanned response to God — that was what you’ve been asking for, wasn’t it?
So, why weren’t you expecting an answer?
From here on out, try to remember that God doesn’t always pay attention to your church’s service schedule in Planning Center.
Also, good job today. The experience was awesome, because the congregational response was awesome, because the worship team did an awesome job both playing with excellence and following the flow of the Spirit, and you were part of that.
So, now you know it can happen. Even if it doesn’t next time, expect that it could.
That’s called faith. God likes it, and sooner or later, He rewards it. Be looking.