Let Your Light Shine!

Randy Neufeld – Worship Ministries

When Things Don’t Go As Planned, Take 2

Bob Kauflin, worship leader and blogger, shares an incident at an annual conference where the worship band and leader were definitely no in the same key!

When Things Don’t Go As Planned, Take 2.

Try as we might to plan every transition, and every key change, there will be times when we are just not on the same key!  An you know what?  The Holy Spirit still “sticks around” even during our “train wrecks”.

Be blessed,

…Randy

January 2, 2010 Posted by | Worship Notes | Leave a comment

When You Smile


As a worship leader, I get the occasional anonymous note! Here’s one addressed to the “Worship Team” that I thought was worth sharing!

…Randy

October 29, 2008 Posted by | Worship Notes | Leave a comment

Jesus Messiah – Chris Tomlin

I’m always grateful for the great songs of worship from Chris Tomlin. Jesus Messiah is a result of a cooperative effort by Chris with Danial Carson, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves. Have a listen:

The chorus is a great declaration of who Christ is
– Messiah
– Name above all names
– Blessed Redeemer
– Emmanuel
– The Rescue for sinners
– The Ransom from Heaven
– Lord Of All

All Praise to God!

…Randy

October 20, 2008 Posted by | Worship Notes | Leave a comment

Worship Notes – September 2008

Worship Notes – September 2008

Crystal and I just got back from two weeks of vacation. Thank you to the team for filling in the gaps while we were away. We spent a good portion of it relaxing out at the lake and spent last weekend with our kids and granddaughter. What a blessing. It was a great time of renewal and I am looking forward in anticipation to God’s plans for his worship and technical ministries here at Westhill.

Team Qualifications and Covenant

As we do every year, I would like to begin the new ministry season by asking all team members (including myself) to review the Qualifications and Expectations for team members. You will notice a slight change this year. You will notice that the Expectations section has been replaced by a “Covenant”. Please review the covenant print it out and sign it. But don’t send it to me! This is not a covenant between you and I or between you and Westhill. It is a covenant or promise between you and God.

Once you have done this, please let me know by email that you have re-committed to the Team.

Weekly Practices

This year we will continue with our weekly practices from 7:00 to 8:00 on Thursday evenings beginning August 28, 2008. The format will be similar to last year with a brief devotional and prayer time prior to the practice. Once again, I encourage all team members to attend the weekly practices even if you are not scheduled for the upcoming Sunday.

All Teams Worship Evening

The “All Teams Worship Evening” is something new for this year. On the third Thursday of each month, the first hour of our evening will be dedicated to a time of Praise and Worship. I strongly encourage all worship team members to commit to this monthly evening. The 2008 dates for “All Teams Worship” are September 18, October 16, and November 20.

I am looking forward to worshipping and sharing with each of you on what I hope will become a very special evening.

Prayer

Please be in prayer for the many ministries including the worship & technical ministries of Westhill that will be starting up again over the next several weeks. Pray that we will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and guidance.

In HIS service,
…Randy

September 5, 2008 Posted by | Worship Notes | Leave a comment

Defining Worship

Our faith community has just finished going through a planning process that we called “Open Doors”. The process involved an incredible amount of hard work and prayer by all of those involved. Our congregation also provided important input through a series of surveys. One of the areas that generated the most comments was that of Celebrating God (Worship). As a church, God has blessed us with a richly diverse congregation. With that comes a richly diverse expectation of what worship should be like.

Bob Kauflin (www.worshipmatters.com) has written an excellent article on the defining worship (http://www.worshipmatters.com/2005/11/defining-worship/). In it, Bob presents various definitions of worship. One that particularly impacted me was by Warren Wiresbe.

“Worship is the believer’s response of all that they are – mind, emotions, will, body – to what God is and says and does.”

The word “response” seems to jump out at me. Worship is not entertainment. Worship is not about us at all. It is about God, and our response to Him!

I recently attended Breakforth 2008 and attended a seminar led by Robin Mark. Robin challenged us to offer our worship in the same way as a burnt offering. It is given to God, fully consumed, and we expect nothing in return.

We need to have a look at our expectations when we worship God. Too often worship is all about the songs we sing, the band, the worship leader.

Have a look at this video on sermonspice.com …. it says a lot!

http://www.sermonspice.com/videos/9109/the-gift-of-worship

Lots to think about ….

Have a great week,
…Randy

February 25, 2008 Posted by | Worship Notes | Leave a comment

Unity in Diversity

God has richly blessed our congregation. One of the greatest priviledges I have is to look over the congregation and see God’s people worshipping together.

In a recent survey of our congregation, I was encouraged by the results relating to worship and music. Overall, 95% of the congregation felt that our worship of God was “Very Effective” or “Somewhat Effective”. In the area of music, 96%!! rated the music component as “Very Effective” or “Somewhat Effective”. In reading the comments that accompanied the survey, it became very clear that our congregation is blessed with great diversity. One of these areas of diversity was identified by the comments around music. Quite simply, we need to have:
– more hymns. and
– more contemporary worship songs.

We all have our personal preferences. God has made each and every one of us unique. And that is very good. God also calls us to be “One in the Spirit”. For me it is exciting to see God’s diverse people gather together every Sunday in unity. While me may have our own personal preferences in music, worship style, prayer style, dress codes (or lack of them), preaching styles and Bible translation, God calls us to be one body.

I’ve attached an excellent article written by Ron Man (http://www.experiencingworship.com/) on blended worship. Blended worship is a term that decribes our approach to music at Westhill. Ron makes a number of excellent points, particulary in the areas of personal preferences.

Blessings!
…Randy

Good for the Body
– by Ron Man

Blended worship has as its goal the joining together of the people of God in all their diversity, under one roof and in one service, to glorify God through the offering up of corporate praise. The term “blended” speaks of the artful weaving together of varying musical styles and other elements into a seamless tapestry which honors the Lord without alienating any particular group.

The strongest argument which can be marshalled in favor of blended worship (as opposed to offering different types of services, such as “traditional” and “contemporary,” or only one specialized type) is a biblical and theological one. It relates to the very nature of the church: worship should rightly be blended because the body of Christ itself is blended (see I Corinthians 12). By definition the church gathers into one living organism people from all different backgrounds and walks of life; in fact, unity within the kind of diversity seen in the church is in itself a testimony to the divine nature of the institution (Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 4:1-6) — for, while by nature “birds of a feather flock together,” Christ’s body invariably includes an unusual combination of quite disparate individuals, who have in common only their faith in and love for Christ.

But that is the whole point! In order for corporate worship (unarguably the most important thing the church does together) to accurately reflect the nature and the unity of the body, it must include the people of God in all of their diversity, unified in the worship by the common focus of that worship: the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of glory.

That Christ-centered focus is the key which allows us to transcend petty, man-centered squabbles over musical taste and preference. For if we are united in our commitment to the glorification of our Lord through our worship, we will be blessedly distracted from lesser things which might divide us. And it is in our corporate worship of all places, as the most purely God-directed activity of the church, that our unity should be most in evidence. It is a scandal that worship has too often engendered the most divisiveness among God’s people (in what one writer has referred to as “worship wars”)!

In fact, for true blended worship to really work, all of God’s people must be willing to make concessions relative to their own personal preferences – no one will get just the kind of music he or she likes all the time, but that becomes an acceptable sacrifice in light of the common good. (But it is important that all are called upon to make stylistic concessions, not just one group.) And even beyond the worth of harmonious corporate worship, the process of making such concessions is in itself a spiritual exercise of inestimable value. It is well-pleasing to the Lord when we prefer one another in such a way (Romans 12:10; Philippians 2:3) and “consider one another as more important than ourselves.”

So may we focus in our worship on the One who alone is worthy of our worship, and in so doing bring to expression the oneness which all we who have trusted in Christ genuinely share. May we seek to please the Lord with our worship, bringing our humble gifts of praise and esteeming as well as the gifts which others bring, to the end that He might be honored not only by our outward expressions but also by the attitudes of hearts (which are much more important to Him anyway!). May our worship reflect the unity within diversity which is the beauty of Christ’s body, blending “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19) in a harmonious symphony of praise.

May 29, 2007 Posted by | Worship Notes | Leave a comment

This Man

I came across this video on You Tube the other evening. I’ve been very moved by Jeremy Camp’s song “This Man”, especially as we approach Good Friday.

This video combines Camp’s song with video from “The Passion of the Christ”. It is intense and brought back vivid memories of when I saw “The Passion”. So … fair warning …

…Randy

March 22, 2007 Posted by | Worship Notes | Leave a comment

Unity of Praise

Last night, God took our worship team out of our comfort zone. We were invited to be one of the guest bands at City Wide Praise, a regular gathering of worshipers in Regina. This event is coordinated by Witness Promotions. Thank you to Nina and Iris for their encouragement and hard work.

Our team opened the evening with Paul Baloche’s “Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)”. From the opening chords, there was a spirit of unity as Christians from all denominations rose to their feet in unity to praise the one God. Our set list was made up of songs that are loved by our own congregation:

– Hosanna (Paul Baloche)
– Days of Elijah (Robin Mark)
– Messiah (Twila Paris)
– You Are God Alone (Billy & Cindy Foote)
– Who Am I (Mark Hall)
– Let It Rain (Andy Park)
– Awesome God (Rich Mullins)
– Holy Is The Lord (Chris Tomlin)

The power of the Holy Spirit was overwhelming during “Let It Rain”. As we sung the final chorus which calls for revival throughout our nation, I felt the Spirit in a way that I just can’t describe … God’s people, gathered together “Lord I need your touch again … let it rain!”

I was so blessed by the teams from Holy Trinity and Praise and Worship Centre. WOW! Corrine and Leanne, I pray that God will continue to use you and your teams in a mighty way!

Cheryl Zorn’s (Celebration Lutheran) offering of “How Great Thou Art” was a major “goose bump moment” for me. What a gift God has given her!

I also thank God for the team from Westhill: Lori for an amazing and sensitive interpretation of God’s word on piano; Merle for the incredible violin stylings (Days of Elijah was amazing!) and powerful sounds from the synth; Keith for being on fire on bass (I’m looking forward to upgrading our sound system with subs … it sounded amazing); David for your powerful drumming and fantastic interpretation of the “spirit of the song”; Doreen for your powerful soprano and passion for God’s word in song; Betty Ann for your always rock solid harmony (and for your ongoing encouragement and support of me personally); Wayne for you heartfelt tenor and audible and visible passion for God; Jonathan for giving so willingly of your time to assist with sound and technical.

Lord thank you for taking us out of our comfort zone, and for using us in a mighty way.

You are God Alone!

…Randy

March 10, 2007 Posted by | Worship Notes | Leave a comment

Days of Elijah – The Story Behind the Song

This past Sunday we paused to Remember as part of of our worship service. We also focused on the Hope we have in this fallen world. One of the songs we sang was “Days of Elijah” by Robin Mark. Here is the story behind the song.

http://www.robinmark.com/DaysOfElijah_Story.htm

Have a Blessed Week,
…Randy

November 13, 2006 Posted by | Worship Notes | Leave a comment