This was one of those dire everything-that-can-go-wrong-did-go-wrong kind of services from the musical worship side. Sigh. Still figuring out what God was teaching me. Definitely part of that is not to make assumptions about other folks on the team.
We have been fighting to get the Christmas and New Year services (well, all services, actually) made more contemporary and accessible for some time. This year we - the young-er set (this is relative as most folks in our congregation are retired) - were given the Christmas Carol service and the Watchnight service.
We had no musicians. I found this out on the Sunday before. We sang to tracks with words, as the deac with the music portfolio (who I assumed - very bad idea - would be our musician for the night) didn't seem too keen on my using his budget for more singable music backing.
We also had no technical people as the rest of the music team also 'hadn't planned on being there' and the person that I roped in to help was not able to come because the road to her suburb had been closed from 8pm to 8am on New Year's eve due to rioting chokka fishermen.
So, my patient, long-suffering hubby helped me out. He'd never used the software before and had to play the songs, put up the song words, play the powerpoints for the worship and the message as well as play the DVD after the message. And he did more than his level best.
We ran completely overtime. Still have no idea why. We had to dump In Christ Alone and King of Kings, Majesty.
Don's message was perfect for the night and led directly into the DVD. Which didn't play. The whole computer locked up with a 'Windows has encountered a problem'.
BUT - we had a great turnout and I pray that God spoke to folks there and gave them a sense of the great big HOPE that we were trying to talk about.
HOPE RE: NEW
Walk-in: Jesus, Messiah (Tomlin)
~Should really have had the whole congregation sing this one. It was just about the only singable song in the set.
Song 1: Blessed Be your Name
Testimony time - I used a powerpoint full of things that folks had thanked God for in previous Java services as a visual reminder of all that He had given us. They had put their thank You's on pieces of paper in the offering bags or into bowls on the tables.
Song 2: Great is Thy Faithfulness
~A wonderful lady in our church - she's 87, if I'm not mistaken - plays the piano and I asked her to play for this song.
~As we were going to go into communion, I spoke a little about putting things in the past, as I feel the close of a year is the perfect time to do this.
Isaiah 43: 18-19
2 Corinthians 5.17
Song 3: Amazing Grace (My chains are gone)
~This track was fine to sing to at home and when I played it at the church it was so low that I couldn't sing it. Neither could they. I (and my husband) loathe being a distraction in worship. And this whole service was distracting from the main Person. :(
Communion - Amazing Grace – my chains are gone. (Background)
Song 4: In Christ Alone
DVD - Thousand Questions from GLS
Commissioning and benediction
Matthew 28 : 18 – 20
Song 5: King of Kings, Majesty
~ I thought that this would be a lovely response to the vid. I wanted them to be able to say something to God and thought that musically would work really well, especially as the words are already there. Still debating as to whether this would have been the best idea. Perhaps it still would have been better to let folks quietly do business with God. We'll never know...
Greet one another - I had set up a power point full of stills of fireworks with promises of God over them as a walk out and wanted to use Israel Houghton's - Again I Say Rejoice sung by Morden Baptist Church as a Walk Out.
~Very glad that it's over. Feel awful to even think that. I love leading folks into the presence of God and I love the watchnight service. I put my heart and soul into planning it.
Note: Watchnight Service - scroll to Religious Communities
"If it be enquired why I held a Watch-night, let the answer be—because I hoped
that the Lord would own the service, and thus souls might be saved. I have
preached at all hours the gospel of Jesus, and I see no reason why I may not
preach at midnight, if I can obtain hearers. I have not done it from imitation,
but for the best of reasons—the hope of doing good, and the wish to be the means
of gathering in the outcasts of Israel. God is my witness, I would preach every
hour of the day, if body and mind were equal to the task. When I consider how
souls are being damned and how few there are who mourn and cry over them, I am
constrained to cry with Paul, "Woe is me if I preach not the gospel." Oh, that
the new year may be far better than the last." ~ Charles Spurgeon
In royal robes I don't deserve I live to serve Your Majesty.