Practice Makes Perfect

  • “Honey, would you like to go on a date this weekend?”
    “Sure.”
    “Maybe we could get together for practice on Thursday.”
    ~
  • “Mary, do you have time for coffee this afternoon?”
    “This afternoon works for me.”
    “Great.  Could we meet a half hour early to practice our conversation?”
    ~
  • “I would love to invite the Smiths over for dinner soon.”
    “You should give them a call.”
    “I wonder when they would have time for a practice session.”
    ~
  • “The family reunion is this coming Sunday afternoon.”
    “It will be great to see everyone.”
    “We will be getting together Saturday evening to practice first.”
    ~

Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be well prepared ahead of time.”  (I Cor.14:26, paraphrased)

Experience the excellence of the worship band as they speak to you with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.”  (Eph.5:19, paraphrased)

Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but let us gather to hear the well-rehearsed exhortation delivered from the stage.”  (Heb.10:25, paraphrased)

Do you think maybe we are missing something by practicing in order to gather together?

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14 thoughts on “Practice Makes Perfect

  1. lol! This reminds me of a profound lightbulb moment I had once when I was reading from the Weust Expanded Translation New Testament. Jesus was talking about hypocrites. Turns out, the words He used to describe hypocrites denotes “those who perform as actors on a stage, presenting themselves in a manner that they otherwise do not behave” or something along those lines. I realized right then and there that stage/platform ministry was setting us up for a lot of the wrong things. I was looking at some facebook pictures of friends who had a ‘baby dedication’ on the platform at their church. It’s all fine and well to dedicate your baby to God, and I’m not opposed to doing it publicly. But, I guess I’m more interested in the everyday parenting choices than I am the staged event of a baby dedication. The two seem so far removed from each other (for some reason). Maybe this is a tangent, and has gotten off topic… but thanks for the post. Funny. :)

  2. It took me a second to realize that no, this was not an ‘accurate’ paraphrase! :) Its late and its been a LONG week!

    Yes… to answer your question. Its been a struggle to get the old mentality out of our team. I’ve been accused of being unprepared when I changed the order of service, or switched out a song because… well because, it was right.

    I have attempted to change our rehearsals into practicing PLAYING and WORSHIP together… learning new songs, yes, maybe a transition I know is coming… but mostly, we choose a few chord progressions and song or two that we may or may not be doing on Sunday, and we worship together. The more comfortable we are playing and listening to each other, the easier it is to listen to the Spirit and go with the flow.

    Did you really want that long monologue? :)

  3. Don’t mess with “The Order Of Service” – people will get confused and the MC (opps typo I meant Pastor) will become distressed.

    Hey Grace, you cannot rehearse worship – can you? Either we worship God or we don’t, it’s not something that is manufactured – way too many “grace killers” me thinks.

  4. LOL!!

    When I was a high schooler I worked hard at “the process for a perfect date”… (When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. [The Message])

    I would say, however, that preparing our hearts, communing with the Lord, and sharing our lives with each other throughout the week certainly doesn’t hurt.

    T

  5. Usher: Hey Deak, isn’t everything they do in the church rehearsed?

    Deacon: Well, yeah I guess

    Usher: Why?

    Deacon: It’s a performance – it’s what the people want

    Usher: What would they do if you didn’t rehearse it?

    Deacon: Pastor fears they would stop coming….

  6. I don’t really like participating in a show but on the flip side I should really point out that I spent a whole lot of time “practicing” before I could share a passage of scripture with people. It takes a while to develop ones reading skills to a level that makes it possible to share. Kindergarten and grade school helped a lot. Also, have you ever tried to lead worship when the guitarist is still discovering how to hold a pick and the pianist thinks diminished is a small keyboard?

    I “get” and like the analogies but how do you reconcile the issues?

  7. Recent reader, first time poster)
    (Is this a radio call-in show?)
    (Anyways)

    Ha! That was a good post.

    @David Olson. Hey brother, I wouldn’t get too hung up on this being an absolute theological position, per se.

    As you are aware humor exaggerates an issue to make a point of some aspect of that issues errant side. Which is all this is doing.

    Otherwise how could we “study to show ourselves approved of God.”

    And how would have David defeated Goliath if he had not first practiced on the lions and bears that came to steal sheep?

    Practicing here isn’t the issue. Having a rigid structure or routine to something that should be natural and organic like connecting to God through song and music is.

    Notice all of the examples given in the post are all relationship based, i.e. organic, natural.

    Anyways. May Gods grace and mercy be on us this week. May he lead and guide us into all truth. May he give us a heart to see the hurt in others and the yielded heart for Him to use us to heal that hurt.

  8. I think much of the problem is that we are confused about what worship actually is to Father. Robert Webber in his book The Divine Embrace makes the point, worth considering, that when God is the object of worship then it makes us the subject of worship, which is narcissism. But when God is the subject of worship, then it is about God and not us. He would say that what we call “worship” as in some event that lasts for an hour where we sit facing a stage while people perform, whether musically or talking, is narcissism. In contrast, God wishes to be the subject of worship, that is, worship is the telling of God’s story in our lives separately and together as well as his involvement in his creation. As we tell the story of God’s involvement in his creation we are no longer the subject and God is the subject of worship. This happens as we live out life together and in the world, not some staged presentation one hour each week.

  9. This is by far the greatest use of scripture remixes around! I love it and am now convicted! Hey we don’t need the Holy Spirit when we have a “Call to Worship”! Lovely indeed Sis.

  10. Good comments everyone. Welcome to the new commentors.

    Tom, you make a good point. Preparation is not the same thing as rehearsal.

    I don’t think that every aspect of our gathering has to be completely spontaneous and unplanned. I can appreciate planning for various aspects of the gathering, whether it is the music accompaniment or scripture and liturgy.

    However, there should also be an element of spontaneity that occurs naturally as we come together relationally to share with one another rather than to passively sit through a staged presentation.

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