I went to Christian Assembly Church this evening from something I found in the last bulletin called “Worship Watch”. I was expecting another prayer meeting type thing kind of like the Focus 2009 that we had last Friday and Saturday. Instead, what I got was some crazy experiment that the worship band, singers, and dancers were conducting called prophetic worship.
Prophetic Worship is spontaneous worship of the Lord without any kind of agenda to it at all. Nobody follows a script or a plan, everyone expresses what he feels the Lord wants to express through him. If it is truly the Holy Spirit directing the proceedings, then we will not see aimless movement like figurines in electric football. Instead, the worship will have a surprisingly tight coherence to it.
We were first shown a video of prophetic worship as practiced by another church. It was a kind of weird sight, and we didn’t know what to make of it.
Then the time came to actually conduct the experiment. We were separated into three groups of band, singers, and dancers. The band was invited to think like dancers, the dancers were invited to think like singers, and the singers were invited to think like the band. They were all bade to do something on the theme of “God’s Majesty”. While everybody was discussing among themselves how best to convey that concept to the congregation through their music and dancing, all of a sudden I was struck with the crazy idea to convey that idea using what I do best.
I felt like I had to do it. The whole theme of the night was allowing God to take your talent and speak to the congregation through it.
So, while the Christian Assembly Orchestra (my name for the band) was doing what they felt led of God to do, and the singers up on the platform were doing what they felt led of God to do, and the dancers were doing what they felt led of God to do, I engaged in something that was much like the Artists’ Ambushes that furry artists would do in the Rue de Lernae in FurryMUCK on Wednesday nights. I drew a fast pencil sketch, trying to express my take on God’s majesty.
The sketch was extremely rough, that of several human figures dancing with colored silks in front of the Throne of God, but I don’t think I did too badly for the 15 minutes I had.
The first exercise in Prophetic Worship started kinda timidly, like everybody was suffering from “flop sweat”, and trying to get a feel for it and sort out their place in the proceedings. The band kicked off with a kind of tribal drums motif, heavy on the tom-toms and conga drums. Then the piano kind of timidly joined in conservatively. One woman up on the stage sang of swinging wide the gates of heaven and receiving our great and glorious King. The dancers ambled up the center aisle of the sanctuary in a kind of swaying elephant dance until they got up to the stage platform.
During this first exercise I was again moved to create, this time in the form of free verse poetry:
Swing wide the gates of Heaven.
Prepare for the return of a great and conquering hero.
The horses come, the chariot comes.
Make ready the way of our King!
He comes in glory, He comes in majesty.
He comes ready to reward the faithful.
Welcome Him into your presence.
This is remarkable. To me, this proves that writers and graphic artists need not feel like the odd man out in a Spirit-led worship service. God moves and communicates through the congregation through them, too.
The second exercise had more of a warlike martial arts feel to it. The band opened with a stronger tribal drums motif, the dancers arrayed themselves more like an army with tall flags and quarterstaffs and at one point even drew them out like swords. The audio-visual people up in the control booth even got into the act, calling up and playing video of various national flags and peoples on the two big video screens at the front of the sanctuary. It’s cool what those video people can do. Kinda makes me wonder what resources they have available.
I am so there next Tuesday night. This is the first thing that we did since Northland Jubilee to which I can apply the dreaded F-word. Fun! I can’t wait.