The Formation of Worship

It is easy, as a Worship Pastor, to talk about lament and how it is an important part of corporate Christian worship. It is easy for me to point out a few different Psalms that are great at walking us through the lament process (for me most notably it is Psalm 13). It is easy for me to point people to the Psalms to pray when they are going through a hard time. However, I have learned it isn’t always easy for me to practice this myself.

I won’t bore you with the details of my life but in simple terms my family is coming to a cross roads in life. I really have no idea what is next for us. It took my filling out my income taxes, only to find I owe money this year, and having my computer stop working in the middle of working on my not so fun taxes that I realized I wasn’t praying and lamenting the way I try to teach others to. On top of everything else it was those two things that tipped the cart.

It was at this point that, and to my great excitement, something else happend. A Psalm that we started singing recently came to mind and I learned that music is just as formational for the leader as it is the congregation. The text is from Psalm 126, the song itself was written by Bifrost and the chorus goes,

Although we are weeping,
Lord help us keep sowing
The seed of Your Kingdom
For the day you will reap them!
Your sheaves we will carry
Lord, please do not tarry!
All those who sow weeping
Will go out with songs of Joy!

In the midst of my “weeping” this is what I need. I need this Psalm to form my thinking about the Christian life. Although I may not know what is next, that is not the most important thing. I have to be in the now. But even then the Psalmist at the end doesn’t hesitate to still ask God to come quickly. And he remembers the Joy that comes from sowing the seeds of God’s kingdom in all seasons.

I guess I hope this reminder to myself does two things for you. For one to encourage you in the truth that worship truly is formational. I have only sung this song with my congregation twice and it is already (re)forming my mind (and perhaps a plug to sing more Psalms and scripture!). 

Secondly, for those who plan the music for the church, as you pastor your people through song, let the songs pastor you as well.

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