Song writing has always been a part of how CHS expresses itself in worship to God. There have many songs that have been written through the different seasons of the church that have spoken to people and circumstances and encouraged people to seek God deeper and more meaningfully when they worship. It is such a special heritage and continues to be something we are trying to press into as a worship team and a community.
This is not just about singing pretty songs written by people we know, but this is a fundamental part of the greater vision of the Life Centre. We believe that we are called to be a people of many nations and a people that are actively involved in the world around us. Part of being involved in these things is addressing them in our worship. How can we say we stand for justice if we do not lament the injustices we see? How can we celebrate God’s Kingship without humbly coming and saying, “Have Your Way in us?” We also believe that our worship should reflect the diversity within our church and the different shared experiences of how we engage in worship with one another. We cannot say we celebrate diversity and only worship in one style or language. We need to press into these things both with our minds and our hearts, and so it needs to be part of our creativity and our musical and artistic expressions of worship.
Lastly, I do believe that God has gifted many in our congregation with wonderful gifts of all kinds and part of the vision of the Life Centre is creating opportunities and sustained provision for people to continue to explore those talents and giftings and be able to honour God in them but to also be able to feed their families. Discipleship as well as economic stability. And this is also true for those who have been gifted to create and write worship songs.
God has been moving among us – there have been numerous songs written over the last few years that really speak into where we find ourselves as a community. Songs written from stories shared, relationships that have been built and hearts that have been broken over the mess of the world around us. Not songs by one person only – though we have some of those – but also songs written in relationship with others when Spirit-inspired with a shared vision of what God is saying. We recently received our first of two bi-annual royalty payments from CCLI (Christian Copyright Licensing International), and I was so surprised by the amount of income we received! Only God! We have not advertised or made a point of sharing our songs, but people have been using them. It was such a joy to be able to share that with those who helped to write the songs we have been singing.
I invite you to reflect on the one song we wrote Have Your Way and ask you how is God calling you to use your gifts to challenge us as a community? To help us experience God in a new and deeper way? To equip others and build something new?
God bless you. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made for this season and time.
Cat and the Worship team