Balancing Spontaneity and Planning In Worship Service

Have we boxed the Holy Spirit in? If God wanted to move and change our service order, would we allow Him? How can we balance spontaneity and planning in our worship services? That’s what Andi Rozier and I answer for one of our Academy members. It is possible to be Spirit-led, well-planned, and still remain flexible to His in-the-moment promptings. Find out how in this episode.
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Alex | Hello and welcome to the Worship ministry training podcast. My name is Alex and Fijian. I’m so glad you are tuning in today. This podcast is for worship leaders and worship team members who want to improve in your craft and calling. And if you are a new listener, welcome. I want to encourage you to hit the subscribe button whether you’re watching on YouTube or listening to the podcast in your favorite podcast app. Why? Because every single month you will get a helpful, practical, in depth, topical teaching on worship ministry and how to improve your worship ministry. So go ahead, hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss any future episodes. Also, if you’re a new listener, check out all the past episodes from the last eight years. I want to encourage you. We’ve done tons of topics, tons of content, all for free. So check out the content library and just scroll back in time. Hit any episodes that you want to listen to that will help you in the season of your ministry. And if you are someone who is really hungry to grow and you desire.

Alex | To grow as a worship leader, I’m.

Alex | Going to point you to the Worship Ministry Training Academy. What is the academy? It is basically a community filled with everything you need to build a thriving worship industry. Literally everything. We have ten in depth courses on topics like set building, team building, group communication, administrative systems. So we have courses, we have live monthly trainings on topics like wise boundaries in ministry because all these pastors are failing and falling. So monthly workshops, we have team resource documents. We have team discipleship materials for your worship team. So check out the academy. It is one dollars to try for 15 days. You get full access to play around for one dollars. And then after that, it’s just $29 a month. And that’s full access to everything. Literally. We have team member training materials for you. We have an onboarding process that’s already done for you. We have an audition process that’s already done for you. So it’s literally like if you need help in your ministry, this is the resource that you need. So go to worship to check that out and to start your trial. And I hope to see you inside of the academy.

Alex | Part of the academy is we do live interviews with experts. So different worship leaders that you’ve probably heard of. Recently we’ve had Andy Rosier on from vertical Worship and Andy did a Q and A session. And so this month, instead of giving you one podcast episode, I’m going to be giving you three podcast episodes. We’re going to be breaking up the questions into single episodes. So this first question is in regards to how do we balance spontaneity in worship versus planning? Because this particular academy member, she had an incredible encounter with the Lord. Their service was interrupted by the Lord. And she’s like, how do I go back to just planning four songs next week. And so Andy drops some mad wisdom on her in this first episode. Enjoy it, and I’ll talk to you at the end.

Alex | When you’re a church that has multiple services and you do the same set, it’s really important to remember that the spirit is not going to show up for the second service and be like, okay, let’s just run the play. Let’s just do exactly what happened. Yeah, like, when something like that happens, which happened to you this past weekend, kind of next weekend, you kind of have to go back to the default. Let’s just go back to what we were planning to do, which is often the case within worship planning. A lot of people don’t have, like, what is our ground zero? What is our default plan that seems to work for our congregation but also seems to allow the spirit to have access to be the worship leader in the moment because there’s a spectrum of chaos and control, okay? Chaos on one side, control on the other. And the thing that is the furthest, the physical thing that is the furthest side on control is a graveyard, maybe literally, but definitely metaphorically, because if you control something too much, you end up killing it.

Alex | Yeah.

Andi Rozier | Like, if you control a relationship too much, you end up killing it. If you control a worship set too much, you end up killing it. Like, there’s no room to breathe because it’s just, like, detail. But also, if there’s too much chaos in a relationship, then as well, no one knows what to think. Well, no one has a plan. And so finding the space between planning a set where there’s, like, it’s not too controlled and it doesn’t feel like chaos is a great default, I think, in worship planning, my little phrases kind of something like, every good, and everybody’s like, yeah, we’re great. And I’m like, Good, we have a plan. The plan is to follow the plan until God changes the plan. And that’s the plan, because having a plan is great. That’s how you win a Super Bowl. Superbowls are one, not by people going rogue. Super Bowls are won by people having a plan and following the plan. And let’s say you win a Super Bowl and the worship of God is much more significant than a Super Bowl game. But having a plan, I think, honors God enough that he’s like, great, do you guys have a plan?

Andi Rozier | He’s like, yeah, sometimes God’s like, I love that plan. Let’s do that plan. And sometimes God’s like, I like that plan, but I have a few thoughts about something I might do in the morning. And we’re like that’s great. Lord, your Holy Spirit is the worship leader, ultimately, and we are following.

Alex | That’S similar to what I kind of advise Monica. It’s just like, have a plan and then be willing to let the Lord interrupt the plan. I think in our modern worship or program pragmatic evangelical services, where there’s like, we need to do these songs, we need to do this announcement, we need to like, you know, basically we kind of, like, told God, like, you’re welcome.

Alex | Here, but you have to fit into our program.

Alex | Because honestly, if he did interrupt in the way that he interrupted at Monica’s Church, what does your pastor do? Hopefully he’s like, yes, let’s keep going. But we didn’t announce the baptism or.

Alex | We didn’t announce the picnic or we.

Alex | Didn’T like, we become too in a box.

Andi Rozier | It’s too far on the control. Yes, that’s where it is. And you can feel it. You can feel it as it’s kind of like notching its way over to kind of like, wait a second, are we asking God to stand in the corner and be like, look, God, look at this thing that we’ve created for you. There’s a story like that in the Bible about a golden calf being created and held it up for the Lord. Look, having a plan, but like, allowing God to not stand in the corner and spectate, but be in the room and make some changes is essential. As long as we remember that I would say two things. As long as we remember that he might just want to follow the plan because he was sitting in the planning room with you and that spontaneity is not just addition but subtraction as well.

Alex | What do you mean?

Andi Rozier | We have completely overvalued in the modern worship movement that somehow spontaneity is this higher echelon of worship leading, whereas if a person can flow in the spontaneous, then they are somehow dialed into some super spiritual wavelength. And I just don’t even agree with that. I think that to some churches it’s a thing and to some it isn’t. And I also think that young worship leaders who have kind of started to kind of glorify spontaneity only look at it kind of like, what can I add? And sometimes I think God might be kind of like, well, I actually didn’t want you to add had something, I wanted you to cut it. And that was also spontaneity.

Alex | Yeah, we had Danny Goki at our church on Easter this past year and he had all these extra songs, and I was like, there’s no way we are going to get all this into service.

Alex | And he was in the middle of.

Alex | The set and he just looked at his band and they cut two and a half songs and went right to the outro, which was like a repeat of the intro.

Alex | So it kind of has this nice bookend.

Alex | And I was like, how did he just do that? Whatever it was, it was perfect. It was amazing.

Andi Rozier | There’s no wow in that for him. The congregation wow. You cut two and a half songs like they do when we spontaneously add people. Like, oh, man, you just added that thing. It was so great. It’s this hyper kind of just like glorification of adding, but Danny makes the right move in that moment and it says, you know what, let’s not do those two songs that’s spontaneity as well, which I think the Lord loves just as much.

Alex | Okay. And Monica, thinking about your question in the Academy where you’re like, how do I just want to pick another set up for that? But one thing that I think or someone that might be worth looking at. How they approach it. And I think I even have an episode with him about it is Jeremy Riddle. Where he basically he has the plan. He has the set. He has the tracks. But in between songs. He’ll like. Pause. Pause his spirit. Lean into the Holy Spirit. Maybe press into a moment or melody or chord progression. See if it’s opening up anywhere. And if it is.

Alex | He goes with it. If he doesn’t, he backs off and.

Alex | Goes back to the plan. So that’s something we don’t do at my church. I think we need to because our church feels pretty there are churches that are much more program than my church, but definitely feel like I don’t have the freedom to really take a left turn at my church.

Andi Rozier | Yeah, that makes sense. Thank you. If I go back to the UK, walk into some Anglican church that has like a liturgy and a structure and order, I don’t feel like the Holy Spirit is being quenched or restricted in any way just because it’s not the way that I do it at my church. Because I think that there’s like an element of, like the spirit being like, yeah, I’m in this. I’m completely in this. That’s different. I’m finding it hard to explain this, but that’s different than sometimes walking into an environment and feeling like production has become more important than presence. Performance has become more important than presence because you can stand in those kind of old Anglican churches and go through their liturgy of the Morning and sense the presence of God in a massive way, and then you can go to a church that appears like they even promote presence, but it feels like performance. And I think one of the healthiest things we can do is maybe just call things for what they are. That’s a whole other conversation.

Alex | We’re going to start having those soon. Oh, my gosh, I’m the west.

Andi Rozier | I’ll just head down a rabbit trail and just be like, stop.

Alex | No, we’re going to do One day. I’m telling you, I want to do that series. I think it would bring a lot of clarity and health to before you jump on. Monica. Andy and I were talking and I.

Alex | Think I mentioned this in the Academy.

Alex | Too. Where I want to do a series where I’m exploring what’s wrong with the modern worship movement. Or maybe not what’s wrong. But what are some things we should be kind of cautious about. Or are we heading in directions that are unhealthy?

Alex | And so much of it has to.

Alex | Do with YouTube and Instagram. A lot of guys, they get their Instagram followers from their guitar playing on Sundays, and it’s like, okay, are you playing for the Lord? Are you playing to show get more followers? And it’s just like there are always mixed motives in all of our hearts, but it’s just getting into such weird territory. And I think it probably all started with the Internet.

Andi Rozier | Right?

Alex | I have this theory that the Internet.

Alex | Ruined everything, but, yeah, here we are.

Alex | Having a great conversation through the Internet. Oh, man.

Alex | All right, well, hopefully this episode was helpful to you. And again, I want to encourage you. If you are serious about growing in your craft or if you just need help to strengthen your worship ministry, check out the Academy. It is designed to give you everything you need to build a thriving worship ministry. Like, you’re busy. You need to focus on leading your team, and let us focus on helping you. Who do that? Well, we’ll give you all the tools and everything you need to lead your team. Well, you focus on them, we’ll equip you, and everybody wins. So check out worship ministry to sign up for the academy today. Hope to see you on the inside.

Alex | God bless.