Worshipping without the “Sounds”

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Today I had the most powerful corporate worship experience in my entire life so far.

And that was largely due to the fact that the sound system went bonkers.

I am attending the Global Discipleship Congress, and this is the second day. And because of the scale of this event (7,000 people from 61 countries!) the Opening Program was… flashy. As in, complete with dance number and technicolor multimedia backgrounds and stuff. It was like watching a variety show. It was audio-visual sensory stimulation and satisfaction.

So today, when the worship team came on stage to signal the start of the program, I think it would be safe to say that people were expecting something of the likes of yesterday. (Screencaps below, from the GDC 2013 Highlights video created by CCF)

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And then suddenly.

The microphones wouldn’t work. And the tech people could not get them to work.While the tech people tinkered with stuff onstage (and presumably backstage as well), they requested everyone to pray.

So we prayed.

For a few minutes, everyone was silent. Eyes closed, head bowed.

And then there it was, a distinct tune coming from the left wing of the sanctuary: a group of people singing. It went on for a few seconds, getting gradually louder and louder.

The pianist from the Music team must have picked up on this; he started playing a simple tune.

The people nearest the stage heard it first and sang the familiar tune:

I love You, Lord

And I lift my voice

To worship You

Oh my soul, rejoice

Take joy my King

In what You hear

Let it be a sweet, sweet sound

In Your ears.

And then the rest of the 7,000 people sang it too. We repeated it several times. Softly at first, then growing stronger and stronger — the voice of thousands of believers of every tongue uniting in praise.

I believe God heard a sweet, sweet sound this morning.

Was it ironic that we were singing of making “sweet sounds” for God without the sounds we call music? Maybe. But God can choose how we are to worship Him, right?

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: multitudes of people worshipping together, especially as diverse as this one, NEVER fails to get to me. It is always powerful when people worship together.

Do you agree?

Have you had similar experiences at your church service or conference?

60 nations worshipping together. The mere  memory gives me goosebumps.

60 nations worshipping together. The mere memory gives me goosebumps.

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