The third week of SOW was a big one, filled with many different firsts, but it all was so amazing! I lead worship for the first time, and I shared the first song I ever wrote too. We had some really great theatrical elements mixed in with our teaching, which of course is right up my alley, so I thoroughly enjoyed the lectures this week! Our lecturer for the week used to be a part of the band ‘Exo’ which is a very famous worship group in the French speaking world. Above all though, I was just so blown away by the peace I had while doing things that I normally would find so nerve-wracking. When our focus is on God we truly can find calm in any storm. This week I will share the top ten points from our teaching, I will share what I learned from observing our speaker, and I will also share a video of my first composition. To top it all off, I’ve got some lovely pictures from a field trip we took to a church in Albertville, France!
Week 3 – Listening for the New Song – Thierry Ostrini
The Key: How to creatively write new worship songs, the importance of patiently waiting for God to reveal new things, and the power of letting ourselves be exposed when we are leading others.
Ten Main Points
- When we do something without conviction, it is sin. Jesus consulted the Father about EVERYTHING. Therefore, we know we should consult God about everything too, and only follow what He says is good for us to do, when He says it is good for us to do it. James 4:17 – “Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” If we have doubts and are acting apart from faith, (see also Romans 14:23) it is sin. It is better to wait on the Lord and seek His direction in ALL things, whether that be through His Word, through confirmation from other believers, or hearing directly from Him.
- The Word must be put into action. It is when we are actively walking out the Word of God that those around us will be most positively influenced and inspired.
- The Church is prophetic by its very definition. It proclaims the return of Christ as an inevitable and beautiful Truth.
- Sometimes when we are frustrated by the lack of something or someone, it is because God has called us to serve in this area or particular role. We can choose to either keep complaining, or to step into the position God has for us. Sometimes however, God needs to leave us frustrated for longer than we would like so He can sharpen our character and our skills.
- We cannot hide behind talent or trust in talent. Putting our trust in our own power will lead to defeat, putting out trust in God will lead to victory. That won’t necessarily mean success by our own or the world’s standards, but it will be victory nonetheless.
- It is God who puts the new song on our heart. Doing something new just for the sake of doing something new won’t necessarily bring about anything special. When it is driven by God though, HE will bring about revival through that song, verse, melody, or theme.
- When we are teaching, leading, writing a song, or sharing a testimony, we must use both the general and the specific. People will be moved by what is personal, but they need to also be able to relate to it.
- To lose our thirst for God and His Word is to abandon our first love. We may not always ‘feel the fire’ like we once did, but we should still desire more of God always.
- The Body of Christ is also like God’s orchestra. We are each made to sing our own way, we are unique, just as a flute is totally different from a violin, but when we surrender to God, He uses us together to sing His same song of love. We can’t all just do the same thing, but instead must ask Him how He wants to use us to express His song.
- 90% of the work for song writing is to simply stop. To be still, and know that He is God. Put aside distractions, put away selfish desires, put away striving, and just listen to what God has.
What I Learned About Leading Worship From Thierry
“Vulnerability Is Worth It”
Thierry taught us the importance of vulnerability through his lessons, and then also through his own actions and words while teaching and leading worship.
It is important to be available and natural. To serve the church well, you must be available! Neutral and simple is enough for ministry. Sometimes when we add on too much, we are no longer available to God, and people actually feel like they can’t approach us or relate to us. To remain connected to people we must be vulnerable, be familiar, and be ourselves. That doesn’t mean that we forget about our role and responsibilities, but we also don’t use those things like a mask. Things that humble you will help you in your ministry. Tripping on stage doesn’t mean that you’ve ruined the time because now no one will respect you or take you seriously. It actually could be the best reminder needed to show that you are just another person and anyone can approach you.
Don’t hide using the spare tire – a verse or a Hallelujah or something like this. When you start to feel vulnerable it can be easy to do something like this in order to hide what is really going on and to not feel so exposed, but it is better to stand revealed. That doesn’t mean you never use a verse or a Hallelujah, but do it out of a place of true worship for God, not as a way to perform for people. People respond to authenticity. Let the tension develop and let God bring something out of it. Sometimes letting the silence go on is better. A practical way to encourage these things, is to practice the ‘one, two, three’ rule. When you start to feel impatient, when you start to feel like you want to rush through something, when something goes wrong or you feel too vulnerable and you want to cover it up, stop. Then count – one, two, three. Check back in with the Holy Spirit. Count again if need be. Count as many times as need be. Then proceed.
Thierry showed these qualities as he was leading worship. The power point wasn’t working properly for awhile, the wrong verse was brought up on the screen, and yet he navigated these things in a way that was very calm and natural. As a result, the time still seemed to flow. Also, he chose to share a song with us that was a very personal one for him. He even admitted that in the past people had come up to him after hearing this song and had said ‘this song is for depressed people,’ but he shared it anyways. He could have just chosen to play a happy, easy song that he knew people would like, however instead he chose a song that left him more vulnerable and could receive rejection. He did this because it better served what God had put on his heart to share with us that night. He said that even if it only spoke to one person it was worth it. I know it actually spoke to pretty much all the SOW students, and I definitely appreciated it. It reminded me that when I share my own songs I need to be more concerned with my own heart and whether or not I am being authentic in my relationship with God, as opposed to what other people may say, or like, or not like. If it comes from a place of genuine worship, even if not everyone else appreciates it, it isn’t wrong or bad. God won’t be disappointed. He will be pleased because of your obedience to love Him and share Truth.
Finally, here is a link to the video which shows the song that I wrote. I have the lyrics in the Youtube description, as well as the Bible verses that inspired me while I was writing it:
All the glory to God for yet another amazing opportunity to learn, grow, and serve! May He bless each one of you on each of your own journeys too! To end this post I will share the verse that we memorized this week:
“And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
‘Great and amazing are your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.'”