Thursday 7 April 2016

#AtoZchallenge: Focus

Okay, it's easy to mistake this one and go "of course my focus is Jesus!" (Which should be your natural response.) That’s not what I’m talking about. The thing is, a single worship set needs a single focus. And because I'm (primarily) a writer, I would put it as this:

Your worship set needs a story-arch.

Sure, you can put together a bunch of songs about a bunch of stuff about God, and that's fine. People can, and will, still worship. But what I'm saying is that if you have a specific or focus in your worship set, it will have a greater impact.

Have you ever been to church and worship was really powerful, and then the pastor comes up and then he preaches about this theme and suddenly everything you sang about 30 minutes before that became really relevant. The lyrics speak to you. The preaching makes so much sense. And then the worship team starts the altar call, and that one thing that God was speaking to you about through the whole service is sealed with that final song. BAM.

That doesn't often happen by chance. That happens with a lot of preparation and cooperation and prayer. If your pastor's the kind who has a whole preaching series planned out and can share that with you, you should use it as the starting point for planning your worship set. It helps. Even if he doesn't, that's okay. God knows what He's trying to say (even if the pastor doesn't yet) and He can reveal that to you whilst you are preparing.

There’s no single way to do this, but the way I usually start is by picking a key song for the week. Then I build or craft a set of songs around the same focus, e.g. grace. This focus, or theme, doesn’t mean that every single song just says something about grace. I like to lead people on a journey (see the word story-arch?), which generally goes through a progression of thoughts from “What does the Bible say about grace?” or “How does God show grace?” through to “Now that I know that, what is my response to God’s grace?”  Sometimes the key song sticks and sometimes I have to throw it away as stronger or more appropriate songs emerge. It’s sad when that happens, but that’s okay.

(I've also blogged about this before here.)


Are you an A to Z blogger? Send me a message on my facebook page or twitter with your blog name and number and I will send you a 50% discount coupon for Coexist on Smashwords.

About the book:

Jane Hays has been told all her life that it’s dangerous to be out in the forest past sundown. At fifteen, she’s quite sure that it’s all old wives’ tales... yet, why does her village bar the gates every night? Why do they even have gates? When she is caught in an unexpected rainstorm on her way home, Jane ignores all the warnings and seeks shelter in a cottage in the middle of the forest. Soon, she is caught up in a world of magic and beauty – and in the storm of the Fairy Queen’s wrath.

The Fairy Queen is out for blood. There have been intruders – human intruders  in her domain and she will stop at nothing to find them and kill them. After all, it is only fair. She is only seeking retribution for the death that humans leave in their wake.

But Jane isn’t all that she seems to be. And the events of the night aren’t as innocent as they appear.

A tale of magic, fairy creatures and family, Coexist is a novella for the young and the young-at-heart.

Get Coexist on Amazon or Smashwords. Check out Book Depository or Createspace for paperbacks!


Our final stop for the Coexist Tour is at Madeline Dyer's, where I talk about editing. 


It's the final day for the giveaway! *gasp* 

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  1. While I assumed the pastor and the worship leader worked together, I never thought of the service following a story-arc.... but it makes perfect sense!
    Molly @MyCozyBookNook
    My Cozy Book Nook
    Revising Life after 50

    1. I'm not sure if anyone else thinks this way!