Raise The Roof

31 May 2019

Raise The Roof

There are lots of references to the old name "I'll Lift You Higher"

As Homegrown Worship has evolved over the past year it has become increasingly clear that our mission is to lift the name of Jesus higher.

The name of Jesus needs lifting higher as there are so many names and brands trying to replace God’s place in our hearts, lives and society.

If we want to know something we no longer pray about it - we ask Google. Whilst there is nothing wrong with acquiring knowledge, facts and price comparisons; it’s those searches that start with ‘should I be worried if…’.

God wants to talk to us and He is the fountain of all knowledge and author of creation. Having experienced the Lord give me words of knowledge when He has told me things that not even the most sophisticated robots and algorithms can work out, I think it’s important we trust in Him and converse with him more than AI.

Google will never tell you that you are loved and precious.

Why pray to a God who sometimes takes His time answering when Amazon Prime offers same-day delivery on anything your feast your eyes upon? Its no wonder impatience is socially accepted and people struggle to make wise decisions for long-term benefits when we can have whatever we want on tap.

Deliveroo cannot bring a drink to your door that will satisfy your soul and well up to eternal life.

We adorn our wrists, our desks and homes with the brands which we like to identify with; the brands which elevate our social status and help us to feel more important. Our sense of worth and our judgement of others can be made based on the fashion and technology labels we advertise. We have forgotten that we were made in the image of God and that we’re designed to display His likeness.

We need to lift the name of Jesus higher. We need to create sounds and expressions that rise above the noise and point people back to the Saviour who has been subordinated in oursocieties.

To lift Him higher we need to go deeper and wider in our worship.

The depth of our worship is not measured by how lofty our words are. It is not about eloquence or commitment to rituals; it’s about our private relationship with Jesus. Are we choosing to sit at His feet and be attentive to His words? Are we hungering for His word and thirsting for His presence?

The width of our worship also makes a difference. So much of the music I hear in the church sounds the same; or at least very similar. We are obsessed with what sounds ‘safe’ or familiar and often judgemental of things we’re not used to. The same fingers than play flowing piano melodies which people say are ‘anointed’ thrash out heavy rock power chords and EDM hooks. I believe that the Lord loves the breadth of our expression and we should not be narrow in what we encourage in terms of creativity at the risk of us being narrow-minded.

Our worship should explore the highs and lows and raw emotion of the Psalms. I understand that extended times of lament might not seem appropriate for a seeker-friendly Sunday morning service, however we should find time personally and in small groups to engage our emotions and real feelings and resist the temptation to sing a chorus of Shiny Happy People because it gets people smiling. We shouldn’t ignore the fact that (to quote another REM song) Everybody Hurts. Our menu of musical expression should encourage people to find space publicly and privately to connect with a God who is both transcendent and intimate.

Our worship should reach wider than the four walls of the church building. I hope to see a fresh expression of worship that draws people into the throne-room of God from their phone, tablets and laptops.

As I sign off the first chapter of our Homegrown Worship journey 365 days since sharing the first of 52 weekly releases, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me to go deeper, stretch wider and lift the name of Jesus higher.

We will continue to share Handpicked releases from Homegrown Worship every Monday, and are preparing to launch the 2nd Handpicked playlist starting this summer of the Thursday. OurFriday releases will be up and running again soon with some fresh faces and voices joining me as part of the Homegrown Worship collective.  

Andy Baker, Chief Enthusiast, Homegrown Worship

Happy 1st Birthday Homegrown Worship!!!!

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