Come, now is the time to worship. After an impromptu time of worship (read about that here) and then sharing my desire with others that I wanted to host a planned time of home worship at some point in the future – it happened! We did it!! And it we had a great time of fellowship singing praises to the Lord. Let me tell you how it went! I’ll talk about planning and hosting, ‘At Home Christian Worship,’ and the guest list.
Was this the first time you hosted this kind of thing?
No. This was my second time, but my first time hosting this here in South Korea. 🙂
Well, how did it go?
It went great!!
No, seriously, it did!
So what did you all do?
Okay! So that’s what you want to know!! Why didn’t you just ask me that it in the first place……..? HAHA I’m just joking! 😉 Here’s everything that you’d probably want to know so maybe YOU CAN HOST An AT HOME WORSHIP EVENT TOO! If you do, please let me know how it goes!!
Planning and Hosting
Well, I planned a date and let other musicians I’ve met know about it and asked them if they were free to come over that day. Some were and some weren’t. Some were on the fence…………… (they didn’t say that, but I felt like they were). I get the struggle because most of us have lots of obligations already on our plate and they were probably thinking so what is this supposed to be anyway? (So, as far as moving forward and choosing the best date and time, I threw out an option that first was good for me and when at least ONE person was solid and committed to come at that date and time THEN I made a flyer and went with it! You will never host an event where everyone you think that would love it will be available to come. It just never works out that way. I prayed throughout that Holy Spirit would lead and make opportunity for those He wants to come to actually come.)
The purpose of this opportunity, in my mind and how I described it to others, was simply a time to come together as leaders and encourage one another through song as we sing or play before the Lord. Nothing special, just an informal, relaxed time of bringing what you’ve got (really it’s what God gave you) and giving it (back) to the Lord.
Before the day came, I created a group using the free BAND app (it seems to be popular here in South Korea) and I sent the link to those that indicated they were coming. On it, I put my address, what to expect and most importantly, I asked them to start posting YouTube songs there so we could listen to and become familiar with them beforehand. Everyone was invited to post songs that they wanted to suggest and do. I suggested each person offer up 3. I think I posted like 10 because I couldn’t make up my mind!!!! (Don’t do that though because no one really had time to listen to all those songs before coming!! Yikes!) I ended up making a YouTube playlist and as suggestions came, I just added it onto the list. The list was posted in the app and on Facebook for all to see (and be inspired)!
The day of, I sent out reminders and answered questions typical to anyone who hosts folks in your home. I was happy that someone ventured to come who hadn’t even met me before but was invited by a mutual friend who was coming. She came and arrived on her own – you go girl!!! Glad you were brave and came out! You are welcome here anytime! If you receive last minute cancellations they happen! Remember how, in the beginning, you prayed that the Lord would use this time? Remember how you prayed that those that Holy Spirit draws out would come out? We have no idea what God doing so don’t act like you do! Be gracious and maybe next time, they will be able to come. Sharing ‘how it went‘ after the fact (hence THIS blog post!) can help with those who just need to know in advance how things like this go. It can help calm those nerves! -wink wink- Or it can help to show that YES you CAN have a great time in the Lord with people you don’t know (or don’t know well yet)!)
Dinner time. Since the event was planned for 4:30-6:30 pm, I also invited anyone who was interested to stay afterwards for dinner. I offered it actually because some needed to come after work and I didn’t want to send them home hungry. I also thought maybe the meal would help them to come over right away. For this event, I made “Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup” on the stove. I didn’t bring my crock pot here to Korea unfortunately, so I figured it would just have to work out this way. I’ve made this recipe before and it was always a hit. It is super easy to make. I did serve it with the following condiments: sour cream, sliced avocados, cherry tomatoes, grated cheese and a LARGE BAG OF TORTILLA CHIPS!!! Whoo hoo!!!!
Snacks. Gotta have the snacks. I placed a few bowls of snacks around to help break the ice (and stomachs of mainly my own children who smelled the food and wanted to eat but they needed to wait until 6:30). Offer water, tea, coffee, milk… whatever you have to help folks settle in and feel comfortable.
Hosts. I’m so thankful for a friend who was able to come over early and just help me welcome everyone as they arrived. We need those hosts – and friends!! Thank you! Oh, and also thank you for washing all my dirty dishes as I was preparing the soup!! You complete me! 😍
At Home Christian Worship
So once we officially started (pretty close to starting time 4:45 pm I think?) I opened us up in prayer thanking God for everyone who was there and asking the Lord God to bless our time together. I then had everyone go around and introduce themselves. That was probably the only awkward time of the whole evening; in my opinion it can be a bit difficult talking about oneself, but it was quickly forgotten by the main event – the music!!
On one accord. I suggested the first song, as I heard it mentioned during conversation and we just needed to get things going. So I typed in “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman and my computer was already hooked up to the TV and everyone sang/played using the chord sheet that showed up on the TV screen. (How did I find the chord sheets? As songs were suggested, I would look it up by typing the name of the song (10000 reasons + chord + pdf ) or (10000 reasons + chord key of G + pdf) and whala! I would download only from links that were reputable to me. I didn’t use Worship Together this time because the chords and lyrics were too small to see on the TV, but they DO have all the lyrics and chords there for free access to most christian worship songs! Check it out! For other detailed information on how I went paperless, read here!
So the “rule” was, when it was your turn (we simply went round and around in a circle) to suggest a song, you were asked to then lead the song. Gasp!! So we did have at least one guest that self-identified as a “non-musical” person but instead came for fellowship who balked at the idea (it was funny when we told her the rule afterwards). During worship though, someone else just kinda took over as the Spirit led. It was beautiful. And what does ‘leading the song‘ mean? In this situation, it meant choosing the key (or I helped out with that – basically whatever we could easily play on guitar using our capo!! 😆I had another device which showed music in a different key to be used with the capo and on the TV was the actual key for the pianist (who seemed to be able to play anything!) connected via HDMI to my computer…) But leading the song most importantly meant leading where people sang next………… Do we sing the verse twice? When do we go to the chorus? We simply followed the lead of the person who chose the song… maybe near the end of the song the Spirit led us to just keep on going with the song…that is something the leader (and the group) would be sensitive to and lead everyone in the way in which the leader wanted us to go. Never done it before? Why not try it out in a group setting like this and give it a whirl!
Set list. These are the songs that we ended up singing, with each person having an opportunity to offer up a song and lead the song for the group. I sang and played songs that were new to me and so did others. One friend would explain before or after why she chose the song she did and I think her words really added to the song. She’s a great worship leader!
Here’s a recording of “With All I Am.”
At about 6:30, we ended our worship time by doing one of the songs we sang over and I asked my son to record us. I wanted to try and include those that weren’t able to make it. I wanted them to know that we thought about and prayed for them. And I knew that I would write this blog to share it with others and I want YOU to know that I’m praying for you. I’m praying for those that will take up the mantle and lead wherever and however God calls you. The fields are ripe for harvest (John 4:31-38)!!! I’m praying for laborers to go out into the fields now! (Matthew 9:35-38)
We ended our time together by enjoying a meal with one another with those who could stay. It was a great time in the Lord! We even got to see a friend in action as she naturally loved on our youngest participant after dinner with singing and dancing.
United body of Christ.
Guests who came represented different nations and spoke different languages: English, Korean, German, Spanish and Swahili. Guests also served at or attend different churches. The #usagdaegu Area IV Peace On The Rock (POTR) Contemporary 5pm service on Camp Walker, Hana Church with uploaded sermons on YouTube interpreted to English, Urdu, Spanish or Khmer depending on listeners, and also Dongshin English Service located in Suseong-Gu were represented.
Make room for more. The purpose of this event was to invite those who played instruments or sang to come together and worship Jesus, the name above every other name, and encourage one another through song and fellowship. It is true that I specifically invited those I knew from my various church-related circles but the offer was open for anyone to come. I was happy when a few people came who wouldn’t describe themselves as “musical” but came simply because a friend invited them. May we (and I) continue to invite those who may not be necessarily interested but, because you asked, may they come, taste and see, that the Lord IS good! (Psalm 34:8) He knows what we need even before we ask! (Matthew 6:8)
Are you hosting again?
Absolutely! I’m always hosting something. I’ve always been bringing people together but now I have a sole purpose. I want to help build relationships that draw others to a deeper understanding of and obedience to the will of God. I believe we can do that when we have a safe place to just be ourselves, have real conversations and explore God. Maybe the question isn’t am I hosting again… but perhaps…. are you coming?
This is just another documentation of my guitar journey and spiritual growth. Please share with others and tell me how this was helpful for you! Let me know when you host!! May God bless your time together as everything that has breath praise the Lord!