AOG Worship


Practical Tips for Involving Less Commonly Used Instruments in Worship

Emily Rowlands Bio Photo
Photo by Alice Dryden

Psalm 150 (MSG)

Praise God in his holy house of worship,
praise him under the open skies;
Praise him for his acts of power,
praise him for his magnificent greatness;
Praise with a blast on the trumpet,
praise by strumming soft strings;
Praise him with castanets and dance,
praise him with banjo and flute;
Praise him with cymbals and a big bass drum,
praise him with fiddles and mandolin.
Let every living, breathing creature praise God!

Musical instruments change over time, as do musical fashions, tastes, styles and expressions. Various different translations of Psalm 150 demonstrate this. But it isn’t the instruments listed in this Psalm that matter. They’re not an exclusive list of instructions to follow and a ‘must have’ for our worship teams (though that might be fun!). The essence of this Psalm expresses the freedom we have to use different instruments for the purpose of praising God. That’s what matters. Whatever instrument we learn to play, we can use it for praising God. We are instruments of praise ourselves, after all.

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Building a “Family” Atmosphere Amongst Your Team

Lyndsey Rollo Bio Photo

I was blessed to be brought up in home where family hangouts were a regular part of my everyday life – whether it was morning devotions around the table, summer evening cycles along the canal or weekend trips in a 9 seater van…..we hung out, A LOT! When I moved to college and lived with housemates, it became apparent that I inherited my mother’s genes when it came to gathering the girls together for cups of tea & chats in the evening. Building ‘family’ and a sense of ‘community’ is something I am quite passionate about. I believe that as human beings we were made for community and created to do life with others; we weren’t created to be alone. So how do we create a sense of team amongst a random group of talented individuals? Here;s 9 tips I’ve learned that have helped to build team along the way…

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Work / Life balance as a volunteer

In the 2000 movie, Castaway, Tom Hanks is marooned on a desert island with nothing but the clothes he’s wearing. After a few years he’s able to build a raft and heads out to the open sea with Wilson, a volleyball he found which has become his best friend. Whilst at sea, he falls asleep and wakes up to find Wilson floating away. He’s caught in a dilemma, does he leave his raft and risk losing it, or does he say goodbye to his best friend?

As a volunteer leader, we often see ministry / life balance as an either/or thing. You can’t have the raft and Wilson. It’s hard, I know. I too am a volunteer leader, with a family and a full time job. I haven’t found a perfect system for balancing these factors, but I’ve found some principles which may help.

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