Does your "house church" have music?


#1

One thing I miss most about the institutional church (and a big reason I go back from time to time) is to enjoy being with a big group of saints, singing their hearts out together.

The funny thing is: when I was a kid in the Jesus Movement, the worship (meaning group singing) we had, sitting on the floor in someone’s living room, wasn’t any less powerful than what I’ve experienced in most institutional church settings.

Yet most of the worship I’ve experienced in “organic” church settings has been painfully lackluster, if not downright dead. Not all of it, mind you. There have been some notable and welcome exceptions. But they were the exceptions, not the rule.

So, I’d love to know if any of you guys who have home groups / house churches / organic churches—whatever you wanna call 'em—have any kind of group singing / worship and, if so, if it compares to what you experienced in the institutional church.


#2

No music yet, but we look forward to it and are encouraging it!
Until we have someone who is a gifted musician (or someone among us comes out of the closet), I have been contemplating the idea of singing along with a video.


#3

No shame in being a “worship DJ”, @jesusguyjoe. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#5

Going back 30 years ago, we would meet for fellowship time and put on a CASSETTE TAPE - Vineyard worship was some of the best I had ever heard and experienced, and I still love it! One thing that I believe God wants is for the WORSHIP to be truly love directed right into the heart of God, and not a show or to showcase the talents (?) and abilities of certain musicians. If they (the “leaders”) can get out of the way, and sort of help escort God’s people into the throne room, then it can be spectacular, and it can be 2-3 people or a large group. The number of mega-watts of power or volume does not determine the honesty or power of the worship - it is the hearts of the worshippers. I love playing guitar, and have helped in quite a number of worship settings in the last 40 years. The music can be instructional, and entertaining, and even exhortational, but the worship in a group setting is best when it is directed to the Lord in attitude and especially the words, as the hearts and spirits of the worshippers unite in loving the Lord.


#7

We used to do lyric videos with our (previous) home group and folks did actually worship with the videos. It may take some adjusting for some, but most these days are very accustomed to interacting with screens. Integrity used to make iWorship Home DVDs (for older songs) but now if you had a YouTube or other subscription without ads to stream on TV that should work. We found it helpful to have the lyrics to read.


#8

Thanks for the feedback! We’ve used them before, but not in our current setting.


#9

I love the premise of your response, but if Jesus hasn’t already escorted us into the Throne Room, we’re all in very deep trouble. The idea that a “worship leader” or “worship team” is Divinely commissioned to help us “visit Jesus” is an absurd insult to His Finished Work. They may help us to PRACTICE His Omni-Present Presence and enjoy His Manifest Presence, but they’re not “escorting” us to a place where we don’t already live…and He isn’t always present.

You probably didn’t mean it that way, but an unhealthy co-dependence on “worship leader escorts” is part of the I.C.'s playbook that keeps people desperate for Sunday Mornings…when they can “visit Jesus” again.

Singers & Musicians can help us to celebrate His Presence, but they can’t take us into His Presence. We’re always already there!


#10

When I was still in institutional church one of the things that I became really uncomfortable with was the performance style of worship with musicians and singers up on a stage facing the people. I began to wonder why it needed to be that way. Why couldn’t those musically and vocally talented people just be among the group? They could still encourage the rest of us to sing and worship Jesus in song without the band on the stage being the focus. If I want to see and enjoy a performance I can visit to a big church and enjoy the music and singing but if I want to worship Jesus with others I would prefer to stay in a small group where Holy Spirit leads the worship and everyone truly participates.


#11

We just sing acapella. Some old hymns, songs we’ve written, or put new words to popular tunes. We have a home made songbook and anyone can call a song anytime. There’s no particular leader. In between songs we might pray, declare something, or share something about Jesus brought to mind during the singing. Sometimes someone will sing a song to the group or play a song from their phone or YouTube.


#12

I too got connected with some Jesus people in my hometown back in the 70’s. The passion of their worship (in a living room) blew me away. I had never seen anything like it. That was enough to launch me out of my family religion. I miss that and I have also experienced the introverted worship experience. As a former worship leader and pastor it amazes me that people hold back so much in the small group setting. We gotta believe for the Spirit to help us overcome this.


#13

For me, the key to worship is having people, who know they have been lifted up and seated in the heavenly places and are filled with the spirit. Too often IC worship has been about the worship team helping people who are unprepared to get into God’s presence.

With small groups it can be harder to carry the people who are unprepared. However the ‘best’ worship I have experienced has always been in small groups. Not forgetting that our God is a God of grace and Holy Spirit will always find a way to impact people.


#15

We used to just put on some youtube stuff, but we’ve moving toward just singing badly together. Youtube turned into us just watching other people worship and so to counter that I’d rather hear us singing badly a capella. We just bring out worship songs we all know and hymns and simple songs that are easy to pick up. If we want to add something new then whoever is doing so has added responsibility to help us learn the song.


#17

Hey @benkclark21, I’m not sure if you were addressing my original post or just sharing some of your own experience, but that’s never been my assumption. I think Romans 12:1 blows that myth away. However, the Bible does instruct us to sing hymns to one another, and even Jesus led his disciples in singing after the Last Supper. So, clearly, it’s something we shouldn’t ignore either.


#19

Check out these other posts concerning worship - they touch some on music as well. Some good discussion and thoughts.

and this:


#20

“I Love music, just as long as it’s groovy.”


#24

We do the same - sing together badly. But the heart behind it is glorious. We’ve made up some of our own songs, had some passed down to us, and sing some older hymns. Anyone can call out a song for the group to sing. In between and sometimes during singing, saints will declare something that the Lord brings to their heart. It can be a very beautiful and powerful time.


#25

We just usually have soaking music playing softly in the background. Only one time we’ve joined in the song and there definitely was an increase in His presence when we did. @Richard, I too miss the times of worship in the IC.


#26

I visited a small Lutheran IC in rural MN that had the choir and organist at the back of the congregation facing the same direction. It was wonderful!


#27

It seems as if “Singing badly acapella” is the general consensus here. I play guitar but if I bring it out ever at a gathering everyone is pre-programmed to view me as the worship leader, which I am not. I know - Jesus is the true leader of worship, but what I mean is I am not even a song leader haha. I can’t play and sing at the same time. We all appreciate some musical accompaniment, but how have you guys combat this situation - if you’ve experienced it all that is.


#28

“Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” Church should be a musical I guess. May require a stethoscope to hear it.