Never really posted this, so I thought I would share it now. I did a reading a long time ago called Crucify Him. Someone took it and made a video of it. I referenced it in the comments of that post, but I thought I would share it again here. Be sure to check out Mike’s original post too.
I am on a quest.
It hasn’t been an easy mission, and I am still not there yet, but I know that one day I will find what I seek.
I only hope that it won’t be too late.
What is my quest you ask? It is simple, to find the right solution to play backing tracks behind our little 3 piece youth praise band. I have tried what seems like dozens of sites that offer all sorts of solutions, but I still can’t find the one that just clicks (ha! if you are on my same boat you know why that is funny) with our band.
The reason that I am looking for backing tracks has little to do with adding new instruments. It has more to do with adding the synth parts that you find in most modern worship songs these days. To make things sound “the way it does on the radio” there are parts that we just can’t create with live instruments. Of course these are also parts that weren’t created with live instruments originally either, so it is what it is.
Anyway, you will find a list below of what I have tried. If you have tried these and want to rave about them or have some other solution you want to add to the mix just let me know.
Worship Backing Band This one has a great deal of promise, but we don’t really have a spare computer we can use in our youth space so we are having trouble making it work. (We need an ipad solution ideally).
Multitracks.com has a great selection of songs (the best that I have found) but their Ableton files also need a dedicated computer. We have toyed around with their basic back tracks fired from a grid system on the ipad. This may ultimately be our best solution, but like I said it hasn’t clicked yet.
Worship Band in Hand As an iPad solution this one is great and I love how easy it is to use. My only complaint is that it is missing the speaking cues that talk you into each section. Having those really helps when you are working on a new song, and I miss them. I do like the fact that they have chord charts available too, but I normally use SongSelect to get our chord charts.
These are the three that I have actually purchased songs from, although there are other places that I have been looking for information, including trying my hand at making some of my own (which didn’t work out at all), but still haven’t found that magic combination that works for us.
Do you guys have any other suggestions?
This is a simple guided prayer exercise that encourages worshipers to use their entire bodies in their prayer. Lead this prayer by playing soft music and reading the instructions aloud. Pause between paragraphs and allow participants time to pray.
Begin by closing your eyes and quietly taking several deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out your mouth. Breath in the presence of God breath out the stress of your day. Breath in worship, breath out distractions.
Now quietly kneel on the floor and begin to pray. You are in the presence of the King of kings. Bow reverently before him. Spend some time and offer up silent words of praise to God.
Now press your hands hard against the floor as you spend time confessing your sins. Ask God to speak to your heart and show you those things that you are holding back from him. Feel the weight of those sins holding you down like the pressure you are putting on the floor.
As you ask God to forgive those sins and bear the weight that you can’t bear stop pressing on the floor and feel the lightness of your heart and body.
Now stand up, stand tall in the presence of your savior. You are a forgiven child of the King of kings. Hold your head high as you feel the power of his forgiveness flow through you. Thank God for his forgiveness and for adopting you as His child.
Now hold your hands out before you in a bowl. Ask God to fill you up with worship and praise. Ask God to fill you with his Spirit and with His blessings.
Now raise your hands above you in praise to God. Speak audible words of thanks and praise to God for his forgiveness and for his mercy. Lift up your hearts to him in praise.
Conclude the prayer time with singing
Here is a way to incorporate art into your next local missions project.
Here is How it Works
Find a local artist or someone who can teach some basic principles of painting or drawing.
Bring students together to learn from the teacher and to create a few original pieces of art. Choose a theme like the love of Jesus or what heaven will be like.
Once students have completed their pictures pile them into a van or two and take them to a local nursing home or retirement community. Let students give their pictures away to the residents. Be sure that students also spend time explaining their pictures and talking to the residents.
Use this prayer activity to encourage your students to help your students be more deliberate about their prayer time. The basic idea is that students will come up with a position for praying and have a reason why they chose such a position. Then to add a communal element to this prayer experience students will go and share their position with other students and eventually pray with the positions that they learned. The instructions are set up to be read out to your group. The parts in italics are notes for you.
Say: Here is what I want you to do. Choose a position with your body that represents some aspect of your relationship with God. It can be anything from bowing in reverence to opening your arms wide to receive his blessing, to laying down and relaxing in his comfort. There are only 3 rules.
- Whatever you do must be big enough to notice. You can’t simply stand there with your hands in your pockets. Your position must be noticeable.
- You must have a reason for the position that you choose
- Look around the room and try to find a position that no one else is doing.
As we begin I am going to play some music softly. Spend a moment praying and thinking about this exercise. In just a moment I will ask you to move into your position. Everyone must participate in this exercise. No one is going to judge you or laugh at you. No one is going to single you out. Just follow what God is saying to you and let that guide you as you move.
(Play music softly for a moment)
Move into position and begin to pray let how you are positioned guide your prayer.
(Here you may want to give them some ideas, especially if you have a larger group it can be hard to find something that others aren’t doing: Arms out wide, hands cupped like a bowl, hands raised in praise, face down before the Lord etc.
(Play music again for a moment)
Now, very quietly I want you to move and find a partner. If you can’t find a partner then we can have 1 group of 3.
(give them time to find a partner before giving the next instructions)
Very quietly I want you to share they position you chose with your partner and share the reason why you chose that position.
(Give them a few moments to share their position before giving the next instructions)
Now what I want you to do is move into the position that you just learned from your partner. Us this position to guide your prayer time.
(play some more music and have another minute or so of prayer
Now I want you to find a different partner and go through the same process. Sharing your original position and reason with your new partner.
(give them some time to do this.)
Now find a place that you can be separated from everyone else in the room. Spend some time praying through each position you have learned. Start with this third position and pray there for a while and then move through the other two positions. Repeat this process until we close our prayer time.
(play music for a while and then close by softly singing a song)
How it went for us:
I was really shocked at how well the students responded to this worship time. I love any type of worship that involves moving the whole body. After we finished singing I had a little debrief time i asked students to describe their positions. They had some good ideas. What intrigued me about our group was that no one was standing. I wish I could say that it was because they were too self-conscious to stand before the Lord, but it was probably more that they were too self-conscious to stand when everyone else was on the floor. To close the debrief time I said, “In this exercise we made our praise visible to those around us. As Christians our worship should be visible to the people that we come in contact with. Our praise shouldn’t be something we hold to ourselves it should overflow into our daily lives where others can see.