Almost a month has rolled by since I last wrote about ‘soaking worship’ and it is almost time for me to unleash another hour-long set on those who come along to this Friday’s ‘Parish Prayers’ event. I think I’ve got the set prepared; as I write, I’m letting it wash over me.
This one is largely based around a single album: Winds of Worship, Vol. 7 – Live From Brownsville from Vineyard Worship. I started looking for one song – Lover of My Soul (When Living Here Has Caused Me Pain) by David Ruis – which I’d used online in my first lockdown worship set but I realised the album had a number of other songs that are part of my core worship vocabulary and so I bought an MP3 copy of the whole thing.
How comes it was so influential? 1996 was the year the album came out but also when Jane and I moved to Lewisham and joined Hither Green Baptist Church. By the time I’d joined the worship team in early 1997, at least one of the worship leaders had picked up a copy and a lot of the songs were making their way into the regular rotation. Over the following years, I was encouraged to develop my ability to sing while playing in worship and then onto leading myself and these were the songs I was using to learn the craft.
Furthermore, back in the later 1990s, getting online meant making sure no-one else needed to use the phone and turning on the modem. Music – worship and otherwise – wasn’t the easy come, easy go commodity that it has more often become today and, when you got an album you liked, you tended to listen to a smaller selection of music in a lot more depth.
I’m not hosting an album listening party at Thorpe Acre Church this Friday (7:30 – 8:30pm) but an hour of worship so I’m blending in songs and sounds from other sources too. I am intrigued to find out if I share my attachment to this particular source of material with anyone else there and excited to bring forth treasures I have discovered on my own journey in worship and faith.