Friday, March 5, 2010
So to kick things off I am exited to have Mike Ruel as my first guest! I came in contact with Mike through his excellent blog at http://www.mikeruel.wordpress.com/. I benefit greatly from his thoughts and you will too. Let's begin!
Give us the stats. Name, age, family, church where you serve and your role:
Mike Ruel, 39, married...2 kids - son: 12; daughter: 10. I am the Worship Director (Part-time/volunteer) at Green Pond Bible Chapel in Rockaway NJ.
How and when did you know you were called to lead congregational worship?
I had been a professional musician for years, living a sinful life away from the Lord...when the Lord brought me back, I started to get involved in music at the church but really it didn't click until I started to get to know the God we serve thru intense reading of great books, audio sermons, and reading the whole Bible. As these pieces were beginning to form the foundation of the calling, a tragedy occurred and friends of ours lost their 16-month old son. They asked me to lead worship at the funeral. Leading the body to worship the sovereign awesome holy God when we needed Him the most was all the convincing I needed that this is where I felt God wanted me to pursue serving.
Give us a glimpse of what takes place from the end of the worship service to the beginning of the worship service the following week:
At the end of a Sunday service I will briefly touch base with the worship team and tech team to see how everything went from their perspective while it is fresh in their minds. Praying for the worship is a daily thing - so I pretty much immediately turn towards the next weeks' service. Depending on if I'm leading or someone else (There are a few worship leaders on my team) they get their sets to me and we look them over and I send it out to all the teams via Planning Center Online and schedule the teams for the next week....work on rehearsal, etc. We rehearse usually on Thursday nights and we run the set.
Describe from beginning to end what a usual Sunday Morning Worship Service looks like at your church:
I usually get to the church about 8:15am to make sure everything is in place or in process to be ready to go - sound check starts at 8:30am. We typically run thru the whole set once...we pray before we start and after for the Holy Spirit to come and do its work thru us as well as thru the preaching of the Word in the hearts of those attending. We have a 9:30 and 11:00am service. The 9:30 service leans a bit more contemporary (with drums and elec guitar) and the 11:00am service leans a bit traditional (no drums or elec guitar). I try to keep both services musically the same, but sometimes I will switch out 1 song. We also have a 6pm service, but this is much more informal and either I'll just lead on acoustic or another worship leader with piano or guitar.
During a morning service I will briefly welcome the people and we'll get started right away with our Call to Worship - I like to say that I'm reminding them that it is time to worship the Lord our God -- let us worship for he is WORTHY!
Depending on if the choir is singing they will be on stage with us for the call to worship, then they will sing 1 song.
From there we have announcements from one of the Pastors. Which yes...we all dread the flow interruption, but it's a "necessary..."
Then I pray, invite the Holy Spirit to come and work in us, be present with us...maybe read scripture, a paragraph from a book, or briefly introduce why I felt lead to chose the songs we are about to sing.
Then I have about a 4-5 song worship set - I have been talking less during the set and just letting it flow...but sometimes, like the Revelation Song if it's a new song and there is such a wonderful bit of scripture that helps reinforce the message I will break in and talk.
Then we have our offering and usually someone will sing / play a special music piece
Then we have a sermon for about 30 minutes from our Senior Pastor
First Sunday of each month we share communion together at this point...
I usually get back up to close with a short chorus or prayer.
What songs did you sing last week and why were they selected?
Last week we sang: