Well I can't actually give you a backstage pass.
First off because Easter is over.
Secondly because backstage is where all the magic happens.
Haha. Sort of. I guess so. It's where all the cool stuff is stored, at least.
But I would like to give you a look into what went into Easter 2012 at Christ United Methodist Church, specifically in the NewSong service.
Easter 2012 was my second Easter to lead at Christ UMC but the first one where I was a real staff member and had lots of influence on where the service went. As I reflected over my years of Easter at CUMC, I first thought of all the people that come to our services.
Then second, I thought of dress shopping.
Ugh. I hate dress shopping. I love shopping.. but the pressure of having to wear a dress on a specific date makes me nauseous. There were lots of Easters as a child that my mom almost pinched my head off because I hated being all dressed up. I may have been a little bit of a tomboy...
I felt as though God was calling me to make our worship services recognizable. I wanted people to be able to invite friends without fear that we were going to do something weird just because it was Easter. I even wore jeans, just like every other Sunday, so that people who didn't come often knew that we aren't a dressed-up kind of people. The people of NewSong wear everything from shorts and t-shirts to dress pants and a button down. I wanted our visitors to feel as if they could come back without having to go dress shopping.
When I was picking songs, I wanted to sing songs that were relevant to the celebration of the Resurrection, but I also wanted everyone to know them and be able to sing and celebrate on this Holy Day. I wanted to read through the Scripture of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus so that we went back to our roots, the recognizable parts of the story that we knew.
I wanted our service to be recognizable. Not all spiffed up and wearing a chiffon dress.
I wanted us to worship as we are.
I wanted us to experience everything again with a fresh view.
I feel like I live my life this way. I like to be consistent in my appearance. In other words, I want to look as natural in heels and an evening gown as I do in Chacos and a tshirt.
It seems silly, but I think I'm stubborn about looking recognizable in my appearance because it reflects what I want my heart to be. I want everyone who sits down to talk with me to see the same person. I don't want to be the man in James 1 ".. he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."
I didn't want NewSong to be double-minded. Or even to seem as though it was. I wanted us to each recognize the importance of the day and the celebration that it required on our own, instead of the music or preaching doing it for us. That's why we read the Scriptures. Each person in attendance had their own reactions and praise after hearing the great story.
So maybe this doesn't make a difference to you, but I thought whoever reads this may just want a small insight to why/how we celebrated the way that we did.
I certainly loved the day. To start with "Beautiful Things" by Gungor brought me to tears in planning, at rehearsal and in both services on Easter. He really does make Beautiful Things out of the darkest nights, even the darkest night in history.
So here is what we played on Easter!
Beautiful Things by Gungor
Like a Lion by Kristian Stanfill and/or David Crowder Band
Alive in Us by Hillsong
God is Able by Hillsong
Because He Lives by Haley Morgan Smith
Did you celebrate thoroughly this Easter? Was it recognizable for you too? Feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a good day!