Worship, Music and Song

Grace Notes


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During times of corporate or private worship, song-writing, prayer and even rehearsals, I’m always on the look-out for ‘grace notes’. I’m on the look out for them because they are keys for moments when it’s as if there is a special deposit of anointing available, His presence, for the purpose of the moment that is unfolding. And moments do unfold – we go into worship times together or at home in our ‘closet’ and we’re graced every day with moments of His presence or moments of clarity or wisdom or just sheer, undiluted, concentrated grace.

Graced moments like this with God can unfold, they can be explored, but moments can also be missed. Moments unfold if we have the sensitivity or receptivity to not miss them. We must have humility, especially around set-lists, denominational styles, entrenched, traditional view-points.

But by the Grace of God go I
But by the Grace of God go I

If I was a proficient session musician (and I’m not) I’d probably have a more standardised understanding of what a grace note was within a piece of written music. Ie Grace Notes But in my experience of leading worship and writing worship songs/parts, ‘moments’ like this are the equivalent of Jesus passing by, (as once for Bartimaeus), when He is Present (He’s near) but He comes closer to touch us, to heal, restore, reassure, inspire, admonish or correct. And grace notes within music help to trigger and unfold these encounters with Jesus, as difficult as that is to explain or quantify – like a subtle melodic nuance or riff or the subtle shade of colour provided by a passing note – they act as catalysts to spiritual encounter and spiritual discernment and, ultimately, spiritual transformation.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be providing a solid biblical framework for the way that music functions in this way so that fbn2 are rooted and governed by the authority of the Word – we’d appreciate any thoughts, questions that you have about the role of music in gospel ministry and specifically how you have experienced moments where you have felt God do something special, unexpected or even unprecedented when you have sensed a ‘grace note’ within times of worship.

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