Main menu:

Recent Comments

Site search



Though You Slay Me

Before Week One was even over (of this 3-month internship Robin and I are in), I was asked to lead a “set” in the Harp & Bowl model of intercessory prayer & worship - and it killed me.  For people just looking in (or hearing about) IHOP from the outside, it probably looks like a completely free, Spirit-manifesting, crazy-roller-coaster-ride of an experience, with all of these “super star” worshipers - well, all of those things are probably true, BUT, the amount of structure that everyone on the teams has to adhere to is extensive.  It governs every possible situation and expression.  Who can sing when, what they are suppose to sing (at the core), how long they can sing, how many times they can sing it, etc, etc.

When they first started teaching the model, it would be easy (very easy) to think that all of these rules and regulations are religious and controlling.  I heard the teachers say a phrase similar to this, many times this week, “If we just tried to flow with complete spontenaity all of the time, you could maybe go for a month, or six months, or a year at most - but the model actually promotes spontenaity, and allows us to sustain it for years, forever, while still being able to engage just about anyone who comes in to intercede with us, from just about any culture or background.”

Yeah, that sounded fine - but it still seemed pretty rigid.  Well, there I was on the platform, and the teacher had picked the songs, at the last minute he changed the key (so now what was written on my page wasn’t even what I could play), they were songs I was only passingly familiar with, and I’m trying to follow all of these rules about how everything fits into the structure - oh, with 7 other musicians I’d never played with before, who all weren’t matching up stylistically (or tempo-ly), and, wow, it felt like Exon-Valdiz, and I was the captain who was reponsible.

To top it all off: I had printed a couple of songs that I knew were well-known enough that I could bring them and people would know them, and that I knew so well that I could have focused on the model instead of my instrument… well, he didn’t ask if I had any music, and I didn’t offer. But, then, to rub it in, the next team that got up (we do 2 teams each session) did those EXACT songs, in the exact key and everything.

I love the Lord’s sense of humor, and His occassional, “nana nana boo boo”.

He wanted to kill me more, and although it hurts, I knew I wanted Him to, too.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John 3:30

“Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him.”
Job 13:15

Then, afterwards, as I was praying and reflecting on it all, the Lord, in an instant, revealed the truth of what the teachers had been saying.  I’ve always known that when I show up to lead worship that if the Holy Spirit doesn’t show up manifestly that I have nothing to give the people gathered.  So, what then, do I just plan on showing up over-and-over for a growing number of believers, and risk having nothing to give them (and thus waste their time) because of something going on in my own life? Do I lead the entire worship team down a path to nowhere? No.

The wisdom in the Harp & Bowl model is that it is completely focused on the edification of the saints, through a consistent reliance on scripture, and if the Holy Spirit doesn’t manifest, there is a confidence that the Word of God was exalted, and Him/It alone - without ANY hype, ever.

I can dig that.


Comment from steven
Time: June 5, 2007, 9:09 pm

kudos…..I feel your pain…at least a couple of time a week…

Comment from ChriS Ferguson
Time: June 9, 2007, 1:38 pm


Imagine the same God who orchestrated the death and crucifixtion of Jesus is orchestrating our death. But Sundays on the way, and we can only imagine what God will raise up out of our “deaths.” Its big stuff that He is doing in you! So glad we get to run together this summer.

Write a comment

Back to the Top