In our "Nuggets of Wisdom" posts you'll get exposed to the writings of one of our Staff Members or like this week, we're going to talk to one of the original "Praise & Worship" leaders that paved the way for all of us, in this Apostolic movement, none other than Sister Bobbie Shoemake.
The following are "Nuggets of Wisdom" taken from a conversation we had with her about Worship in our Churches today:
Sister Shoemake, as someone who paved the way for the Praise & Worship to become what it is today, we wanted to ask you "what are your thoughts on the way our Worship Services are operated today?"
As far as I’m concerned, I feel like some of the young people being used today have yet to create their own private consecration time...if you don’t have a private relationship you can not have an authentic worship experience in public and you can not expect to have an Anointed worship service.
Does everyone really have the mindset that it IS REALLY ALL ABOUT GOD, or is it really about them and their own time to shine on the stage?
If people would pray more than they practice, there would be a flow in the Holy Ghost, He (GOD) will provide the Excellence that we want.
(If we) give Him us, He will give back to us all the desires of our heart.
In the old testament, when they went out to war, they would send the worshipers out first, they would worship before they went into Battle. (Today) We’re in a spiritual battle and the people on the front lines are the ones in music, and we’re all NOT prepared for the battle. The praise team practices, as they should, (because) we need to be excellent before God, but we need our praise teams to practice prayer and practice worship as much or more than they practice a song.
What do you have to say about the songs we use in our worship services today?
Some of our seasoned songwriters have moved on and we’re now trying to “mimic” what is happening in the Charismatic Movement, when we need to create our own “Authentic Worship” from our own experiences and stop mimicking what others are doing.
We, Pastor Jimmy Shoemake and I, have been in music for years and years, we raised our kids on music, but times were a lot simpler then. People (still) like simple, you want to leave people wanting more..you want them to remember that song all week long, they’ll remember the melody and the lyrics, but not your licks and tricks.
People don’t need to hear a “hot-lick” they need to feel a God Connection.
We need to go back to the basics, just because a song is old doesn’t mean it needs to be sung, and just because it’s brand new doesn’t mean it needs to be sung. Songs that have something to say need to be sung. We need to know who we’re singing about, we need to love the person we’re singing about.
Do you have advice for Worship Leaders, anything you want to share with us?
You can’t whip people into worship with your words, you need to lead them into worship with your own heart of worship.
Another thing, Ad-Libs aren’t required, sing the melody, sing the lyrics, you do not need to ad-lib on every chorus of every song. Keep the song simple. Ad-libs can throw a congregation off from what they are called to do and that is worship.
Remember it’s not about my (your own) choice of songs, you need to be smart, (you need to) be sensitive, (you need to) know when a song isn’t working and move on. Give it a decent burial and lay it aside.
Years ago my daughter, Nanci Holston, and I went to an Integrity Music Conference and something they said stuck with me. “If after singing a song two or three times, if the back row isn’t singing it with you, put the song away. If people on the back row are not connecting and engaging you need to make a change”. We’ve got to stop singing for what is happening on the front row, sing to help those sitting in the back of the church. If you can connect with them and God can reach them with the flow of the Holy Ghost, then you’ve done your job. “God, Let me be sensitive enough to see through Your eyes and use me to help meet the needs of all the people in my church the way You want them to be met”.
How do you teach song transitions or how do you "flow" from one song to the next?
Flow can’t be taught, you have to live it. But, Flow is imperative to having a move of the Holy Ghost, you can not just “find” it, you have to seek it. Those that are hungry for it will find it, there will be some that just want to play their “hot-licks” and rely on their talent.
You have to get in One mind and One accord, you have to get those in the back connected with where you’re feeling God wants you to arrive for that service.
The anointing will break whatever yoke there may be in the building. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after God’s ways, they will be filled...Filled with the anointing ... but you (first) have to hunger after it.
My mother, Ople Thornton, always told me, Bobbie there is always a key in a service, she would feel after the Lord, you have got to be God Conscious, if you find that key then you will know what to sing all the time. For years Mother would tell me what to sing and I would sing what she told me, then she started asking me what I felt to sing, and then when my answer was the same as what she felt was right, then she knew I had found the Key through my prayer. I didn’t know what she was doing, I didn’t know she was teaching me how to feel after God, she just lived it, and was teaching me the entire time.
It was an honor and privilege to speak with Sister Bobbie Shoemake. We hope you enjoyed reading her words of wisdom. We look forward to sharing more "nuggets of wisdom" from other praise and worship legends in the near future.
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