expressive worship

Leading Them Into a Quiet Place

“The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Most of you who know me, know I’m not a theologian. I wish I were.

But my world is about people standing on the platform, leading other people to worship. It’s about how they lead people to forget about themselves and get caught up in the Spirit of God, and at the same time, create freedom in the room so the Spirit of God can descend upon the congregation.

Again, I’m not a theologian. But here’s my 2 cents: God is a spirit. And He speaks – to all of us. But we have to have our hearts, minds, and souls in a place where we can listen.

For me, I love a place of celebration where I verbally proclaim the glory of God. I also love a place of contemplation. Quietness. Where I can listen. Because my world is busy. At times it’s crazy.

Besides that, I’m a sinner. Just like Paul says “I am chief of sinners.” But God pursues us all the time. He even pursues us in worship. So I need some space to listen for Him. If it’s always celebration, if it’s always proclamation… it’s hard to listen.

So I ask you, is there any time in your worship to listen to God? Time where I won’t think about “me”? Time where I’m not thinking about “my sin?” You need to lay a foundation for Him to speak these words to me: “I love you!”

The Zephaniah passage above says God will sing over me! That He’ll quiet me with His love.

Truthfully, the world, the enemy, beats me down. And sometimes it’s just hard to drag my sorry behind to church in the morning. But knowing God’s presence is there, that He wants to rejoice over me… Knowing that He has loved me “with an everlsting love” (Jeremiah 31:3) – if I hear God say these words to me in my spirit, I’m good!

Because no matter how many times I fall, no matter how much my sin and temptation calls to me (unfortunately I sometimes respond)… if I know I’m His and Jesus has covered my sin and paid the price… when I hear that in my contemplative times, I have no problem worshiping with my whole heart, my mind, and my soul!

So create some contemplative worship moments for people, injecting encouraging Scripture. Let them know they are loved, cherished, and pursued by the God of the universe. Let them know that God rejoices over them with singing!

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Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson, world renowned Live Music Producer, helps musicians and worship teams develop songs into “unique worship moments.” His Live Music Methods help create freedom in the room so your congregation can express their worship more freely and passionately than ever before! Tom has worked with nearly every genre from rock to pop to Christian Gospel, impacting major artists and worship leaders such as Jars of Clay, Casting Crowns, NewSong, Sidewalk Prophets, Chris Tomlin, Francesca Battistelli, Todd Agnew, Phillips, Craig & Dean, Parachute Band, The Martins, plus a multitude of independent artists.

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  1. Sis. Karen says:


  2. Randy says:

    Great topic Tom. Some of my favorite times of worship were in those moments of contimplation and forgetting about myself. These are the moments when emotions really start to well up and a sense of true worship shows itself. One momemnt I can remember was with a band called Unhindered leading worship at aquire the fire. They did a song called “Father will you come” and right at the bridge they gave those words of incouragement and led us all into a state of quiet “listening” and when the bridge came back in and built up into full force….true worship happened and God “showed up” (I know He’s always there). It was a transcending moment for most people in the arena. Very memorable…it happened 4 years ago.

    Great tips Tom!

  3. Mike says:

    Thanks for this Tom! I love how this connects to the broader thing you teach – which is to create musical ‘moments’ that people will enter into, identify with, and make a connection to the music. God’s purpose behind any art is for us to KNOW he loves us. One moment in his presence and, as you said it, “we’re good”.

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