Behind the Songs: Heart of Worship

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Almost everyone knows the words to Matt Redman’s iconic song “Heart of Worship”.

When the music fades all is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You all about You Jesus

But have you heard about how that song came to be? It’s a great story.

The senior pastor at Redman’s home church in Watford, England, believed that the congregation had lost its way, even though the church, with its innovative weekend services and elaborate worship arts production, had become a pace setter for many throughout Europe. He sensed that many in the church had become spectators rather than participants in the journey of faith, so he did a bold thing. He decided to eliminate the sound system, all musical accompaniment, and multimedia. He announced to the church that they would be going through a season of simplicity in which they would use nothing but the unamplified human voice during their weekend services.

Can you imagine? No microphones, no guitars, not even a keyboard.

In various interviews, Redman has recounted that the weeks following his pastor’s unconventional decision were filled with plenty of awkward silences. Attendance declined steadily, but the staff did not flinch. They were committed to a church-wide rediscovery of true worship. Eventually, unaccompanied prayers became transparent, beautiful in their honesty, and undecorated music became more heartfelt than ever. Gradually the sound system, multimedia, and instrumentation were reintroduced, but the fast made a lasting impression on Redman and many others in the church.

Redman wrote Heart of Worship to express the changes God made in his own heart during this unusual season. At first he had no plans to share it, but he did so at his pastor’s urging.

It has been said that elegance is having everything that you need and nothing more. (Click to tweet) Actually, we talk about that quite a bit here at Logos. We work hard to fill Proclaim, and all our products, with features that are a genuine asset to you.

We want the worship of God’s people to be unhindered, and Proclaim is just a tool to help you make that possible.

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Comments

  1. says

    "He sensed that many in the church had become spectators rather than participants in the journey of faith, so he did a bold thing. He decided to eliminate the sound system, all musical accompaniment, and multimedia. He announced to the church that they would be going through a season of simplicity in which they would use nothing but the unamplifed human voice during their weekend services.

    Can you imagine? No microphones. No guitars. Not even a keyboard…."

  2. Jeff Henson says

    I wonder why we feel we need instruments to worship. The church worshiped without instruments for centuries. Introduction of musical instruments is a recent phenomenon. I am happy that our congregation still sings acappella. The singing is beautiful, heartfelt and we can actually hear and edify each other! I don't have a problem with musical instruments, but when I have worshiped in churches that use them they are far too loud. We can't even hear our own voices much less voice of the brother or sister next to us.

    • says

      Thanks for your comment, Jeff. It’s interesting to me how expectations change over time. Would you believe that loud music makes me feel safe? I don’t have to be self conscious about my voice when the music is loud enough that nobody can hear me. When the lights are black and the music is loud, it becomes much easier for me to connect with God. I think it might be a generational thing. What do you think?

    • says

      Thanks for your comment, Jeff. Believe it or not, I feel more comfortable when the music is loud enough that I can't hear myself. I like LOUD music, so I don't have to worry that my pitch is making anyone else's ears bleed.

      I'm working on a post about that, actually.

  3. Jezeann Williams says

    I first heard this song back in 2008 and it spoke to my heart. I was going through some stuff and the words just awakened something within my spirit and this is something that is very hard to find in worship songs. Very grateful for that fast. By the way my church still sings acapella althought its mostly hymns

  4. Al Glez says

    I have had the same impression in my mind about worshiping services for a long time. I think most of these services nowadays have turned into a huge display of technology and human abilities or talents. I applaud music as part of our services, I believe the Lord’s word commands us to praise our God in every possible way and music I would say is one of the most powerful ways to get to the presence of the Lord. But we should keep it simple and authentic and always give all glory to the creator of heavens and earth. I would say there is a very fine line between glorifying the Lord and all He is and giving ourselves credit and honor for what we do “for Him”.

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