‘Items’ are what we call the songs and creative moments that are performed in our church services. It might be a special opener to a worship night, a reflective song during the taking of communion, or just a fun moment to celebrate a particular event (Mother’s Day, etc). You might call them something different, but what we mean by it is the songs that are presented outside of the praise and worship setlist, but still serve a specific purpose in the service.
Can an item be considered worship? Definitely!
It may not be directly singing praises to God and inviting the church to sing out praises in response, but there is an act of worship within this when the heart of the item and the heart of the singer (and everyone involved for that matter) is purposed to bring glory to God and use their gifts and talents for Him!
Whether we are creating an item to open or close a Conference, during the taking of communion, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s or Father’s Day, the purpose and heart behind every item is to bring glory to God. By using creativity in a way that inspires, we hope that Jesus is revealed and that His people will draw closer to Him.
Our God created the heaven and the earth full of colour and splendour, and we have the privilege of using the creativity He gave us during these items to glorify Him.
Here are some tips when approaching singing an item.
Being asked to serve in this way is a huge honour. It means you are being trusted to be on the platform, displaying your gift and talent in a way that points people to Jesus.
When being invited to sing an item, consider the purpose of this moment (or ask, if you don’t know) so you understand how to best present what needs to be conveyed.
Learn the lyrics off by heart and practice singing in full voice over consecutive days. You need the song (both lyrically and vocally) to be engrained in your brain and muscle-memory, to be able to present it at your best.
There are many other elements to think of than just remembering lyrics and singing the song, so always ensure those are second-nature before the day!
This may sound simple, but the repetition of learning lyrics and practicing the song out loud will result in a significant improvement to the quality of your voice, and to the overall presentation on the day.
Non-verbal communication including body language and facial expression also play a large part in presenting a special item.
Allow people to see who you are, open up your body by opening up shoulders and using your arms and hands as a way of expression.
Imagine you are singing to someone you know — it will bring a connection to the congregation; a smile can break down barriers instantly and also bring joy to people!
The use of facial expressions that are appropriate to the style of song and lyrics can connect you with the congregation.
Many times I’ve seen singers close their eyes out of fear (I’ve done this myself), but opening your eyes and looking out brings connection.
When you remove the pressure of the expectation on yourself or from others to do something like someone else, and know that you are uniquely gifted from God has uniquely gifted, you can give your best to Him and be free from the inside out!
There’s nothing better than seeing someone be exactly who God has called them to be; it inspires others to be themselves too!
P.S. Here’s an example of an item we did at Hillsong Conference a few years ago