Today being Christmas Eve was a special time for many people. In fact, it is a time when many who don't normally attend church will show up.
In order to show Northern Hills to these people, we did something that, for some of us on the worship teams, was pretty revolutionary and somewhat stressful (for Dan & Dave more than us).
This morning in The River services as well as the two services held this evening, we played "Angels We Have Heard On High". Then Scott or Rob got up to speak. The topic was the "Noel's of Christmas". Noel means song. Prior to the bulk of the message, the people in each service were asked for things that Christmas that were important to them or that they were thankful for.
While Scott or Rob spoke, telling about the 5 songs or Christmas in the Bible, Dan (and in Whitewater, Dave) went to the back and wrote new a song based upon the phrases the people in that service expressed. By the time the message was completed, we had a new song. It was copied, sent up to the media team to be input for words up front and the worship team walked out on stage and performed it, asking the people in the audience to join in.
Each song from the services as well as the one the worship team put together was unique. The words, of course were different, but so were the chord progressions and the tune. The one with the neatest chorus was "Thank you for coming down here".
We then sang "Silent Night" and Dan's song "Humble King", finally we got to sing the song the audience helped to write as the final song.
As the day went on, each of the songs written to that point was performed prior to the service (we were out singing and playing 15 minutes prior to the last service).
This weekend, 5 new songs were written and sung for Christmas.