In our Christian Union fellowship we usually have two leads, one for praise and another for worship. We always start with worship unlike many churches. The session takes at most forty minutes, twenty in each category. We also have an intercessory session that goes for like thirty minutes.
It is always difficult to transition the congregation from worship to praise or the vice versa therefore different leads have adapted different ways to make an easy transition. There are those that after leading the worship would pray and then hand over to the praise lead, there are those that will tell their congregation to clap their hands in thanksgiving as he hands over to the praise lead. As the praise lead takes over he too should have a technique of slowly ushering people to praise, some read the Word while others will use a transition song.
A transition song is a song that has a faster tempo than worship but slower than praise. It is more of a lukewarm song, neither slow nor fast. It has always come in handy for me especially when am leading praise as it is not always my cup of tea.
It helps create an atmosphere for the next lead. It is like an appetizer to the main course or the dessert afterwards. It takes you from the somber mood that you had in worship to the next lively one or vice versa. It gives time for those who had been kneeling to rise up, those who had been crying to at least reach out for the handkerchief and make themselves up;We all know how we look after we have gotten from that deep session of prayer.
What basically the transition song does is that it prevents the whole session from going through an awkwardly quiet moment as we wait for the next session, it reminds us that we haven’t figured out the praise session yet and the tempo is not as we would have wanted it but we don’t have to be quiet, we can sing along the way as we get to the new unfamiliar session. It reminds us that things don’t have to be in pin drop silence as we prepare to put on our dancing shoes and sing as the instruments are being configured for the next lead.
That in between moment of figuring out what to do, where to go next and how to do things does not have to be awkward and painful. It doesn’t have to be quiet and stressful either, we can fill it up with a ”transition song.” When the unfamiliar and unexpected things come up always look for a way to transition to them and sing along because whether we like it or not, life will always snap us out of our comfort zone without an alert text or notice whatsoever. Life has a way of taking things from you immediately you have mastered them and takes you in a whole kindergarten experience of something you never thought you could be in.
The Israelites forgot that the Lord who had done wondrous things in Egypt was still faithful to bring them to Canaan and that the wilderness was just a transition and not a destination. They grumbled and complained and failed to notice the ”small miracles” that the Lord was doing in their midst like providing manna daily and the pillars of fire and cloud to protect them. That generation ended up dying in the transition because they failed to have faith in the process that God was taking them through.
Life doesn’t have to stop just because a difficult situation has come your way, things don’t have to get weird because you are starting all over again, find your transition song and sing along until you’re stable to tackle the new situation. Am not literally telling you to sing though it’s a good strategy that I often use. God has a way of making me get a song for the season am going through and it sort of makes my transition bearable. The songs in a way give me perspective,realign me to the will of God and in a way remind me that ,” hata hili litapita” ( this too will pass ).
Find that thing that will make things seem okay though deep down you’re clutching at a straw. For some your transition song will be reading the word of God and holding firm to His promises, for others it would be praying more, not as a way to arm twist God but in order to be comfortable as you align your will to God’s will. For others it will mean going on a social media fast as you try to find your way. A transition song helps me appreciate the previous session for what it was and creates the anticipation for the session that is yet to come, it has a way of reminding me that the Lord that gave me the ability to tackle the previous season is also faithful in this upcoming season.
I found out that the praise and worship session always went bad when I became too self conscious of my environment: what people will say, if I was hitting the right notes, if the instrumentalists were doing their work, if the Lord had forgiven me of my past sins, if my dress looked good on me and the like. I realized that when I focused on only pleasing the Lord, things just had a way of falling into place, everything went in harmony and the whole process became enjoyable . So I encourage you to partner with God in that season of unemployment, divorce, loss of a loved one, widowhood, pregnancy, completion of school, marriage, retirement, illness and any other sort of thing you are finding yourself in that is unfamiliar to you, let the Holy spirit take the lead and take you through the process of transitioning and I promise you won’t regret.
Don’t be gloomy in your transition, do not allow depression in your system. Do not call a pity party and start sulking about the unfairness of life. Do not see yourself as unworthy and allow self esteem issues take away your joy. Rise up and look up, that is where your help comes from, you can cry but let your cry go up to God, allow Him to give you perspective.Take note of the “small miracles” He is doing like giving you peace and joy.Find your stability in God and let Him anchor you.The transition will not kill you, it is not the end. A transition can be the best season of your life and it all depends on your faith in God because if He brought it your way, He sure knows that you can handle it. Sing dearest betrothed, sing yourself to the unfamiliar because the Lord is singing over you with songs of deliverance (Psalms 32:7). “Zaidi ya yote atabaki kuwa Mungu” (He remains to be God above all situations)