Has anyone tried the IHOP worship model with their congregations? How did it go? How did you keep the musicians on the same page?
I am feeling very led to try it but it terrifies me to think of leading a band without charts or a plan. I realize those guys at IHOP spend 30+ hours a week in prayer and that makes a world of a difference but if anyone has a practical experience, I for one would love to hear about it.

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yeah my biggest fear lies in the fact that I don't always play with the same team of musicians and it's hard to know if everyone is on the same page so to speak with praying about this. I am going to tread lightly and slowly to see where the Holy Spirit would take us. I am also going to read some of the books recommended here.
thanks David.
We've tried to follow the river as much as we can in worship at church. Having a song pool - rather than a list, and looking to move beyond the song and see what happens.

This works really well with people who know each other well, have a reasonable amount of musical competence and awareness of a wide catalogue of content. Like David said, there's huge value in praying (and fellow-shipping) together. In fact, I'd say this is as much, if not more important. Especially if you have a bunch of experienced musicians.

Oh yeah, simply worshipping together has been handy! For us, it's been helpful to step away from instruments and simply sing.

We've also tried a few night of *no agenda* worship - just making time to sing, listen to the Spirit and see where it goes. Silence can be as strong as the loudest shout!

Anyway, my encouragement would be to go for it. Bob Sorge's book "Following the River" articulates some of this stuff really well too.

Hope this helps,

Grace on the journey,

We do the IHOP worship model often at our church and I've led NightWatch for a small Watch about 100 times. It's not *that* difficult. The thing is, you DO have charts and a plan. If you don't, then you're going to have a more difficult time. Being in prayer before hand and being in good communication w/ your team are going to be keys to your success. I also recommend going to a Harp and Bowl training or at least reading the material online. It's super-helpful. Know which form of the model you are going to try (worship with the Word? intercession? prophetic worship? devotional?) Pick out a few songs that the Lord is leading you to, have scripture ready, make sure your singers understand the hierarchy of what to sing and when. If your musicians are talented, that will flow easiest of everything. A book like this: http://www.riveroflifecbs.com/products/FB58 might be helpful or check in w/ a local house of prayer to see if they have materials they can give you. The RiHOP (richmond house of prayer) came to our area (we gave them an offering to thank them and paid for our own materials) to teach us.

So, to reiterate:
1) seek out some IHOP endorsed training materials
2) communicate clearly w/ your team
3) Preparation and Prayer
4) Following the Holy Spirit and not being afraid of sounding "weird" or "going off". It takes getting used to.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.
I've done it a little. Prayer is the vital factor.

The band stays on the same page by knowing which progressions we will be using.
A couple easy progressions that have worked well:
1) G - Am7 (Simple, but works. Just stay on each chord for like two to four measures)
2) Am - F - C - G (Like the verse from Praise Adonai, I think? Melodies seem to come easily from this progression).

Also, don't feel the need to constantly move onto new stuff. If you feel there was a line that you got from the Spirit, camp on it a while so the rest of the worshipers can join in. You could become too repetitious too, but ultimately you don't want to be in constant fear of either extreme. Just stay at peace, with an attitude of trust and you're more likely to feel the Spirit guiding. Remember that joyful sounds are good too. If you're singing an 'ooh' or a 'la' with your heart to God...I think that's great (It can enable the congregation time to make their own songs to God too).

Oh, and I've found it's good for the band and congregation to start with a couple well known songs to get into it. It's also good to have little snippets of well known songs that you can intersperse into the set like 'let it rain, let it rain, open the floodgates of heaven, let it rain'.
thanks Mark and all who have shared ideas with me
I will take them all into battle with me when I finally get courageous enough to try it! I also have to get a blessing from my pastors.
We used to do this almost 30 years ago long before IHOP existed. It was the mode of worship we fell into many years ago. It was mostly centered around worship rather than intercession though. The band could just play the same two or three chords for 15 minutes or more after a worship song. We never practiced it. Never discussed it. It just happened. Praise and Worship music was very simple 30 years ago though.
It definately is a different and could be difficult if your congregation is not used to it.
Pretend there is an idiot reading this conversation (okay, you don't actually have to pretend. Here I am!) and they are clueless. I can make some inferences based on the conversation, but what is IHOP. Unless your talking about pancakes, I have no idea. In wich case I'm against it, I get syrup all over my guitar strings.

thanks for indulging my question... and silliness.
It's the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO. Google it for details. The style is basically spontanteous, uplanned and flowing with the Spirit compared to following a list (some one correct me if I'm wrong).

I think it works when one person leads. This can be a) the leader laying down a progression a few times, then others jump in or b) the leader is playing sparsely chord by chord but the other instruments come in after the chord is played by the leader. For example, the leader plays a chord for 8 beats but acoustic guitar only plays the last 6 beats and elec guitar plays last 4. It's harder for the bass who woudl usually land on the first beat. My bass player watches my left hand a lot. Either way, musicians need good ears and mind melding helps, too (a little humor for Star Trek fans). I would imagine that "We all went the same place at the same time because the Spirit said Ab M7 (#5) is rare, even at IHOP, but I may be totally wrong. Our team does what I just described above and it's really awesome. The vocals are always more spontaneous when we are not doing an actual song. Vocal skills (a good ear combined with confidence and sensitivity to the Spirit) are a must. Try explaining this to your team then mess around with it in rehearsal.

I also use nods, dynamics and ritards to let my team know when to jump out so I can move on to something else (I play keys). It's hard to move on sometimes when the team has been playing a progression and you want to move on to a new song and/or key. You need a way to communicate that without disrupting the flow.
'It's the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO. Google it for details. The style is basically spontanteous, uplanned and flowing with the Spirit compared to following a list (some one correct me if I'm wrong).'

Hi there. That's not correct. I have friends who run OHOP, the Orlando one and they sent me the IHOP training materials, and it is VERY planned and structured. That's what makes it seem to flow so seemlessly. But maybe we are talking about different things? There is obviously some spontenaity within the structure.
thanks Todd for answering and yes the band has a notion about where they are going but one thing they have going for them is the amount of time spent in prayer and fellowship together. This is their job to pray and to worship and they are fully supported missionaries and they have been worshipping and praying round the clock for 10 years!!! YOu should look at the the schedule online for these guys, full bands and prayer teams going 24/7 is just amazing.
so Lee I hope your questions were answered but I am a fan of IHOPancakes as well but not with my worship!
Hi, I'm new to this but it was interesting that I found this. A lady from our church went over to IHOP for three months. When she got back she took the homegroup meeting and explained what was happening and she asked my wife and I to do it. We had a go and it was really good. Since then we haven't tried it much but one week ago, our pastor came over to our homegroup and we had a go and to be honest, I''m sure it went very well. Anyway, I felt the Lord tell me that He wanted us to go higher so the other day when I was at work, I found some scriptures and took it to the homegroup and told them what I was going to do. I couldn't believe it as God showed up and it was very powerful. I have decided with the permission of our homegroup leader to this every week and see what happens. As I live in England, I found out that there is a IHOP London, so I went over and it has changed me life. I really feel that I am catching the vision and have been worshipping the Lord at work using the IHOP worship way. It really is very powerful and hopefully others might want to come with me.
It wasn't easy to start with, but I am learning and the scriptures we used the other day really worked.
thanks Peter for sharing your experiences with this style of worship. I hate to even call it a style. It is so organic and Spirit filled but for wont of a better word "style" will have to do.
Graham Kendrick spent a month at our church this summer and one of the many things he did with us was what he calls psalm surfing - taking a psalm and singing it line by line without a given plan or song structure. He would say listen and then sing a line and say sing and we would sing the line back. It sounds kind of dumb writing it out but it really worked. I haven't been released to try it but have done it sitting here in front of my computer, of course no one is singing back at me so I don't know if it would work.


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