Before I get to the subject at hand, let me say that I am ironically scared to do a follow-up to my blog on fear from early October. Shortly after posting that blog, Hannah spent 4 days in ICU (3 of which she was on a ventilator), so while to date that is certainly the scariest situation I’ve ever been in, I’m not going to pretend to have this fear thing licked because I’m not sure I can handle another situation like that.
This morning I got a message from a good friend of ours who is also a worship pastor in the local church. What I heard broke my heart. Their rehearsal hit a major speed bump last night when one of the band members didn’t like the arrangement of a song, and really tried to stir up trouble within the group right there in the middle of rehearsal.
This grieves me as a worship leader, because I think to some extent this kind of attitude permeates the congregations of so many churches. We want to sing the songs that we want to sing, the way we want to sing them, and don’t change it or I might get mad and leave. Notice all of the 1st person pronouns in the previous sentence? Something’s missing in that train of thought…..GOD!!
While I will be the first to acknowledge that we all have our own personal preferences in worship styles, I will also acknowledge that often time we allow our preference to become our ‘mandate’ or ‘expectation’ on our local church. When will we wake up to the fact that worship is NOT ABOUT US! It’s about bringing honor to the God of the Universe and celebrating how awesome He is. If we can remember that simple truth, our worship experiences will take on a whole new life.
P.S. – As a worship leader, allow me to let you in on a ‘trade secret’ if you will. Much prayer and thought goes into worship planning. I can feel pretty safe in saying that your worship pastor doesn’t try to make you unhappy with their selections for corporate worship. In fact, it is with a good amount of certainty that I can say it is probably just the opposite. We want you to enjoy your corporate worship experience and we want you to be able to participate joyfully as we worship together.
Do me a favor – the next time your worship leader takes you out of your comfort zone, go along for the journey. You may open the door to a whole new worship experience in your private worship life.