Thoughts on leading worship - or - (the state of worship at ...)
Sometimes seeing thirty people’s backs, in the 1st service, as I walk into the sound booth on Sunday mornings, really grieves me.
My first thought is I failed them. Because of a failure to communicate, I couldn’t give them their hymns just the way they want to hear them.
And then there’s the band. Such a small base of volunteers presents challenges in quality. Changes in personnel cause disorientation as we adapt to new conditions. Is it reasonable to expect God-honoring worship leadership from a group of musicians who have their hands full just playing the songs?
What am I saying?
Are we doing our best? Do we need another approach? (As leaders) have we allowed the musical portion of the contemporary service to “take up the slack” for a lack of creativity in crafting worship expressions?
I’m a musician. I like to share music with as many people as I can. But am I keeping others from sharing their God-planted passions and skills? How can I lead in a way that moves people to act?
And another thought… (better sit down for this)
Two services may not be the solution to the style preference conflict. Have we taken on too much? Could we not try again to worship together? Maybe we should go back to one service with 3 hymns and 3 band songs. Could we go so far as to put the hymns at one end of the service with just Kevin and Sandy? And then put songs at the other end of the service with just the band?
I also wonder if this whole worship leader thing may be off a little. Worship expression should be more than music. So a Song Leader and the person who leads the band (think organizational chart) are at the same place. Both roles just facilitate musical expressions of worship. Functionally, we have a band leader and a song leader. A worship leader coordinates all worship expressions, not just the musical ones.
What about expressions we are missing? You might be all over readings - but what about drama, faith stories, art and others? Would those enhance people’s understanding and connection?
I think the longer I’m in this role of worship leader / song chooser / band rehearse-r, I feel more unqualified to be leading worship. I see that worship is huge – way huge-r than we will ever grasp. But I don’t get the sense that our leadership shares this perspective.
I think if we (elders) shared an understanding of the importance of worship, we would be working toward doing it together, instead of from a consumer-centered perspective. We would be striving like Paul did with the Colossians to complete every man in Christ – even to the point of bearing with each other’s differences, loving each other in our weaknesses, correcting each other when our ways of thinking are wrong according to Scripture. Romans 14 and 2 Tim. 3:16 would be our common language. We all need both.
"Jesus related truth to life. He began the Sermon on the Mount by sharing eight secrets of genuine happiness. Then he talked about living an exemplary lifestyle, controlling anger, restoring relationships, and avoiding adultery and divorce. Next, he spoke of keeping promises and returning good for evil. After that, he moved on to other practical life issues like how to give with the right attitude, how to pray, how to store up treasure in heaven, and how to overcome worry. He wrapped up his message by telling us to not judge others, to be persistent when asking God to meet our needs and to be wary of false teachers. He then concluded with a simple story that emphasized the importance of acting on what he had taught." - Rick Warren