Saturday, November 15, 2008

Leading Worship, Vol. II

Besides proper song selection (see Vol. I), there are other obstacles to successfully leading worship:

Brick Wall, Thy Name Is Technology
Whether it's a PowerPoint presentation of the lyric, a wireless connection for the guitar, or something as simple as having all the right switches turned on, the dependency we have on technological wizardry in order to sing God's praise in our no less days than when we'd first begun has reached a staggering level. I'm sure that the harp-playing shepherd, David, is (rocking and) rolling in his grave as he sees us fret over monitor levels and proper equalization to avoid feedback.

Where, Oh Where, Has My Little Team Gone?
I mentioned before that I have a team of other singers and instrumentalists that work with me on an every-three-weeks basis to lead worship at my church of choice (, but what I didn't tell you is that the availability of those team members is not shall I say it...rock solid. Not that I'm complaining! There's not a single person on the team who has ever missed a rehearsal or "performance" for anything other than a sterlingly-acceptable reason. I'm just saying that, human beings being human, there are very few times when everyone has been where they're supposed to be at the time they're supposed to be there. And that sometimes means needing to the time I had to take the drummer's place by tapping my foot on a tambourine while singing, playing the guitar, and turning the sheet music for the pianist.

T Minus Three Minutes For Worship And Counting
Just as in comedy, in worship, timing is everything. I'm not talking, "that song needs to go faster," or whether a tune is in 3/4 or 6/8 time. I'm referring to the reality of modern worship services that lead people to say things like "Can we cut the third verse and chorus of the second song and drop the third song entirely? The early service went long." Never mind that the sermon was 27 minutes of introduction and 10 minutes of Bible teaching. Never mind that there were 12 minutes of announcements that were ignored by 97% of the congregation. Never mind that the suggested edits will only delete three minutes from a service that was 15 minutes too long. Do I sound bitter? I don't mean to. I apologize. Never mind.

But Seriously, Folks...
It is a privilege and a responsibility to use what little talent God has given in order to facilitate the worship of God by His people. My prayer is always that we can be saved from being a distraction from that. I know that that sentence isn't funny, but I felt like I needed to redeem this from being a total sarcasm-palooza. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled whine-fest.

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