Leading worship? It’s like being… a doctor.

Post a Comment » Written on August 19th, 2008     
Filed under: Leadership, Music, Style of Worship
Tags: , ,
Without the pesky 8 years of postgraduate study, of course. (Thank the Lord for that, I have enough college debt as it is.)

But it is, sorta. People come to your “office” on a regular basis (or a not-so-regular basis, for some folks) in order to receive something that will help them with the various ailments that plague them. And despite their nice Christianese to the contrary about relying on God and only looking to him, the reality of the situation is that they come to YOU. They walk in those doors, and in most cases you are the first person they encounter.

And like a visit to the doctor’s office, sometimes people aren’t in the best mood. Sometimes they really don’t want to be there, but they’re doing it out of a sense of obligation to someone else. Others might actually be really excited to be there, because they’re hoping to get a new angle or some fresh perspective that will help them to live a more healthy life. But either way, they come. Week in and week out, they come.

And you have to have something for them!

My wife Holly was chastising me a few weeks ago, because I admitted being frustrated by the lack of response I was seeing from the people in worship as I played and sang. She asked me point-blank… were you abiding in the Holy Spirit?

No, I glumly responded.

And whose fault is that?

Well, mine.

Her point was that I couldn’t fault them for not receiving something that I didn’t have to give in the first place. Showing up that morning and being intentional about focusing my mind, will and emotions on God to the point of yielding myself to him and pouring myself out to Him in worship… that’s my primary goal. Not just competently managing the flow of service or my vocalizing or playing.

How people respond, of course, is their job.

Because a doctor can’t make you care about your health. He or she can tell you all the things you need to do to preserve your health… get exercise, lose weight, moderate your eating habits, et cetera… but they can’t do it for you. All they can do is point you in the right direction.

So I guess in that way I was also right, at least a little.

My frustration with people in our church is sometimes rooted in my desire to want God’s best for them and my perception of their obstinacy in not running toward him. Of course, one can only discern so much just by watching someone’s facial and bodily expressions during worship, so I shouldn’t be so hung up on externals anyway. I get easily annoyed when I encounter other worship leaders who seem bent on getting people to follow their commands (“Come on, y’all… I said LIFT those hands!”) so it would also behoove me to not be That Guy.

Now if only we got PAID like doctors…   =)

(Yeah, yeah… treasures in heaven. I’m saying, though.)

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