Friday, November 02, 2007

and the pendulum swings

As I mentioned a few days ago, I led worship a capella recently. And I loved it. Right before going up on stage, a friend asked if I was nervous because I had "nothing to hide behind".

Oh man, that wasn't it at all.

I was a little bit nervous because I had never done it before. But it had nothing to do with feeling exposed or empty-handed. No, honestly...I felt incredibly free.

I wasn't worried about the monitor mix. I wasn't waiting for the bridge and wondering if the bass player was going to remember that we were going to a Bm instead of a D. I wasn't listening to see if my guitar was out of tune or if the electric guitar was too loud. I wasn't thinking about any of that.

I could simply worship and lead worship. I loved it.

And what I thought was most interesting was the response. We were leading for college students and the day before we rocked it out with a full band. The mix was good, the band was tight, it was exactly what I hope for when leading with a band. But the students were...well, bored.

So the next day we decided to strip it all away and go a capella. And the students were right there. They were engaged. They sang...loudly. Afterwards, a number of students found me and told how good of a job I had done. But to be honest, it wasn't a "job" at all. It was easy. There was no band to rehearse, no equipment to set up, and the sound-check took all of 2 minutes.

But the point is, they loved it. They were moved to worship in a way they were not the day before. Why? Because the pendulum has swung. Those students, most of them 18-22, have been raised in churches that, for as long as they can remember, have done the rock band thing on Sunday mornings. And that isn't a bad thing. But it has made the "praise band" as old hat to them as hymns and organs were to the previous generation.

And that is interesting to me.

About a year and a half ago, I was part of a panel discussion on the topic "The Worship Ministry of Tomorrow". I blogged about it afterwards, and this is what I had to say...


ragamuffinminister said...

i totally get you. i don't see it exactly the same, but i think you're right on. humans do everything they can to wrap the concept of worship into something they understand physically when it's such a spiritual thing that merely manifests physically. we exhaust every idea, put on every type of garment, and practice all sorts of liturgies until we're...bored.

i've been saying this for some time, but i'm convicted to say it often,...

...if, as a worship leader, i haven't really communicated and taught others that worship isn't something you hang on the church coat rack when you leave and put back on when you come back,...

...then i haven't communicated too well. maybe a good 'buzz'. maybe a light did switch on. it's not all bad. but it's not necessarily all good. to which i say we aren't striving to merely stay afloat in our worship lives.

we're trying to soar.

great post.

greg said...

Not that I'm keeping track or anything, but your "for five straight days I will post something new" promise didn't quite work out.


bill said...

good call, greg. i'm a loser.

i tried though. and came a whole lot closer to than i have in a long time.