A few days ago, a posted a tweet/FB status that said this:
"The problem with building a worship service like a rock concert is that the worship songs aren't rock n' roll songs. They're not built for that." - Me.
As with most of my worship-related posts, it created some insightful, interesting conversation. To a degree. It also seemed to frustrate people a little bit. I'm always a little surprised that conversation starters like this draw comments along the lines of "why are you attacking this" or "you're wrong about this," primarily because I'm not trying to attack anything. In fact, in this case, I was thinking about my own worship leading when I posted it. I'm fine with people disagreeing with me about what worship leading is supposed to be (it is Facebook, after all) but it convicted me - because I've been just as combative and single-minded about worship leading, too. I know that my worship philosophy than most, and I'm okay with that. I'm not okay with the Facebook mirror showing me that worship leaders get pissed off way too fast. Including yours truly.
Those thoughts from Facebook brought up a whole bunch of stuff that I want to improve on. Here are five things I need to stop doing as a worship leader.
- BELIEVING THAT CONVERSATION IS COMPROMISE. Why do we do this, worship leaders? I don't want to be afraid of conversation about important issues. I need to remember that talking about something doesn't mean that I A) agree with the other person or B) have to "defend" anything. It's okay to listen to a person, engage with the conversation and look for wisdom in the other side of the discussion. Talking about something is good.
- ASSUMING THE THEOLOGICAL RICHNESS OF HYMNS. I love hymns. Old hymns, new hymns, hymns-I-write, the whole thing. Are they easier to sing than modern worship songs? I think so (most of them, that is.) As a whole, are they more theologically diverse than modern worship? Probably. But that doesn't mean a song is more theologically solid JUST because it's a hymn. I want to care about the truth of our songs equally. I don't want to favor one type of song over another simply based on personal preference.
- THINKING MORE WORDS MEANS BETTER WORSHIP. I love lyrics. I love fresh, creative, wordy songs. But that doesn't necessarily make for better congregational worship. In fact, keep people from having access to short, memorable sections of singing might just be inhibiting their ability to sing. This is a hard one to balance.
- BEING COMPETITIVE. I don't want music at our church to be good. I want it to be GREAT. The best. I want us to sound better and play better and arrange better than everyone. I want to be the best. I want people far and wide to know that the place I lead is the champ. And that's not a healthy. At all.
- THINKING EVERY CHURCH IS THE SAME. They're not. They're all different. And because of that they shouldn't all be doing the same songs, the same way.
I do think there's a right way and a wrong way to lead worship. And I'm not afraid to talk about those things. But if I expect my FB friends to be more gracious and willing to discuss what might not be beneficial to us, I better do the same thing.