I’ve been having this re-occurring vision where I’m leading worship. The congregation is staring blankly at me and I can feel this wave building in me until I finally yell “that’s it!” and throw down my instrument on the floor knocking over microphones and such causing a deafening feedback. Then I casually step over the mess and walk out. Wonder if it’s time for a vacation? Do you guys ever experience anything like this or do I just have an overactive and slightly warped imagination?
Here’s the thing…
I have a very vivid (visual) imagination. There have been a few times during the service of late where people are… well… just kinda' there, if you know what I mean. We don’t have a pastor right now, so we have guest speakers. These men aren’t terrible speakers, but if they are longer than we are used to the, congregation just zones out. It drives me a little crazy because I feel bad for the speakers, who are guests in our church and should be treated well. Plus, now I have to close out the service and I’m looking out at zombies. So my imagination has gotten the best of me a few times while I’m standing up front and I’ve pictured myself throwing down my bass and walking out to the squealing of feedback. I can picture their response, or lack of a response, as they stand there bewildered wondering why I just gave up and walked out. A totally “in the Spirit” moment.
Perhaps you need to pray about this and consider having a talk with your congregation?
We had this problem in our church for a while. A long while, actually. Nearly 2,000 strong and our worship offering to God suffered.
Our worship leader decided that he was going to put a stop to this and teach people, using Holy Scripture, that it is OK to participate in our worship offering to God - that it is good for us and even required by God.
So he talks to the congregation about worshiping God, how it is OK to physically express (this notion isn't inherent in our word "worship" however, it was totally inherent in may of the Greek words used to express the idea of worship) ones self physically during worship.
And you know what? It is WORKING! People are learning to worship God as God intended for us to worship - not just stand there singing the songs, but engaging with their hearts, minds, and bodies. We don't have a leg up on many of the more expressive churches, and that isn't what we are setting out to do as our goal really is to free people from the bondage of tradition and self consciousness.
Perhaps you can do the same?
Your advice is sound and maybe some of my wild imaginings stem just a little bit from frustration. I really wish we had a pastor who could back me up but I'm feeling a bit like I'm flapping in the breeze. I'm not sure how the congregation would recive such a talk.
You are absolutely not alone. I know a lot of worship leaders who feel alienated by their elders and senior staff. I've been there myself.
One pastor once told me that the worship leader in any church is a lightning rod. Nobody wants to stand next to the lightning rod.
To further the truth here: there are a lot of people who are in church leadership who feel alienated, either by other leaders, congregations... etc.
The thing is, when this happens, we need to work to forge allies and good friends who will provide good wisdom and encourage us to speak boldly when we have to - which is a lot.
If you want me to sound like the CD, go one up and purchase hi-def DVD's and have the biggies lead your service! That could easily be done for, at least, a half-timer's salary!
Don't assume that you won't be replaced by the CD.
My dad played at a ball park -- they were under pressure for the CD stuff, so he ended up playing for the home team and the CD when the visitors came to bat.
Every head bowed, every eye closed. How many of you ladies and gents have had a DVD of Hillsongs do children's church worship?
Uh-huh. I thought so.
The kids still love me 'cause I can play Father Abraham in any key, and the "I... am... a... C... I am a C H.... song; but one day a Pharaoh will arise who knows not Father Abraham. Then?...