I am Bloom County fan.
For those who don’t know, Bloom County was a comic strip from a few years ago that featured a penguin named Opus and a cat named Bill (you may have seen them on greeting cards).
The comic had a story line once about another character, Steve Dallas, who was trying to get rich by starting a rock band (musicians, insert your own joke here).
When he advertised for musicians for this band, he listed two skills potential band members needed for consideration. Prospects needed the ability to…
- Play three chords, and…
- Grimace musically.
Jump to 2011.
As I tweeted, Bon Jovi played Saturday Night Live a while back. Bon Jovi’s music is as catchy as music gets, in my opinion. If I merely mention Living on a Prayer, many of my readers will tune out the rest of this post and begin mentally jamming to the opening lick (don’t deny it). So, this is by no means an indictment of the music.
But I noticed something I never noticed before.
At the end of the song, Jon (of the Bon Jovi clan) sang the last note, played the last chord, raised his guitar into the air, grimaced musically, and struck a pose.
That made me very glad I sing for Jesus. Ain’t no way I could pull that off.
Unfortunately, I see this in churches today. And it breaks my heart.
I want to be very careful not to judge motives. But as someone who leads music and who continues to work on aspects of my delivery in so doing, I believe that a connection with those in the congregation during corporate worship is essential if there is to be unity in worship. We on the platform cannot isolate ourselves, drift off into our own closed-eyed Spirit-filled moment, and leave everyone else to fend for themselves.
Yet I have seen churches online or worship services at conferences where the musicians play and sing as if it’s a show (wrote about that subject here).
We can do this with the way we sing by not engaging those in the seats singing with us, but we can also do it by picking music that makes it impossible for others to sing along.
This past Sunday, I pulled a song from our Morning Worship because it was printed in a key higher than we usually sing. I knew that few people in our congregation would be able to hit those notes, so we didn’t do the song.
When we do a new song at church, we do it for three weeks. Minimum. That way, we…
- Introduce it
- Learn it
- Sing it together
I heard somewhere we should arrive at church, not wearing a bib for consuming, but wearing an apron for serving. When we lead praise and worship, our actions, motives, and intentions should be Godly and not in any way self-seeking (of course, the same is true for those in the congregation, but that’s another blog post). God is the show.