Dear congregation (a worship leader responds)

Dear Congregation members,

I read yesterday’s open letter on the blog. I have to say I was a little embarrassed because I know we sometimes say silly things from the front. The thing is that most of us are not professionals and we get a bit nervous up there. Sometimes there is even a bit of insecurity and, yes, it’s hard to admit it, a little bit of ego. But we love God and we love it when people praise him wholeheartedly.

So when we say things (and some of us maybe say too much) that sound silly, please cut us a bit of slack. And when we say things like “thank you for that wonderful singing” we don’t really think that people are directing their songs to us.

But do you mind if I mention one of our gripes? It’s when you (the worshipping congregations) just stand like statues with your arms by your sides and your faces like Lurgan spades (it’s a saying – look it up). The ego part of us worries that it might be something personal, but when we get over that, there is something that bothers us – maybe you can help me understand.

I know that sometimes we get you to sing too many new songs and I know that some of the new songs we try to get you to sing are hard to get used to. I know that some of you think we get you to stand up for too long or we make you bob up and down too often. But still. Statues with faces like Lurgan spades?

Maybe it’s the culture of your church. Maybe it’s your temperament. Maybe you don’t like being too extreme.

But how is it that people can yell and jump out of their seats and sing songs and wave their arms about at a rugby match at Ravenhill on a Friday night and yet so many of you appear to remain unmoved when you are singing about the great victory of the Lord Jesus on a Sunday morning? (And the two groups overlap).

You don’t need to tell me that I cannot judge what is in your heart. I said you appear to remain unmoved. And I know that some of you come along on Sunday mornings with broken hearts because of things that no one else knows about. I don’t want to discount that.

But sometimes, at least, if there is joy in your heart, would you tell your face? And we will try to stop saying silly things.

Yours sincerely,

A worship leader.

(This, of course, not an actual letter: just another side to yesterday’s comment).

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3 thoughts on “Dear congregation (a worship leader responds)

  1. However – it’s not an issue of “us” and “them”. Perhaps the issues on both letters would be resolved if we remembered the simple yet profoud act of worship and ALL recognised our collective place as worshippers & God as the One we worship (indeed as you say, Audience of One etc!)

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