Worship Abuse

What is it with worship leaders who don’t know when to quit?

I attended a meeting recently (to be kind, I won’t mention where) which was nearing its conclusion. A few opening songs had been sung, Scripture was read, a lesson was taught effectively, all good stuff. The meeting was attended by around 75 adults, youth and children. Then the speaker asked the worship leader (actually, make that “the guy with the guitar”) to lead us in a little worship time while we reflected on the meaning of the lesson we had been taught.

Okay, I thought to myself. Maybe I do need to reflect a bit.

My head is bowed, eyes are closed. I’m reflecting. The first song has a chorus that I’ve heard somewhere before. “Oh … how he loves us so … (repeat over and over).” I sing along. But then come the verses. I notice that not too many people are singing the verses. That’s because not too many people know words. The lyrics weren’t being projected for this impromptu worship time. This is a hard song to sing. There are too many words to fit into the rather unpredictable melody line of this song. And who wrote these words? I sure don’t feel like a tree in a hurricane nor is my heart jumping violently out of my chest. I’m not singing now, just listening. And I’m second-guessing the worship leader’s choice of songs.

That song ends and then comes song #2. Not sure I’ve heard this one before. Can’t remember the name of it. Then comes the third. The chorus of each song is repeated … how many times? Three? Five? No, make that twenty times. A fourth song (sounds a lot like song #2). Now five songs. I’m not counting but I’m sure this is song five. The worship leader is really into these songs. My guess is that he’s trying to sound like Chris Tomlin. Or is it David Crowder? I’m not sure because I’m not too familiar with all the latest Christian music. I’ve heard some of these songs before but not all of them. I don’t know the words or melody lines to hardly any of these songs. Apparently no one else does either because the only one singing right now is the guy with the guitar. I’m looking around and notice some folks are getting restless. How much time has gone by? Twenty minutes? Thirty? I can’t believe that he is still singing away at the top of his lungs, oblivious to what is going on around him. Besides, that guitar is turned up way too loud for any kind of reflection to be going on. I’m getting a headache. Why is he doing this to us? Is it simply because we are a captive audience? Does he think this is a concert? Why doesn’t the speaker just get up and stop him? Just shoot me. What I’m reflecting on right now is that I would rather hear fingernails on a blackboard. I’m also reflecting that I’m too much of a coward to get up and walk out, although I notice a few others are not afraid to do so. One more chorus and I’m out of here too.

The mini-concert finally ends. A check of the wrist watch shows 40 minutes have gone by. Thank God it’s over. My time of prayer and reflection is done for tonight. Thank you Jesus.

I go to bed. During the night, I keep waking up to a song going off in my head: “GREATER THINGS HAVE YET TO BE DONE IN THE CITYYYYYY!!! …” Lord, please make it stop so I can get some sleep.

True story.

 

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2 Responses to Worship Abuse

  1. adam mclane says:

    Yes and amen. Some of these songs that are popular worship anthems are, um, annoying. I love Crowder & Tomlin & Hillsong. But I sometimes just wish people would agree on what the basics are. And 40 minutes… I’d have to peace out. Maybe the pastor would learn to reflect on his planning a bit better next time if he opened his eyes and everyone were gone?

  2. kathy morris says:

    Thank you and well said. I guess I am getting older, but it is hard to feel worshipful with a song you have never heard before and one that goes on and on and on…….

    When you have a mixed audience, you have to choose songs that are easy and you have to provide the words if possible. If someone likes a certain performer, perhaps that is best for personal worship? Or make sure the youth groups get plenty of time with their own type of music? I am not saying that we should all go back to Gaither or Maranatha, but something that we can hold on to. Something that means something AND you can sing. :o)

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