Sometimes being a worship leader can be difficult. On one hand we want to sing the newest, hotest songs. On the other hand we don't want to forget the hymns that blazed the way for modern worship. Then in the middle somewhere are the songs that people love to sing because they learned them when they were young or at a camp when they had a God experience that changed them forever.
So where does that leave the worship leader? How can we please all people at all times? How do we create an experience that connects the heart of the congregation to the heart of God? If we just do all the newest songs we lose people, if we only do older songs we aren't growing or learning any new truths about our Savior.
I have such a hard time creating a song list because I am hyper critical of the wording, theology and verbiage used to express the thoughts in the song. I don't want to use words or phrases that people don't use in everyday conversation. I want people to understand what they are saying and singing to God. It is important to me that we connect and use language that people can clearly understand and connect with. However, I don't want to just spoon feed people by dumbing down the greatness and power of God. I want to challenge people to think and see and experience God in a new or different way, but I want to make sure they don't have to go find a dictionary before they understand what they are singing.
So there inlies the dilemma. I had a conversation about this with a fellow worship leader friend and he said, "What we do as worship leaders is help put the praises of God on the lips of His people." When you look at it that way, you can see what an important role worship leaders have. It's not just about getting up there and being the entertainment before the message or singing your favorite song or doing the coolest new thing. It's about creating an experience for God's people to connect with Him.
It is easy to fall into the "play it safe" rutt playing the familiar tunes everyone knows. I find myself there all the time. However, I am challenging myself and all you other worship leader types to be creative. Use the old AND the new. Speed songs up or slow them down...Change the key or feel so they flow in the song set better...Don't be afraid to experiment! You may be surprised at how well it connects with the congregation or you my find out that it didn't work at all, but that's OK! You tried! And it is better to try and fail than to never try at all!
Be Bold! God wants us to use the gift He has given us! Get out of that rutt and make a joyful noise!
Just some thoughts bouncing around in my head this week. Let me know what you think! Feel free to post it on our FB fan page www.facebook.com/justingravesband