I am a big fan of a singer/songwriter named Andrew Belle. I first heard his song “In My Veins” on the TV show “Grey's Anatomy” and I was immediately hooked. I had to have everything he had ever recorded! If you look at the most played songs in my iTunes you would see that his music is far and away what I listen to the most. However, as much as I love Andrew and his music I have realized that sometimes I need to just hit shuffle and see what else I have on there, otherwise I could get burned out on his music. Also, not everyone loves every song like I do and if I don't change it up once in a while no one will want to listen to music with me!
Sometimes I think this is what happens to us as worship leaders when we are planning our services. It is easy to get caught up in the passion of a particular artist or song, but we have to remember that just because a song speaks to you personally doesn't mean that it will have the same affect with the congregation. You see, some worship songs are great for congregational worship and some are meant just for personal worship.
See if this sounds familiar; You hear a new song, fall love with it, are sure everyone in the congregation will love it too, so you put it in the set for that week. You are giddy with anticipation as you near that song in the set, but when you get to it, the song falls flat. After the service you think to yourself, “Hmm. Maybe it was because the bass player hit the wrong note going into the bridge?” or “I wonder if my vocal was loud enough. They probably couldn't hear the melody very well.” or even, “The media team must have been on the wrong screen the whole time because no one was singing with us!” So you try it again the next week. This time that one guy on the front row is singing his heart out, but it doesn't seem to be connecting with anyone else.
I am a part of a Worship Leaders Facebook group. It is an awesome resource for Worship Leaders around the world to bounce ideas off of each other, encourage one another and ask questions. Recently one of the questions asked was, “Should the songs we sing in church be singable for the congregation or just something that leads people into worship?” You know if one guy is brave enough to ask the question there are a thousand others wondering the same thing. There is a fine line that we have to walk as Worship Leaders. On one hand we want to stay fresh, play new songs and do music that inspires us, on the other hand we have a responsibility to our congregations to provide them with a worship experience that allows them to connect with God. Yes there are some GREAT songs out there, but not every song will connect with every person. As Worship Leaders our job is to create an environment for people to experience God. If we only sing songs that we like or only connect with us are we are still leading worship, or are we just performing?
It is great to be all in with a certain artist or set of songs, but we have to remember why God put us in this position in the first place, to LEAD His people in worship!
So, like my obsession with Andrew Belle, every once in a while I have to give myself (and others) a break, press shuffle and listen to One Direction or Vanilla Ice! They might not be my favorite artists, but I can appreciate their music and energy, and if the people listening to music with me like them, then that makes me happy too!
Just some of my thoughts this week. I would love to know yours! Feel free to leave a comment here or on our Facebook page! If you want learn more about Andrew Belle and his music you can go www.AndrewBelle.com. Thanks for hanging out with me today!