Monday, January 20, 2014

Leading worship

At the "worship team and family" night last Saturday, one of the questions asked of the director was roughly along the lines of "What was the most profound worship experience you've known?"

He replied that the time's he's felt God moving most strongly were times at other churches when he wasn't leading.

This is about what we'd expect. If you have to concentrate on the form of the service; if you are responsible for making it function--to that extent your mind is not focused on God. A musician can try to compensate by "really getting into the music," but youth group leaders to the contrary, the resulting emotional high isn't necessarily spiritual.

I used to run monitors, and remember one communion service. We were all asked to pray and I did--and then the band started in on the meditation music with the monitors still muted. Sorry about that...

Giving up on full emotional participation in order to serve the others may be wonderful spiritual service and worship, but it isn't going to feel like it. Ministers do burn out sometimes.

In this morning's part of Luke I read that Anna served in the temple with prayer and fasting. She wasn't a priest, so I wonder what she did.

The temple must have been an extremely busy place, with people bringing or buying animals, animals sacrificed over here, burnt offerings over there, cooked offerings being distributed, arrivals and departures, groups praying, individuals praying... She might have been helping with the logistics, or assisting with women's groups. Or she might have been spending all her time praying.

I wonder what the busy priests thought of her, always there, always praying. Did they envy the time she could spend praying? Or think only about their next task? Or were they able to be grateful that they could enable her to spend her time praying?

Me? I tended to think about the next monitor task when it was task time, and try to dispose myself for worship when there was a lull--I didn't think too much about other people except as I was trying to keep them supplied. That third option is hard to achieve.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

I used to lead worship at our small church. I am only moderately well-suited for the task, but in small congregations one can't wait for specialists. In all the sadness of the closing of that church, I admit I have felt such relief at being a worshiper instead of a leader.

james said...

Quite a few famous names in the church were made priests or bishops against their will.