Worship teams, if they aren’t careful, will miss the forest for the trees. What do I mean? They will let the production of worship keep them from missing the importance of worship. We, as churches, will work so hard to get the “sound” just right and get so frustrated when the sound is “off a little bit” that we let it ruin the whole reason we were there to begin with, Jesus and lifting up His name. I’ve let frustrations with not being able to hear the worship leader or thinking the drums are too loud distract me to the point that my worship of the King was dealt a serious blow. Now, I know how important it is for everyone on stage to be able to hear each other. But you know what? Sometimes it is just off. Sometimes we have to let the outside distractions be just that, outside. We have to strive for excellence, but we can’t allow that quest for excellence to be a detriment to our ability to worship our Savior. It’s okay if some singers are louder than others. It’s okay if the drums or the bass is a little too loud. It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay….
I had the privilege of going to a Hispanic church on Friday night. I say privilege because I was blessed to be there. Someone I consider a friend is the pastor and I hadn’t been to visit his church in a number of years. From the moment the service started, there wasn’t a word of English spoken and it was great. Why? because I was able to see God move even though I was outside of my comfort zone. I understand enough Spanish to get the gist of the songs and the sermon, but I by no means speak Spanish. What did I hear? The bass was too loud, there were no words to any of the songs (not on the screen or in a book), the Pastor couldn’t be heard while praying because the keyboard player was too loud and the singers were off key sometimes. And you know what? It was perfect. I looked around and saw people worshiping God with everything they had. I heard the guy next to me singing every word because he apparently had been there so many times he had them memorized. I watched the keyboard player lead worship with a warm and inviting smile that came from a heart overflowing with love for God. I heard a wonderful sound being lifted up to God despite things that could distract people like me. Don’t get me wrong, the musicians and singers were very talented and the worship was great, but if they had been playing at most of our churches, we’d have spent more time trying to fix the “sound” then we did actually worshipping.
We all need to get out of our comfort zone sometimes. We need a healthy dose of reality. Our normal church home can become a box that we get trapped in. If you feel yourself starting to get frustrated with worship, go to a worship service at a homeless shelter. If you have forgotten how to minister to people who aren’t like you, volunteer at a soup kitchen for a night. If you don’t feel like you are making a difference in someone’s life, begin mentoring a child or work with people at an assisted living facility.
David strived for excellence in worship. He used only trained and skilled musicians. He handmade instruments for them to use. But he never forgot what was most important. How do I know? Because despite all of his years of musical training, David still danced in his underwear before God and all of his people.
Luke 6:45 says, “…For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” I also believe that it is out of the overflow of our heart that we worship.
What is in your heart?