I've had a little thing come up.  I'm trying to decide what, if anything, I need to do about it.  It's related to the visible demeanor of one of my singers.  She has a very serious air about her most of the time on Sunday morning.  She is a very committed member of the team and has been for quite some time.  She is a very good singer, a single mom of two working her way through college to be a teacher and is almost there.  She has a very strong faith, a strong work ethic and is a strong team player.  Outside of Sunday morning she loves to have fun and rehearsals are a blast.  But on Sunday morning she takes on a somewhat serious and aloof demeanor.  She doesn't often smile and never physically engages in worship.  That contrasts greatly with the other singers that are smiling, clapping, raising their hands, etc.  Every so often a member of the congregation will ask me about her, if she is ok, does she not enjoy praising God like the other singer?  Is she just up there to satisfy her own need to sing?  I talked to her once about this and her reaction was something like...

"That IS how I praise and worship God. My relationship with God is a serious and reverent one.  Is it right for others to criticize or judge me based on my style of worship?  Is it ok for me to fake my style of worship to make someone in the congregation happy?  It's not in my DNA to fake my relationship with God."

  Hmm..... some good points.   Since then I've let it go, worship has been fine, the congregation is engaging, yet this past week a different member of the congregation brought it up again.  The first time I talked to my pastor about it she felt it was a problem and I needed to talk to the singer about it.  This time I mentioned it to my pastor and she felt it was good because the members of the congregation that worship in the same way could connect with her instead of feeling inadequate by not worshiping like our more energetic members.

Anyone have any experience with this?  Thoughts?  Advice?

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More good advice. Thanks. She does view Sunday morning very differently. She was raise in the Catholic church and services were very formal. So letting loose on Sunday morning "in church" is very uncomfortable. She initially had issues with some of the contemporary songs we did as not appropriate for "church". Thursday rehearsals are very relaxed. A bunch of Christians getting together to share our ups and downs and have fun praising God in fun and creative ways. But that's not "church". I often do talk about us trying to relax and carry over some of the fun and free praise from rehearsal to Sunday morning. Myself, I prepare as much as I can before Sunday morning, run the pre-service rehearsal and do all the others technical things I need to deal with but when the 10 minute countdown starts I switch gears, try to clear my head, and focus on God and try to give my all to lead the congregation to where I feel God wants them to be. The nervous jitters melt away, the introverted tongue tied feeling go away, and I do what I need to do. I tend to do things that Iwould consider very much out of character for me during worship. It's kind of weird sometimes. I need to try to figure out how to share that with the group somehow. Anyway, thanks again for the insight.
This is an issue of much controversy on this website: do we need to act like the things we preach and say or not? If we are signing happy songs, do we need to act happy?

For people who are already expressive, this is simple for them because they already act out their thoughts and feelings (for the most part).

I always cringe when people justify themselves by saying "I'm being reverent". There is no part of "reverent" that says "must be quiet and sincere. Sure, it is implied by our cultural biases that reverence comes through sincerity, but the word itself is defined by exhibition of feeling. Quiet "awe" and overflowing with joy "awe" both have a place in reverent expression.

Now, I'm not going to say to you that she is doing something wrong here. Her statement could simply be a justification for not humbly submitting her body to the act of worship for God as commanded in Romans 12, or she could honestly think that worship is only appropriate when done quietly (a huge giant mistake that tons of worship leaders and pastor teach and convey).

Either route, I don't know that I would be taking up a cross here and actually trying to do something about it. She is, like the rest of us, growing and learning how to give her worship offering to God. Let her be and hopefully she will mature here.
I think it's time for fluffy fingers. That's the way it's handled in the streets.
Hey, I get it! (Had to look it up on Urban Dictionary, though) I agree; some of this is getting too serious for the actual "problem".
Hi Pete,
I just read a good article that sort of relates to your situation. Maybe it will give you some further enlightenment!


God Bless,
I feel for you friend. I think it is a tender subject but one of the things I like to do is to suggest to the whole team that it is not only my job to lead worship but the entire team's job and their demeanor is crucial to worship. If we are not visibly joyful in our worship, it sends a message to those sitting in the congregation. I don't believe that everyone has to raise their hands in worship but if our faces don't reflect what God has done in our lives then something is wrong. So bare bones minimum a happy face is required on my worship teams. I would never suggest to someone to fake their worship but if we are not thankful for what the Lord has done in our lives then I don't think we should be on the worship platform.
This reminded me of an article Michael Card wrote years ago titled, "Where are all the average looking Christian artists?". Written concerning the CCM industry's drive to present only the best-looking singers and performers for public consumption. And that kind of mentality has invaded the churches especially in the area of worship, in the sense that we must appear a certain way to the congregation. I suppose this isn't anything new but this is how it's being manifested these days.

Not only must the worship leaders/singers/musicians feel a certain way when worshipping, they must also appear to feel that certain way, apparently so that others can see what's happening in that person's spirit, I guess. And to make it appear that, "since I'm a christian, and I'm worshipping God, therefore I must be happy". This only presents a false concept of worship, especially since everything we do is supposed to be worship.

My solution is to have the entire worship team perform completely out of sight of the congregation. We have cables and speaker and mics. They don't have to be in visual range to have people hear them. That removes the problem of appearances.

I hope this helps. :)
We had a very spirited discussion a while back about this very idea. I land on the side of - keep folks up front. See my third paragraph for a direct answer.

If you aren't willing to display a pleasant demeanor, you don't need to be up there. It doesn't have to be big smiles and over-joyous glow, but it needs to be better than that deadpan, sour milk look that seems natural to most folks. Some congregations are into a "meditative / worshipful" kind of thing while others like more smiles and eye contact. Neither are right, neither are wrong.

For whatever reason, a good percentage of folks look downright unpleasant without some coaching. It's like getting good at guitar or piano, it's a skill that generally needs to be learned. "Play skillfully..." Your face, voice and overall posture needs to be trained so that you can better enable people to worship on Sunday morning. I would say that a dead, far away look is actually a negative influence, a harsh vibe if you will. Not good for worship.

And to your comment - there are two sides to this one. But my thought is that if you don't have someone up there, folks are not really lead to worship and your players aren't really in touch with your congregation. It needs to be about feedback and connection. Putting them out of sight removes that. I've been in that kind of situation and it's very hard to make it work.
I think another way to look at it is that, was she a Christian before she joined this church? If so, what denomination was she part of?? This may possibly be the way that she's always worshiped or grown up worshiping. I grew up Free Presbyterian and then Baptist. And I'm now at a COC ( Christian Outreach Centre) Curch. Which for any of you who know COC. It's pentecostal!! So it took me quite a while to feel comfortable in clapping my hands, and raising my hands and jumping around on stage. Because that's just not how I was raised. But now it's just part of me. So it could be part of that too.
Catholic. So I'm sure that's the issue. That's kind of what she said. She is not used to contemporary worship. Outside of church she has a real passion for pretty heavy rock music and loves to get into enjoying that. But having any of that cross over into worship for her is just weird for her. She does have a strong faith and does worship, just not like other singers which I've not really had any problem with myself. I know where her heart is and it more in the right place than some of the people that bring it up to me. I just explain to them a little about worship styles and that it's ok.
Yeh I thought she was probably Catholic or one of the more conservative denominations. I can see where she's coming from though. You basically have to go back and change everything inthought pattern in that area. You literally have to re-evaluate everything you've been told about what worship is, and how your supposed to worship, and start from the beginning.

Just be patient with the process! God has a plan :)
Praying for your team, Pete!!
.........not necessarily. The Lord has the ability to change you in an instant if He wishes to do so. I should know : )


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