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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I don't think Catholic has to imply any particular version of worship. They have been at the forefront of encouraging indigenous worship for hundreds of years.
Ever been in a conventional Roman Catholic service Stevo?
Yep, but there's a whole array of other Catholic worship settings that aren't so stuffy.
Sorry, didn't mean to imply that Catholic services are all stuffy. I have two others on my team that came from a Catholic church. One sings (and is my most energetic and engaged singers) and the other is a rocking lead electric guitar player.
To whom it applies.....I think the guidelines, which are there for a purpose, say that you shouldn't openly criticize the denominations of others.

Although I don't feel personally offended or disagree on some aspects, there are others who may well be offended. I don't think it is entirely fair to single out one denomination. Lets face it, we all got our faults and failings, but I think much better to share the positives in our diversity.
Thank you Lorraine. You are right. The denomination is irrelevant to this discussion. The relevant point is that this person was raised in a very traditional and formal church setting and is now transitioning into a very contemporary church setting.
Rather than perceiving this as taking pot-shots at a particular denomination, it might be easier just to understand that someone familiar with meeting God in a very formal, possibly 'reverent' manner, might find dancing at the front of church takes some getting used to. A bit like asking someone that only ever played folk-style acoustic to perform with a hard rock band, and wonder why they weren't 'throwing shapes' like everyone else.
Whew, thanks for clearing that up. I thought you were going to mention a denomination like Catholic or Presbyterian or something like that.

Kidding aside, I don't think anyone is offended by it. But truly, this could apply to any formal/traditional worship setting.
Time and prayer seems to be the ticket. We had an abnormally large and rowdy congregation at church today and a great energizing sermon, When we got to the closing, "Sing Sing Sing", she had a leg and foot rocking away. I missed it because I was up front a little more and focused on leading the congregation. But a number of people from the congregation noticed and mentioned it to me.
I think when we use music in this manner to evoke a certain response from people it causes us to fail to recognize each person's uniqueness in personality, communication and emotion and other ways. Worship has become the very thing that people try to avoid: regimented. The music has to sound just so, the singers have to appear just so, the congregation should respond in this manner.
Our best intentions end up creating a new form of legalism because each person isn't allowed to express themselves to the Lord naturally without being critiqued. Not to imply that "anything goes" (read holy laughter, barking like dogs), because there can certainly be excesses. But I suspect the Lord allows a great amount of freedom in our external appearance when we sing to him.
I don't think anyone is implying that the Lord is for or against any particular form of expression on stage. But it's pretty universal that the un-coached singer often has the ability to slap a pretty big downer on the congregation with their deadpan expressions and frozen positions. So to imply that she needs to move beyond that doesn't mean she has to look and act "just so". It only requires that she look...nice. That's a big enough word to allow a lot of latitude, don't you think?
I wonder: is this whether or not body language a new argument? I can't tell you how many different choirs I have done sound for over the last 20+ years where I have heard the director expound on the importance of using body language that is congruent with the music that is being sung. And some of these choirs were in some pretty stuffy churches!


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