Music, Musicians, Worship And All That Kind Of Stuff...OR, I'm With The Band

Hey there! I'll bet that title got your attention! I wanted to take a few moments today and talk about some of my experiences in leading Worship. Well, overall, that will probably be a reoccuring theme in most of my posts.

So I guess I should start off by saying I've been saved for just a little over 10 years. I've been a part of worship programs in every church I've ever attended in that time--from the small (a dozen or so) to the large (over 1000+) in some capacity. I've played in independent worship groups and founded or lead independent worship groups. Additionally, I've been playing music overall for about 35 of my 46 years. I think the interesting thing about that is my experience as a musician hasn't necessarily been an attribute to worship ministry. Some of you reading this right now are wondering how music experience could not or would not be an enhancement to worship ministry, while some of you are nodding your head knowingly! All in due time grasshopper...all in due time!

Have you ever known someone who "knew" so much about something no one could tell them anything?! Someone might have an experience or some information that would be beneficial to them, but because they were the "expert" on the subject, they refused to listen to any outside suggestions!? You may be a master electrician...however, it may be of interest to you that the wire you're getting ready to grab hold of is "hot" (has current running through it)!

Overall, I've had to un-learn more stuff I thought I knew about music by far more than I've learned since participating in worship ministry! One really big example of this would be in secular music a performance is all about presentation: the sound system and the lights, the way the musicians move, the ebb and flow of the set list, the way you're dressed, etc., etc.. In worship ministry, these things are nice luxuries to have; but the whole thrust of the program is about the flow (in the Holy Spirit), and rarely (if ever) have those two criteria ever overlapped!

I've seen church worship programs that had production values on par with a Las Vegas show, complete with stage managers cuing standard bearers and flag wavers while the sound and light crew are coordinating with each other via wirless microphones ("house up on 10...cue the guitar solo in 3, 2, 1..."), that had as much movement of the Holy Spirit as...well...a Las Vegas show!

Likewise, I've seen a backwoods brother or sister with no formal music training (i.e., they not only sing through their noses, they talk through them!), play an old Sears guitar with 5 dead strings with a cracked bridge and a warped neck while singing through a Ronco Karoake machine in a sanctuary with 2 60ww lightbulbs! And they ushered in the Presence of the Holy Spirit where everyone was moved!

Isn't that just like God to totally mess up our perceptions and programs. The one thing I've learned so far is that IF there is a routine, it's His to make. My best effort is usually dropping off MY program and MY routine at the door, and trying to stay out of the way and being prepared to


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Comment by Al Hilgendorf on January 1, 2010 at 8:26pm
Great thoughts, Kelly. Why do we always forget that God uses the weak, foolish and broken because there is no glory for Him in the strong, proud and whole.

Comment by kelly childers on January 3, 2010 at 2:29am
Thanks Al...and that's an excellent question; why do we always forget that!? I scratch my head over that one so much I've begun to suspect it as the source of my baldness! LOL
Comment by Dave Swann on January 3, 2010 at 1:01pm
Hi Kelly, just read your piece and related very well. I am a worship leader of an evangelical anglican church in Rhode Island. We Had 9 members until Christmas when one of two of my lead singers (husband and wife) decided to leave the church that they were members of for 20+ years. Needless to say, I will have to address the change in our praise team. Your article reminded me again why we do this, to serve and praise God. He will show our team the way and we should not be impatient and jump in to achieve a quick fix. Thanks and God Bless! Dave Swann
Comment by kelly childers on January 21, 2010 at 12:50am
No, thank you Dave! You know, if I wrote this stuff and no one ever commented on it, I might begin to get the impression it's only me?! The fact guys like you and Al find it relevant is encouraging both in writing (here) and the ministry of P&W!


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