Sunday, 20 November 2011

What happens when it all goes south.

I was in church last Sunday and the worship team was doing a great job. 

Unplanned distractions

The worship leader was a beautiful young lady who has been leading worship at our church for some time now. She is competent, confident, and has a great passion for the heart of worship. 
Last Sunday she felt her time at the front wasn't that successful. 
I thought it was great, but I wasn't leading. 
A couple of things didn't go exactly as planned, and they became a distraction to her. A flat battery in a radio mike, a song that was started in the wrong key, words on the screen that weren’t correct; little foxes that spoil the vines. (Song of Solomon 2:15)
Sometimes things happen that are beyond our control. What do we do, how should we react?  

What happens between input and output

If you are a worship leader and can identify with what is written here, I want you to be encouraged with is this: God will have His way. If you are well prayed up and prepared, there is nothing that will stop the Holy Spirit from achieving God's purpose in the service. You can be confident of that. 

Years ago when I sang in a contemporary Gospel choir, we had a saying: "God works miracles between the mouth and the mike.” We knew this because there were sounds that were made on the stage that had no right to be there, and we would have tears in our eyes trying to control ourselves and keep our stage presence. Singers would cringe on the inside whilst confidently appearing as if nothing was wrong. 
Afterward members of the audience would come to us saying what a great song that was and how anointed the music was…Case proven! What went in was obviously completely different to what came out; God had worked His miracle. 

God hasn’t left the building...

Obviously sometimes no matter how well prepared we are, things will go wrong. 
I encourage you to take heart. God has not abandoned you; The Holy Spirit has not taken his bat and ball and gone back to heaven, leaving you to your own devices. 
Here are some keys:

1) Don't drop your bundle! 

You must keep going, keep your head together, smile confidently, cast a glance upward and throw a prayer behind it. Usually a short prayer like: "HELP!!" works well. Keep your head in the game!

2) If you can fix the problem quickly, do it. 

A mike with a flat battery can be changed, a guitar with a broken string can be re-tuned or maybe if you have more than one instrument on the stage, the string can be fixed. 
This is where preparation is so important. I often bring 2 guitars on the stage in case I break a string. I also carry spare strings with me and can replace a string on my guitar in less than a song if I break one. 
Today I beckoned a member of the congregation, and he took the mike and changed the batteries while a backing vocalist gave up her mike while the battery was being changed. 
An old acting saying is: "the show must go on!"

3) It's better to restart a song than to keep painfully going with a mistake.

Recognise the problem quickly, make the change and move on. Don't make a big thing of it, because drawing unnecessary prolonged attention to the problem will distract people away from their focus on the Holy Spirit.  

4) Back up plans are handy. 

This is more to do with being adequately prepared for the unexpected. One of the problems we had today was with our projectionist. We use a programme called "Easy Worship" it is a great computer programme that helps run the service via a digital data projector onto a screen. Any programme is only as good as the person running it. While everything was programmed well for the order of service, the person driving the programme got distracted and before you knew it, words were up on the screen that weren't meant to be there. Not only did the congregation get lost, but the leader, who was dependent on the correct information being on the screen also got lost. If she had had some sheet music in front of her, she would have been on the front foot and known where to take the congregation.  The same advice could have applied if something had gone wrong with the projector or the computer. 

God in the house

Being prepared covers a lot of areas, and you are not always going to get it right. However, never forget: God is in the house and He's in charge. He will not allow your foot to slip (Ps 121:3). And however inadequate and failed our beautiful worship leader felt when she got off the stage, there were people crying under the anointing of the Holy Spirit as they were being ministered to and many people came to her (and to me) after the service commenting on how beautiful the worship was today. 

God Bless you! You are an amazing anointed worship leader!
Have a great Sunday!

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