Worship Confessional, March 1, 2009

Ok.. I'll go first. Have you ever had one of those days that you just anticipated something great was going to happen? Music was good (planned well) and flow and feeling. You just know...

And then... it doesn't happen.

I came to the conclusion today that being a Worship Leader has to be one of the hardest and at times most discouraging jobs in theworld. If I were to judge by the outer man what people were sensing and understanding about the Spirit in worship today, I might as well go put my head on the train track. This is what I saw:
1) Hands folded across the body--many, many, many of these-- body language says so much about heart and inside.
2) No singing.. no expression,--no engagement (even in the familiar songs)
3) Teens that don't participate (including my own who know how to worship) Note to self--don't look at the teens any more.
4) Lack of energy.

It's in these times where I know I should just stickto the plan of how we rehearsed it and "pretend" that it's all ok. However, in worship leadership you are dual minded--focused on the spirit while also looking at the saints who are suppose to be singing and worshipping. Today-they didn't (Some did--but the majority were observers).

Ok--now that's off my chest--here's the set.
Prepare Our Hearts--(David Moffitt/Sue Smith) from the musical Lion of Judah Calvary's Lamb--this is a great and simple song to open with as it centers and focuses on the reason we are here to worship. Easily learned, repetitive in melody. I thought this one was going to set the mood.
"Prepare our hearts to worship you, The Ever Faithful, Ever True
Forgive our sin and make us new, prepare our hearts to worship you.
Prepare our hearts for holy ground, let our defenses tumble down
Come do what only you can do, prepare our hearts to worship you"

Call To Worship- Spoken-- we missed the cue on the kick in for the next song--so I added a couple of more sentences to the call to give the verbal cue for "let's go...now"

Hosanna (Baloche) I love this song--such energy. But I could tell that I had lost them after the bridge..so we cut it short.

Holy Is the Lord (Tomlin) Better--but still not engaged.

Welcome/Offertory-- Announcements were too long-- I hate announcements.

Interview with one of our Group Community Leaders--good but this was a break in the flow. If we were going to keep them, an interview right here wasn't the thing to do. Took too long to get them back.

And Can It Be (Hymn Charts) Great hymn by Charles Wesley--but Baptists don't know this hymn. Too bad--great theology ( Emptied himself of all but love!) I think they caught on to the refrain (Amazing Love)

Scripture Memory--we're asking people to memorize parts of Ephesians. We had 4 people stand up and say their parts . Too much instruction about how they do it... We lost them again here.

How Great Is Our God (Tomlin) By this time we were running behind ( and we started late too) so I just cut to the chorus of How Great ... sang it a couple of times and tagged with the "Prepare Our Hearts"... our media team missed the cue to go back to that so I was feeding words to the congregation. Must be better at telling them what we added (which we did at the last moment today). They are so far away in the back that sometimes they don't hear us when we say "Add".

Message--Roots (Eph. 2:1-10)
Special Element- Russell ( our pastor) had me make two canvases this week for pictures. He was going to illustrate the point of the scripture that we are God's workmanship--his masterpiece. We didn't use the first canvas but used the black one instead. He painted the picture of the face of Christ in portions of his sermon. ( I had lightly penciled in the major parts of the face). He finished it off before the next song. The picture is based on the face of Christ from Driscolls book, Death By Love. You can look at the rest of the pictures here.
Your Grace Still Amazes Me (PCD)--Sung by our Praise Team
Amazed (Jared Anderson) Was good but I wasn't centered in the key of A after we ended in A of Your Grace-- I kinda scooped this.

Have you ever had one of those days?

This post is part of Sunday Set Lists over on Fred McKinnon's blog.


Brandon Scott said...

My brother--I SO understand this. You know I do. In fact, it's even hard being on the other side and noticing. But nowhere near AS hard. I am so sorry you had that kind of day. I empathize deeply.

On the flip side, I struggled today too. Worship was awesome-Ronnie Freeman led. But during the message I sat there contemplating the false sense of community that Sunday mornings can sometimes bring. We've been at our church for over a year now and it's been next to impossible to develop relationships there...and part of it is my own fault. But...I've been depressed over it all day.

I saw your post on Twitter and just wanted to send some love and encourage you to make sure you're finding your own feeding. Stay full and keep blessing those around you like I know you're doing.

Jim Drake said...

Thanks Brandon....

Authentic relationships--we're all starving for them. I guess we're the lucky ones because we know we're missing them and we seek to do something about it. The rest of the world won't admit it.

I'm praying this week that you will find that deep connection of authenticity that you so long for.

Eph. 1:17-19 my friend (may He open the eyes of your heart so that you may know His wisdom and His calling)

Anonymous said...

Wow, can I relate. If the congregation wasn't engaged after that list...well, never mind. Last week, during a lull in the worship, I could hear people engaged in conversation off to the side. Sometimes I fell as if my job description is pearl caster before swine herd. Please be encouraged. Our ultimate audience is in heaven, and He'll sort out what He likes and dislikes in the mix.

dorothy (vicar of vibe) said...

I understand also. If I sense this going on (from the congregation), I stop and pray right then and there. Thankfully we have several pray warriors that pray often through out our service.
I pray now that there is someone(several) in your congregation that will stop and pray.
The set sounds great! Love "And Can It Be".
Also agree, with ~hate anouncements~. Had to laugh, it appears our staff is now having a competition on who can get the announcements done in under three minutes...hahahaha! Loved it!

Anthony McCormick said...

Yep, been there when it seems like you and your team and sometimes just you, are the one worshiping.

steff said...

You are not alone, I've had days exactly like this! Be encouraged as long as someone worshiped God even if it were just you, it was all worth it. Thanks for sharing it's nice to know that we're not alone in times like this.

Jim Drake said...


You could hear them talking.. wow! That's never happened. I just think we've grown a generation of watchers (via TV/Entertainment). They just don't know how to enter in.

Jim Drake said...


That's a great idea of the prayer team.. I'm going to check on that. In fact, come to think of we're suppose to have a prayer team that walks the room and prays over it... they haven't done that lately and didn't yesterday. I can certainly tell when that doesn't happen.

Jim Drake said...


Sounds like you had "one of those days" last week. I guess it comes and goes in each place.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Jim Drake said...


If we can't be real with each other then let's all give it up and go work at Mc. D's.

Thanks for stopping by.

simple christfollower said...

Hey Jim, I had a few days like that! Just makes you want to bang your head against the wall, but then you move on to the next week.

We also did Holy is the Lord this week.
BTW - Baptists in this neck of the woods know "And Can it Be" really well!

dorothy (vicar of vibe) said...

It was one of those Sundays where I had to post and go.
I was very taken with the painting idea. How did you map (sketch)it out? Curious as to what the other canvas was.
I am looking forward to more details.

Robert said...

I'm just glad to know I am not alone. We've had several weeks of great worship back to back and yesterday was just off on so many counts. Even still, Juliet told me she was totally blessed when the choir sang "Total Praise." And she hardly noticed any of the things that totally got under my skin. Like when we sang "The Heart of Worship" and I had to keep telling myself "it's all about YOU (not me)" all the while thinking of aspects of the music that were distracting me and making it all about the music for me. Thank you for your honesty. Thanks also for encouraging me to post my set lists. I am still working on making time in my life for blogging, but keep pushing me.

Louis Tagliaboschi said...


I struggle with this as well. I will pray that God will show you what is really happening on the inside. I think sometimes I get caught in the trap of watching them and I let that distract me. Keep going at it my friend.