Checking for Ticks

tickYou may not know this, but it’s a fact that those of us who lead worship are targets for ticks. Without realizing it, ticks can latch on to us and survive unnoticed for years.

There is a wide variety of tick species to look out for. Check yourself before you lead worship next time for any one of these:

Here we go!
One of the sneakiest ticks around, it causes a worship leader to exclaim into the microphone something more appropriate for the beginning of a road trip to Yosemite than the transition into the bridge of a song.

Come on everybody!
The brother of the previous tick, its victim unwittingly uses a crowd-rousing technique first developed by Richard Simmons in an attempt to infuse enthusiasm into a service.

I just really want to…
Native to youth groups, this tick has spread into a wide variety of settings. The afflicted worship leader begins any personal word with this preface, followed by sentences of varying levels of competency, depending upon the amount of preparation devoted.

Yes Lord!
A difficult tick to remove once it has become attached – the “Yes Lord” tick presents itself before, during, or after songs, oftentimes with a high number of repetitions. While a declaration of agreement and affirmation may be effective and appropriate on occasions, this tick causes the statement to become so common that it is ignored.

Sing it like you mean it
Native to Sunday school and VBS, this tick is able to multi-task by being patronizing, insulting, distracting, and counter-productive all at the same time.

Amen
This is perhaps the most common species of tick to attach itself to worship leaders, Amen?

Put your hands together!
A potentially dangerous tick. An infected worship leader could cause mass confusion. “OK, I put my hands together… Now what do I do with them? Can I take them apart yet?” Unfortunately, the worship leader is not thinking about what he or she is asking the congregation to do. Very sad.

Oh, oh, ohhhhhhh!
Rearing its ugly head in between lines of a song, this tick causes a worship leader to employ a vocal flourish more suited for a 1980’s power ballad. Severe cases have been reported in which worship leaders attempt the highest note they can hit before fainting for no apparent reason.

Mmm, mm, mmmmmm
The descendent of “oh, oh, ohhhhhhh”, this tick has slightly different characteristics. While still rearing its head in between the lines of a song, the resulting vocal flourish is more suited for a 1960’s sappy love song. Most common to worship leaders who forget the lyrics to the second verse.

If you ­­­___ then let me hear you ___
The distant cousin of the “sing it like you mean it” tick – this species causes its host to insert any combination of words, resulting in groans and rolled eyes in the congregation. “If you love Jesus, then let me hear you shout!” “If you came ready to worship then let me hear you sing it loudly!” Swift action should be taken to remove this tick before its host is harmed by angry church members.

Ask trusted friends to examine you for any evidence of these ticks or any mutation. Long-term infection is unwise. Recovery time is quick for the former host and enjoyable for the congregation.

6 thoughts on “Checking for Ticks

  1. Mike July 27, 2009 / 7:11 pm

    Jamie, I really enjoyed this post. Humor was a great way to make the point, and it also raises a question I’ve often wondered about: in what circumstances, if any, is the use of humor appropriate in a worship service? If you have any thoughts on this question, I’d enjoy hearing them. Peace, Mike

  2. Greg July 27, 2009 / 8:40 pm

    Love it!
    I like the “Mmm, mm, mmmmmm” tick…me and my friends call it tasty Jesus:
    “mmmm…yes, Lord…mmmmmmmm, Jesus…”

  3. Zach Nielsen (Vitamin Z) August 1, 2009 / 6:23 pm

    Tasty Jesus? Wow. That made me laugh out loud.

    You forgot to mention the worship leader mouth smack noises in the mic. I am guilty of this and people will bust me for it.

    Another frequent one is the worship leader who uses the word “just” way too much in prayer. “Lord, we just want you to just land on us with your glory. And we just want to worship you today, just for who you are. Just do it Lord, just make your glory tangible today in our midst, just give us your presence. It’s just what we need today Lord.”

  4. SamuraiTheologian August 1, 2009 / 7:27 pm

    Nice list.

    Zach has pointed out my pet peave, “just”. Amen?

  5. dan August 1, 2009 / 9:20 pm

    If you string those together, you get a Kirk Franklin song!

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