Don’t ask me why – or maybe if you know you can tell me why – but some weekends and some services just feel weirder than others.
There’s no way to predict it, and sometimes no way to avoid it. Due to factors outside your control, or just an unfortunate confluence of events, sometimes you leave a service scratching your head, thinking “what was that all about?”
This past weekend was one of those weekends for me.
First, I couldn’t decide what songs we should sing at our services. For some reason, I was hit with a severe case of indecisiveness and I couldn’t get over it. Up until (and through) rehearsal on Saturday, I wasn’t crazy about how it all felt. On their own, I liked the songs. But put together, it just didn’t seem like the right fit. I made changes after the Saturday service and before the Sunday service, but even after that, the songs still felt a little weird.
Secondly, after the opening song on Saturday night (“All Creatures of Our God and King”), our drummer accidentally counted off and started playing Matt Redman’s “The Glory of Our King” all by himself for about two measures before stopping. The problem was that we weren’t doing that song on Saturday. It was supposed to be on Sunday only. So we stopped and I made a quick joke about it before we moved on, but it was still a bit awkward. And weird.
Third, I think I emailed about seven or eight singers to see if they could sing this past weekend since the one who was scheduled couldn’t make it. None of them could for various good reasons. So I was the only singer. I like having some back-up when I’m leading with a band, and especially leading a service of 800-900 people. Without anyone singing with me, it felt weird.
Overall, in addition to these three things, the services felt a bit flat. I felt flat too.
Some services everything seems to fall together really well. Some services are just normal, good, and average (in a good way). And then some services make you wish you could just go back in time and start from scratch.
I honestly don’t know what I would do differently this past weekend (other than make sure the drummer knew we weren’t doing “The Glory of Our King” on Saturday). And that’s just fine. This coming weekend is a fresh opportunity to choose songs and lead people to magnify the greatness of God through song.
When you have great services, it’s important to stay humble and resist temptation to remember in your mind all the things you did really well. But when you have “weird” services, it’s important to keep a healthy perspective: it’s not the end of the world. There’s always next week. Also, just because I felt “weird” about a service, it doesn’t mean anyone else felt the same way.
Was I prayerful? Yes. Did I try to be faithful and humble? Yes. Were we well prepared? Yes. Where there things I could have done differently? Always.
While it’s impossible to know why some services really click and others really don’t, it is possible to let both kinds make you a better worship leader. They’re both reminders that it’s not about you, your worth as a person isn’t wrapped up in your abilities but instead in Jesus Christ, and any hope you have at lasting in ministry will require you to get used to the roller coaster that is not only normal, but can also be kind of fun.