Last week at my church we hosted a dinner for worship leaders at other Anglican churches in the Northern Virginia area. Our ice-breaker question was to describe a worship leading mistake, or awkward moment, or an all-out train wreck. There were some great stories. Missed modulations, hornets attacking organists, a worship leader saying that we’re brought “out of darkness into shame”, and one of my stories which I’d rather not put online.
They got me thinking. What are the best ways to cover up worship leading mistakes? Here are some ideas.
1. Blame it on the sound guy. He didn’t have the processor on that handles the compression in the subwoofers and so the gating was all out of whack and that’s why you heard that wrong chord.
2. What mistake? I don’t know what you’re talking about.
3. Blame it on the drummer. Oh, those crazy drummers. You just can’t tame ‘em. He’ll get better with some more rehearsal. He just threw me off. That’s why I shouted like a cat before the bridge of “Happy Day”.
4. I was too busy worshipping to notice.
5. Blame it on the Holy Spirit. I just really sensed really strongly that the Holy Spirit was really leading me to take the song to the next level of worship and so that’s why we sang the chorus twenty-eight times. We were breaking down walls, man!
6. We were just trying to break the ice. That’s why we had to stop the song and start over. Didn’t it just really change the dynamic in the room?
7. Blame it on spiritual warfare. Why else would my D string always break when I lead worship? Maybe because you use cheap strings, or use the wrong gauge, or need the bridge to be smoothed, or never change them? No, it’s spiritual warfare.
8. The congregation just needs to get more into it!
9. Blame it on how smart you are. I’ve got the song lyrics to like 400 hymns and 4,000 contemporary songs all right here in my head. And I know the chords by heart too. When we got to that third verse of “O for a Thousand Tongues” I was remembering the other hymn that Charles Wesley wrote, “And Can it Be”, and so that’s why I started singing the verse from a completely different hymn. It’s because I’m a walking worship encyclopedia.
10. Seriously, it really was the sound guy’s fault.