A Progressive Christian Blog

Humility and Irony in Worship

So, as many of you may know, I lead worship at a young church in Chandler, AZ.

And yesterday was a great morning of worship, of telling the story of God and proclaiming who he is and what he’s done and what he will do.

However, there was one of those moments yesterday that I shall call a “keepin’ it real” moment.”

Singing some songs... Leading some praise...

Singing some songs… Leading some praise…

It came right after we sang a great song called “Open Skies” by David Crowder. The song ended, and I began to briefly talk about “humility” in worship. I mentioned that passage from James 4 where James quotes Proverbs 3:34, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” And I encouraged our people to remember to come to God, in worship, with humble hearts and grateful souls. Thankful and aware that our Great King’s love flows lavishly on us messed up and wicked people. With humility we understand that God’s grace is given to us not because we deserve it, but because He is good.

And so, with these wonderful thoughts about humility and worship, I then proceed to begin the opening lyrics of the next song, “Your Love is Deep” by Jami Smith. However, it should be noted, I made the decision to lower the key of the song from ‘D’ to ‘C’ back in rehearsal on Thursday. I tell you this, because once I learn a song in a certain key, that key gets locked in to my brain, and sometimes it’s difficult for me to convince my brain and mouth to sing in a different key. So, although my guitar is plucking away nicely in ‘C’, my starting notes on Sunday, in this moment, were far from where they needed to be. And then, quickly I tried to adjust and drop to the right note, but I dropped too far and missed it again. It took me a good 3 or 4 starts and stutters on the lyric, “your love is deep…” before finally I locked in to the right key. A rather embarrassing moment, if I do say so.

But here’s what I love:

a) the irony of having just talked about humility in worship, and then completely butchering the opening of the song.

b) the fact that this wasn’t the first time, and probably nor will it be the last time, but the people of our church love and appreciate me anyways.

c) in reality, this is a defining characteristic of the culture of our church.

Let me expound on the last point a little.

One value of mine in leading worship is that, while I take “WHAT I DO” very seriously, I don’t take “MYSELF” too seriously. The minute I take myself too seriously, I begin to think more highly of myself than I ought. I begin to inflate my sense of importance. I begin to put expectations on myself and others that are unfair or unrealistic. I begin to lose sight of what it means to lead people into hearts of worship. And so, I cherish these moments where not only I, but our whole church, is reminded that I’m human and real. And these moments are welcomed here at our church. Moments where we all sorta realize, “yeah, this isn’t a show… this isn’t a performance or a concert… this is a bunch of real people just coming together for the sake of bringing glory to the name of our Great King, and mess-ups are just gonna happen.” Things like mics not coming on right away, or transitions being botched, or cues being missed, etc… all help, in small ways, to create a culture of authenticity. Now, granted, if these things happen ALL the TIME, that’d be a different story… then we’re into the realm of distractions and barriers. But I don’t think we’re there… No, I LIKE where we’re at as a culture of worshipers.

And so, if you come to our church, I say “thank you” for your grace towards your leaders, and for allowing us to be real and authentic and human. And thank you for  helping us create a culture of not taking ourselves too seriously, but understanding that we’re all in this thing together.

Oh,and thank you Lord for the irony of speaking about humility and following it up with a moment of humility. Gotta love it.

3 Responses to “Humility and Irony in Worship”

  1. kim

    We wouldn’t go to The Grove if it were ran by “perfect” people. We love every aspect of the church and most especially the worship team. Sounds pretty perfect to us though, but I am not sure I know the difference between a c note and a z note… :)

  2. Denise

    Would not understand one part of the musical note thing but am so sad I missed Open Skies, my favorite worship song. Now I know it won’t be on the list for awhile. :( Oh by the way did you know I read all your blogs? I have heaven now, sweeter heaven when I die and even better than that heaven when God makes everything right. Happy, simple girl!


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