“In worship everyone is part of the play; there is no audience!” Robert E. Webber in Worship Old & New
This quote got me thinking. How often do people say that they don’t want the ‘worship service’ to be a performance? I’ve heard this phrase more than I can count. It always irked me because when I do lead worship (especially now since it’s not very often) I spend a lot of time planning out order of songs, the progression of those songs, if I will ‘exegete’ a song or phrase from a song, which scriptures I plan on having read to help enhance the experience, the tone I want to set with each song at the intro and with it’s close and so on. That makes my worship leading a performance. I’m sorry if you don’t like it, but it is. However, my performance is not for the people in the crowd alone, it is to an extent because I am asking them to follow me to the throne of God to worship, and so it must engage them, but the most important ‘audience’ is God. The quote above should focus us on the fact that even those in the crowd are performing for God. If they aren’t giving it their all, they are not performing their best before God. So remember when you are leading worship, or being lead in worship you are part of a performance for GOD! I have a worship leader friend who I’ve heard say to his congregation, “We are just the back up band, you guys out there, you are the main vocals.” I always really liked this because it invites those in the congregation to give it 100% put their hearts and souls in it, and takes the focus off the band!