Sunday, December 14, 2014
I Hate "Worship"
Had an experience at work that crystallized this thought for me. I was asked to help lead in the singing of Christmas carols at work. Not a problem. I have decades of experience not only with singing in front of people but with leading worship. Part of a youth in lay ministry.
It became a problem when I walked into the party room to see the guy who would be playing guitar setting up what looked like a karoke stage with three mics, an electric guitar (silly me. My brain didn't go there), and a teleprompter. We had no song sheets for the folks who would be singing with us, and we weren't going to practice ahead of time. My control issues gland immediately started secreting. As I was not "in charge" of this venture, I did not take over as was my urge, but my brain hopped into overdrive to simultaneously begin planning for every horrible contingency while not appearing to panic, just in case no one was in charge of this venture.
TT: I sadly have a great deal of experience with "group" activities that are just a bunch of people who "want to help but not lead." I consider many of those people utterly useless in such situations. Harsh? Yes. True? Also, yes.
Turned out, the guitarist had canned music to go with the teleprompter words, but it was exactly in my breaking range, so I couldn't sing for the first song. That didn't matter much because the music was so loud, I couldn't hear myself anyway. I didn't know the second song, and neither did anyone else in what had become "the audience" because I watched their lips not moving. By the fourth song, I decided to "bring out the clown" and camped it up as much as I could, hoping to salvage what I frame as a total fiasco. A fiasco I can't forget, because it's bothered me all weekend. I'm sharing it with you in the hopes this will finally put it to bed.
Please don't think I blame the guitarist. He was doing his best in a bad situation. Just like the rest of us.
My whole issue with today's church music slammed into my stomach. The band wanna-be's who sing their weird harmonies on stage with deafening instruments and songs that not only don't include music for those who can read notes but change every week so we can't even learn it by rote. It's not possible to have group singing when the group consists of the five to seven people on stage. It angers me enough I don't go to church anymore to worship.
Join the choir? What choir? I don't want to be part of the band, and I don't want to be a groupie. I want to use the voice, and the brain, and the ears God gave me to tell Him what I think of Him, and I want to hear myself and the people around me as they do the same. Call me old-fashioned. It's like Worship Group has become the Singing Nanny for the Church. Don't worry, little sheep. We'll sing for you. God gifted us with talent, so don't you worry your off-key heads. We've got it handled. And we've made it loud enough we don't have to hear you when you miss those notes you didn't know were coming.
TT: Wow. Didn't know my vitriol had reached those levels. Sorry.
Anyway, should singing at work take place next year, and I be involved, I will exercise my dominance and create a Christmas caroling atmosphere with the words on a projector, and audience requests, and no electric anything other than the computer I use to Google-search lyrics. I'm not a lounge singer, and you're not my audience. We are in this together, and I'm sorry I helped lead you to believe otherwise.
Keep the faith.