I love my job

Posted: February 12, 2007 in Church, Perspective

So much going on.  Yesterday was the typical busy Sunday.  I think the music went well.

 Man, that sounds so ‘dry.’  It’s always much more than that.  Sometimes I have to stop and appreciate what I get to do every week.  On paper, “worship leader” conjures frighteningly traditional images of someone standing behind a pulpit in a suit singing nearly opera-style while waving his hand leading a crowd of people that seem to be having as much fun singing as sitting in a dentist chair when that burning smell of the drill on tooth enamel hits your nostrils.

In reality, I get to play electric guitar/keyboard and sing in a church that is far removed from the above caricature of ‘church.’  I get to try to connect people – every week – with something larger than themselves through music.  And that’s exciting.  And it’s increasingly innovative, as we try to draw upon all kinds of music from the culture around us to make this ‘connection’ happen in a way that’s meaningful for them.  A couple of weeks ago, we played Hoobastank’s “First of Me.”  I guarantee you we were the only church in Decatur playing Hoobastank as part of the song lineup.  I got to sing and play rock organ and ‘thunder’ on the keyboard.  Thunder!  (okay, it’s just a sound effect that starts the song, but come on…it’s so much more fun than queuing up the tape for “Ethel the off-key soloist singing to the tape track” I’ve seen in countless churches).  In the past few years, we’ve played everything from Switchfoot to Coldplay to Lifehouse.  Heck, even our worship sounds more like these bands than praise songs and hymns.

And it works.  We’re seeing a surge of people getting involved, who were looking for something different and found it.  Makes me wonder why most churches are content to be museums of times gone by (ca. 1907) rather than relevant venues for connecting with people today (2007).  I’m not knocking traditional stuff where it remains effective (and there are instances), but let’s be honest:  For most people who don’t go to church, they’ve got a reason.  And a lot of times it’s because they see churches as irrelevant, outdated, judgmental, close-minded, overly politicized country clubs that demand people to change before they’re even welcome in the front door.  And though this generalized perception may seem/be unfair, it’s our reality.  Today, the most effective churches seem to be the ones that are coming to grips with this reality and finding ways to get the timeless message of Christ out of the stuck-in-time formats of 19th/20th century American church into something new and exciting.

And I’m just excited to be a part of something like this.

Besides, it also doesn’t make me feel so bad about my ludicrously expensive Taylor T5, Vox Valvetronix, and Roland Fantom S-88 purchases (and that’s the ‘short’ list, no counting gobs of other gear).  Like the guy on the Bowflex commercial says, “I’m living my dream.  I’m playing in a rock band.”  ROFL.

Man, there’s so much more to it than that.  I hope the rest of the band finds this all that exciting.

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