In the past couple of years, I’ve seen a trend of blog posts about how Sunday morning worship has become more of a performance and show than a moment when a church congregation worships one God together. This saddens me, because I have such a deep-rooted love for music that every fiber of who I am knows that I only sing because God lets me sing so that I can sing to Him. Now, I can’t speak for other churches, and I honestly can’t speak for the hearts of the worship team from my church, but I can say what I see. Every Sunday morning, at Compass Church in Helotes, Texas, I see a worship team that is truly on fire for God. During the service, I hear talented voices gifted to be pleasing to the hears of those in the church seats, not so that can put on a show, though they’re certainly talented enough that they could if they wanted to, but so that these worshippers can truly worship God to the best of their abilities while leading the rest of the congregation to do the same. I see skilled hands stroking the piano keys, strumming guitars, and patting the drum box (if that’s actually what it’s called, idk). I see eyes closed or lifted to the sky in total surrender to the God who allows these talented people to stand (or sit) on stage at least once every few weeks to share their gifts with fellow believers. Sometimes, I see hands lifted in worship and thanks from those worship team members who don’t have instrument in their hands (seriously, our worship is legitimately talented). With eyes opened, sometimes I even see hearts breaking in love, surrender, thanks, and more to the God they worship.
Many times, I have shown up early enough to church to see the worship team still practicing the week’s set so that they won’t mess up during the service. Even while they practice, I see and hear true and genuine worship flowing from the voices and hearts of those on the team. It seems to me, no matter how many times they have to repeat the songs, their hearts are still filled with worship every single time they sing. It’s incredible to me, because even though it’s not a show, they do need to practice the set several times, so it would make human sense that they may not put their full heart into once they’ve done it so many times, but even when I stay for the 11am service after attending the first service, I hear just as much, if not more, intensely powerful worship in the voices and instruments of these churchgoers as I do the first time around.
I have the privilege of calling our worship leader, Shelby, my best friend, so I know that she really does have a heart full of worship. Obviously she’s still human, so I’m sure she has her moments when she’s not feeling “a heart of worship,” but when I see her and talk to her, her love and worship of God seems to flow out of her with no effort at all. I can’t help but think that, whether the rest of the worship team members have this same “worship flow” or not, I’m sure Shelby’s “worship flow” really helps influence the rest of the team to be as full of worship as they always appear to be. Each member of the team is on some level or another also my friend, but I don’t really see or speak to most of them more than few minutes once a week in passing, but when I am with them, they do also seem to have their own “worship flow,” that is only added to by having a worship leader who cares as much about the people on the team as she does about worshipping the Lord herself.
I don’t know if showy worship is a thing at other churches, but unless I’m blind and missing the mark myself, I can say it’s not a problem at my church, and I wanted to take the time to applaud and encourage the members of our worship team to continue doing whatever it is they’re doing, because I never leave a worship service without feeling the spirit flow in me through the voices and instruments and words of our worship members. Thank you, Shelby, Sarah P., Sarah M., Paul, Lilly, Adrianna, Daniel, Dan, and anyone else I’m missing, because I know I’m missing a few, for all that you do to make our worship services as genuine and real as they can possibly be. Though we do it all for God, you do still deserve the recognition for all that you do!