A Worship Leader’s Worst Nightmare

I don’t consider myself an “Ego” guy.  In fact, more often than not, I’m actually quite insecure about things, especially when it comes to anything artistic.  As the saying goes, “You are your own worst critic.”  That is certainly the case with me.  If I create a song, or see video of myself performing, I pick it apart.  There is NEVER a shortage of things that could have gone better, or things that were done less than good enough.  This is why this particular occurrence was strange.

I was happy preparing for this worship service.  Why?  Because I had D playing drums, and he just makes everyone sound better.  So you kn0w, I was feeling confident about the night.  I figured, we’re going to rock it tonight.  Yes, yes, it’s all about God and all that, but we’re going to rock it.  Well, as usually happens when we “boast,” something happens that brings us back to earth.  Oh, yes, I’ve been knocked down a peg or two on occasion.

So we’re practicing and it’s going great.  D is on his game, keeping immaculate time and adding a nice flavor to the rhythm.  I also have the services of a keyboardist, and my son on bass.  I brought 2 guitars that day…my ol’ reliable black Aria (had that baby since highschool–made in Japan to boot), and an Aria DM 380 (Korean), a great sounding mosrite copy, however very temperamental.  It goes out of tune frequently, the set up is not the greatest, etc.  I figured I was covered–if I broke a string on my “Diamond,” I would go to good ol’ Blackie.

Towards the end of the practice, I broke a string on my Diamond.  There wasn’t much time for the service to start, but no biggie, I strapped on my black guitar.  Technically, we should have started the service, but we have a very small congregation (compared to our English services) so we were waiting for a few more people to come in before starting.  As I was noodling with my guitar while talking to D, I break another string.  Now we’re in a bind because we’re late already and now we’re going to be even more late.  Yes, I got a new string, and towards the end of the first worship song, I break another string!  This is just plain ridiculous–3 strings???

Our main music pastor happened to be in the room at the time and I asked through the microphone if there was another guitar available.  He went downstairs to find one and after a guitarless worship song, brought a very nice PRS from a guitarist in the English service (they were done already!) So here we go, with a nice axe in hand, I start the next song….and then the PA system craps out…Wow.  At this point, this was beyond ridiculous.

To make a long story short, this was a horrendous worship service.  I was dying a slow death as everything was unfolding.  You can kind of hear it in my voice when it just goes terribly flat and lifeless.  This was not a worship service at this point, it was a fiasco.  Afterwards, I was talking to D, who told me, “Maybe we weren’t supposed to play today.” or something along those lines.  I half-heartedly agreed, but was thinking in my mind, “Damn right, I shouldn’t have been playing in the state I was in.”  I had been more focused on “rocking it” than giving God the glory he deserves.  Lesson learned, Lord.  I am sorry.

I’m sure I will continue to make bonehead moves along the way, but thinking I am going to “rock it” is not going to be one of them.  My two cents: when you let your confidence go to your head to the point where you start putting ego ahead of God, be prepared to go through one of these grueling experiences.  That’s just how the Big Guy rolls.



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