Worship bloopers and "interesting" moments

This post was contributed by worship leader Mike Hale.

What song is this? You’re the worship leader but suddenly you don’t recognize the piano intro, so the next few moments are, well, “interesting.”

Or have you ever forgotten lyrics? Ever lose your place and need a few moments to find it again? Ever start singing the second verse instead of the first? Ever belt out the first two words of a chorus only to discover that everyone else is singing the bridge you have skipped? Ever start a song in the wrong key?

If you’ve led worship for any time at all, you’ve run into some “interesting” situations. I’ve been there. Some are a little frightening or embarrassing, and some are humorous. I think my hair has turned a little more gray with each interesting episode, and now it’s nearly completely white.

Once at our national pastors’ conference I was sitting on a wooden stool onstage between worship songs, when suddenly with a resounding “craaaack!” the stool broke apart, and I just barely caught myself from falling completely to the floor. A quick comment was made about “too many bagels for breakfast” and after the laughter died down, order was gradually restored.

Recently our praise team discovered that for the past several years we’ve been singing the word “light” in a song when the powerpoint lyrics for the congregation says “might.” Oops. We’ve also experienced electrical power outages, microphones that make funny noises or stop working altogether, and occasional problems with amplifiers, keyboards, cables, computers, projectors, lighting and so on. A head cold or seasonal allergies can add even more potential for distraction.

Care to share any of your own “interesting” worship moments with us?

Of course we take our assigned duties seriously and practice individually and as a group. We’re thankful for having been blessed with some strengths, talents and for many years of opportunities and experience. A lot of worship services do occur without discernible glitches, but we know it’s never perfect, and once in a while there’s still a real doozie of an interesting moment. Perhaps the glitches just keep us humble, and remind us of our limitations and frailties. But of course we wish we could do better.

We can take great comfort in the Trinitarian understanding that worship is never dependant upon what intensity, energy, excellence or authenticity any of us can muster on our own, or how error-free our prayers or songs can be. Rather, worship is a gift of grace, of participating through the Spirit in the incarnate risen and ascended Sons communion with the Father. We are completely dependant upon and taken up and included in that reality.

With Christ mediating from both above and below, as God to man and man to God, we need not have worries and fears about any supposed worth of our own worship. Our own worship is never worthy in itself, but Christ’s is worthy, perfect, and has been and is being offered and fully accepted at the throne of God for us. As new creation in Christ, in humble thanks and praise we can enjoy in worship the true freedom, healing, peace and rest that is God with us and for us - right here in the celebration, suffering, and real messiness of life - including all those "interesting" little moments.