Should I Let Go?

This was originally a vlog entry, but it didn’t work.

I’m home today with Eliza who is getting over the croup. Having been in Dallas all day yesterday, I’m feeling really out of my routine.

Rachel called – she and Chris are/were planning this Sunday’s worship and wanted to consult me.  Not that I’m a worship consultant, but because I will be there with them Sunday for the 10:50 service.

Eliza is being baptized this Sunday morning. You are invited.

I had asked several months ago if I could take part in the service. Chris graciously invited me to preach, but I’d rather hear his preaching than mine.

I have found over the years that I’m just not very good at participating in worship when participating means sitting in a pew and following the steps in the bulletin.  I don’t insist on preaching every time (obviously), but feel better and like I’ve worshiped if I do something.

Is this something I should let go of, and learn to participate in worship as most of the congregation does?  I look forward to your input.

7 thoughts on “Should I Let Go?

  1. “I have found over the years that I’m just not very good at participating in worship when participating means sitting in a pew and following the steps in the bulletin.”

    A key to a big reason why some of us have stopped attending church services lies in this observation of yours…. I mean, if YOU feel that way………..

    • Wow, Audie, I can always count on you to challenge my thinking and perspective. I love it!

      I think I get that this feeling could lead one to stop attending church. I must confess, though, that I am “so churched” that it would drive me the other way, towards finding, even creating, a way that I could more actively participate.

      At the same time, I know there are congregations (or usually people within congregations) that make it very difficult for others to participate more actively. I’m reminded of these lines from a ‘classic’ Steve Taylor song, “I Want to be a Clone”:

      You’re still a babe
      You have to grow
      Give it twenty years or so
      ‘Cause if you want to be one of his
      Got to act like one of us

  2. Wow, I think Audie is on to something… The statement, “A key to a big reason why some of us have stopped attending church services lies in this observation of yours…. I mean, if YOU feel that way………..”, should be something that makes each of us involved in church/worship leadership really ponder what/how we ‘do it’. Why do we so easily hold it against church attendees for ‘lacking passion’ or seeming to just go through the motions, or have to wait until a pastor ‘prods’ them to stand/sit/speak/pray/sing/etc., when most of us admit that we ourselves catch ourselves in the same boat when we are on the ‘other side’?

    Now my head hurts…but thanks Audie for sharing your thoughts on this. My prayer is that those involved in worship planning/leading will take the time to not just do the same thing in the name of tradition, or ‘ease’, or laziness, or whatever, and think to themselves, “Would I want to be in this worship service if I were ‘only a church member?’

    • It is always helpful and usually challenging for those of us “in the business” of worship to remember that the large group of people in the pews is NOT the audience but the congregation.

  3. Thanks, Ben.

    As a Montessori-trained educator currently taking a detour through an inner-city public school this year, I can tell you that there is certainly a very analogous struggle in the classroom. Seems a bit paradoxical that it requires more work to involve more people — but maybe that’s only because we try to involve more people AND maintain control. Maybe it would be easier if we both involved more people AND, to borrow Steve’s words, *let go* (of the need for control, of the need for a certain outcome, etc.).

    Good food for thought, as usual, from brudder steve.

    • Audie! You had to throw control in there, didn’t you!

      Control is so challenging. I work with a couple hundred at-risk kids an a hundred or so adults, none of whom I can control. I don’t always remember that, though, and the more I *think* I control, the easier I think it is going to be.

      While in reality I can barely control even me.

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