Posts Tagged ‘worship leading


Lessons from the dance floor

Had you told me 6 months ago that I would develop a love for swing dancing, I would have laughed out loud.  Here’s what happened. I’m just as shocked as you are.

I have been trying to find something to do for fun that isn’t music related, something new that I haven’t tried, some way to meet new people. I overheard a friend of mine mention that she had been going swing dancing every week, and I had thought maybe I’d give it a try. Now I have grown up being very self-conscious of dancing for the most part. Just because you are a musician and have rhythm doesn’t necessarily mean you will be a good dancer, and I’m a pretty good case of just that.  But I figured I’d give it a try.  Why not?

Being a worship leader, I am most comfortable on stage with a guitar in my hand. That’s my “safe place.”  Not that it’s about being on stage, because we all know that it’s not – but that’s my sweet spot, it’s where I feel in control, it’s where I basically know what I’m doing most of the time.  I found out rather quickly that the dance floor was the exact opposite of what I thought of a as a “safe place” the very first night.

I went to the lesson before hand, learned the basic steps, and proceeded to stumble my way through the entire evening attempting to let other guys lead while I attempted even harder to follow. It was a hilarious mess.  I had the basic steps down after a couple hours, but that was about it.  But I had fun, which was really strange to me.  And so I went back the next week…and then the next week…and the next week….and before you know it, here it is a month later and I am triple stepping, doing tandem charleston, and a bunch of other crazy dances that I have never heard of.   And I have to say, after practicing and trying and being willing to learn, I’ve actually gotten the swing of it.  Pun intended.

Here’s the point – when I’m swing dancing, I am totally out of my comfort zone – I can’t lead. I wouldn’t have the first clue as to what to do.  I am used to steering the ship, and there was an internal squirm the first night –  where is my microphone?!?  A monitor?!?  Something!! Can I just jump on stage with the band instead of dance?!?  Swing dancing forces me to follow.  In fact, if I don’t relax my frame and allow my partner to literally push me and guide me with his hand, it is one huge mess.  To take the obvious metaphor even further, I am not even supposed to look down, I am supposed to keep my eyes on my partner for the most part.

We get so used to being large and in charge on stage, sometimes I think it’s good to humble ourselves and do something that challenges us to follow and not lead for a change, and maybe learn something new.  Sometimes I get so headstrong in what I am capable of doing, I forget to relax and trust God’s leading – He is trying to nudge me along, but if I don’t let Him lead I only end up messing things up for the most part.   It makes sense to try and look down and focus on trying to figure things out, but the Word says to keep our eyes on Jesus and trust His leading first.   If we would just do that, we might find some other “safe places” in life that we never knew existed.


The Next Generation

Psalm 78:4 We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.

Psalm 79:13 We will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will proclaim your praise.

I love verses about raising up the next generation. I am a spiritual and musical product of my grandparents and parents, my aunts and uncles pouring into me the truth of scripture and the power of worship. Obviously my former pastors, choir directors, and Sunday School teachers did the same, and I am very grateful to them all.
When I see generations come together to lead worship, it thrills me. It gives me great hope for the future. It is the reason I do what I do. I love working with adults, but seeing worship come alive in a child and experiencing worship leading from a teen is life changing.

At CBC our worship ministry is based on these precepts. Teach someone else to do what you do. Start them young and give them authority to lead when they are ready. Multiply yourself. As I stood onstage at Easter with Puresound, our Youth Choir behind me, the significance was not lost on me. Most of the youth leaders are a product of a Kids Choir ministry. All of the dancers except the two oldest professional dancers grew up at CBC dancing in Kids Choir worship events. It’s working…
I usually hold a recital for piano and voice students at the end of a semester. Last Christmas instead of a recital, I took students to a nursing home to play and sing Christmas carols and worship songs. This spring I took it a step further and my students will lead worship at a CBC multi-site. At the rehearsal they sang with conviction and excellence in pristine three part harmony. They will boldly worship, some will speak out about their love for the Lord, some will play instruments, some will ad lib, some will pray. They will all lead out on a song. I will even have one of my own sons come with us to sing (the other has a baseball tournament…) It’s working…

Psalm 71:18 Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.

Thank You, Lord.

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