I Want Worship My Way

Ya know what I don’t like about worship music?  Not enough of it is directed toward me.

People that need me, people that I could be helping, people that could be doing nice things for me…These people want me here, on my day off.  I really do love these people, but when I show up here, they ignore me.  They say this is worship time, but they just play the kind of music they like.  They argue over what style they should play, and no one is ever happy, but  did anyone ask me what kind of music I want to listen to when I’m here?

After all I’ve given to this church, the least they could do is think about me instead of themselves.  I have given this church more of my money than they could ever need.  See this beautiful building?  You can thank me for that.  You think the pastor here is great? He wouldn’t be anything without me.  With what I give to the church, the bills get paid and without me, this guy would be out of a job.

But these people just care about themselves.  If I could boil the problem with the worship down to one sentence, it would be this: Everyone wants the music their way, and no one cares what I think.  Sure the leaders may have asked me a few times, but I don’t think they listened.  I tell them what I want, and sometimes it happens, but sometimes they don’t follow through with my requests.  They claim that the congregation won’t like it, we don’t have the tech for it, it will cost too much, it will make a big mess, more excuses than I care to hear, and then we’re forced to compromise.

And I really hate that.  I am very influential in the church.  My opinion matters!  I do not like to compromise.  Compromising is for small unimportant people.  I am important.  I get my way, or someone pays.

I really appreciate the heart behind the worship… For those who actually worship.  I appreciate their passion, honesty, and emotion.  I can see that they mean it, and I like that.  What really bothers me is the complaining.  The way I see it, the music is there to be enjoyed by the One being worshiped, and used by the people hearing it to worship together.  If you focus on how much you don’t like the music, you are neither enjoying it nor using it.  People at my church complain about the music ALL THE TIME.  Who do they think they are?

I watched someone last week complain that they didn’t like the volume or the arrangement of one of the songs.  I helped the worship guy arrange that song!  I even gave him the idea to put the trumpet in.  I really liked it that way, and the people worshiping loved it too.  You know, I love this church, and I love these people, but they drive me nuts when they think they are important.

You may think that I am being selfish, but who are you to think that?  This is my church.  I’ll just be honest.  I come to this church every week, and I expect to be served.  I want people to respect me, and I want people do things the way I want them done.  I feel I deserve this after everything I’ve done for these people.  They wouldn’t be anything without me.

After all…I am God.


I once heard someone say that pride is simply the effect of someone believing that they are God.

See what I did there?  I wrote it in the voice of someone who thinks they are important, but it turned out, I wrote it from the perspective of God.

For those who missed it, I was imitating you. Then I dropped the truth hammer on you. I accused you of thinking you are God.  So are you mad at me yet?  Please, allow me to explain:

As someone who has been working on worship teams for half my life, I have noticed that many people in the congregation have an opinion about worship.  The music is always too loud, too quiet, mixed wrong, not good enough, or the most absurd complaint: “Too good.”

The most difficult and discouraging part of leading worship is fielding these complaints.  Every group I worship with has a new set of complaints, and I never quite know how to respond.  Do I listen to them when they complain? Do I tell them to buzz off?  Do I poll the group I’m leading?  Ask them what they like and go with the majority? Do I pick songs that will attract the type of people we want to come in?

No.

Part of the reason I don’t make these decisions is because I run from every opportunity of being in charge of a worship team.  I have had horrible experiences in this role, and in the state I am in lately, I could not subject myself to that type of criticism.  But my “based on principle” method of fielding complaints is simple.

There is one question: Does God like it?

Though I am no where close to being in charge of my current worship team, some people still feel it is appropriate to complain to me about the music I play with them.  For a while, I was responding to complaints “Take your opinion, and shove it up your butt.  No one cares.”  While that response isn’t completely appropriate, it has some truth to it.

Look, you aren’t God.  We weren’t worshiping you.  It’s ok if you don’t like the worship because it isn’t for you.  If you think that the Sunday morning music is aimed at serving you, then it is very obvious that deep down, you also feel that the church is here to serve you.  You feel that the church owes you something.  You think that you are God.

Pray on this topic.  In my experience, making much of the Lord is only possible by making less of myself.  I hope this blog serves you well.

2 comments on “I Want Worship My Way

  1. Jon DeWitt says:

    Thanks for this. I’ve felt the same way and never knew how to express it. I haven’t had to deal with much (or any, really) negativity toward my contribution to my church’s collective worship, but I’ve seen plenty of this sort of thing in other churches. Sometimes I even want to tell people complementing me “thanks, but it’s not for you”, but I’ve kept that to myself.

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