I had the chance to lead worship at a great conference last weekend. Identity, which has been happening at our church now for 6 or 7 years, is just a blast. It’s a whole bunch of local (and some not so local) churches getting together for the weekend for all kinds of fun and chaos. This was the fourth year that I’ve had the privilege of helping to lead worship, and it was just a blast. There were something like 520 students and leaders and another 100 volunteers who helped make the weekend happen. The event takes over the ENTIRE church (every imaginable room, all of the lot around the church, all of the sound gear we can scrounge together and then some, etc.), and it’s such a fantastic time to see the body come together and serve and worship together.
This is one of my favorite pictures from the weekend, and between my last entry and doing a bit event like this, I’ve had the chance to reflect a bit on worship leading and ‘the big show’. E-Free is a fairly large church, so we normally have pretty good production (sound, lights, quality of music), but events like this are above and beyond. Moving lights, haze, in-ear monitors and digital mixers, the works. I’ve often pondered the differences and similarities between a concert and leading a group of people in worship. Sometimes those differences are evident, sometimes they aren’t. That’s slightly concerning to me because ‘worship’ (I’m just referring to congregational singing) can seem to so easily start to feed our consumer mindset.
So, all that to say, I’m going to be doing a series of blogs on the differences, similarities, good and bad of worship and performance concerts. Some of the things I want to cover – Leading and where are we all going? The art of singing along, Congregations and Art, and why bigger isn’t always better (but sometimes it is!). I’m looking forward to writing these, hopefully I’ll have some good thoughts that come out, and I’m looking forward to good comments and discussion around it!