This last weekend I had the opportunity to lead worship at Youth Edge at Millar College of the Bible (in the booming metropolis of Pambrun, SK). Check out #youthedge2013 on instagram if you want to see what it was like. It was a fantastic weekend filled with all kinds of great moments, but as I reflect back on it, one stands out in particular.
It was Sunday morning and as with any good youth conference, everyone was tired but also excited. We’d had a great weekend together singing, laughing, shooting things, riding horses, and getting to know new people. This session started as the others had – with an epic skit about a time travelling RV. Mike Dosso (who I brought with me from Lethbridge to play bass and who is a general stand up awesome guy) has just been kidnapped, taken to China, and rescued by our two MCs, Caesar, Taylor Swift, some guy who wanted to destroy everything, and a group of giant minions. They fought the ninja’s bravely and returned Mike so we could all worship together. All in a days work, right?
The team got up and we started into Happy Day – a great last-morning-together-sing-and-dance-your-heart-out opener. It’s going brilliantly – we’re jumping around the stage and people are connecting with not only the epic music, but with the truth of who Jesus is. Chorus 2 rolls around, and three word in, everything dies. PA, amps, monitors, microphones, screens – everything is off. Dead. No sound. As a worship leader, those are the moments we fear the most – we plan and organize and rehearse in hopes that everything goes well and people aren’t distracted by any of the technical things. Everything shutting off mid song is pretty much the pinnacle of distraction in my mind.
I did the only thing I could think of – pull out my in-ear monitors and sing even louder. I may have even kept playing some guitar, but it didn’t matter because my amp was off. For the first second people were shocked, but after that they just got it – sing along, it’s not about any of this sound system stuff anyways. Mike ran off stage to reset the breaker, and we rolled into another acapella chorus. Its was a beautiful thing – people singing their heart out to God despite the lack of what we so often assume holds us up. By the end of that chorus, everything was back on and we continued rocking on and had a great time of singing throughout the whole set.
It was as if God had just turned everything off to say to us – “hey guys, this is great – just remember it’s all about me” and then He let us turn it all back on. As a worship leader I was humbled by that moment, and it was so cool that I got to share it with 400+ other people.
Youth Edge 2013, thanks for singing along. Thanks for remembering that it’s about our great God and never about the men and women up front leading.