I've seen it... You've seen it...
It's that one thing that distracts you from engaging fully in the conversation of worship.
That one thing could be:
- a sparkly necklace
- the choir member who has no expression
- the clothes that are too tight
- the exposed neckline
- the overly bright clothes
- the choir member's actions
- the short skirt
- the ad-libbed vocal line
- the overly distressed jeans
- the unprepared singer
In a different setting they would all work and be accepted, but when it comes to being a part of the on-stage leadership team...no distractions please. There is too much at stake. In a brief discussion time after a recent service we met with our vocal team to remind them that they are examples to our congregation at all times and witnesses for Christ at all times through:
- their worship (on and off stage)
- their dress (on and off stage)
- their Bible knowledge
- their musicianship
- their on-line presence
Another part of this discussion/training time we were hearing from Carmen Thompson. Carmen works as an image consultant for business professionals as a seminary trained leader and a member of our congregation. A few years ago she had an epiphany to combine her two professional worlds by helping on-stage church leaders learn the importance of not being a distraction. Her discussion with our team was timely and important.
The training time with our group was the result of a conversation Carmen and I had a few years ago about a distraction she saw on our stage. One distraction hindered her from fully engaging in worship. It wasn't blatant...it was a distraction.
Her discussion with our team centered on two scripture passages:
In Exodus 25:1-8 we find where God gives specific instructions on how He wants His temple to be adorned. It is obvious from the scripture He wants the best for His dwelling place.
When Christ came there was no longer need for a temple. When He was crucified the veil of the temple was torn. God's dwelling place is now man. If God cared in detail about the Old Testament temple, don't you think He cares as much for His new dwelling place...us?
And in I Peter 5:1-8 the writer reminding us that we are to lead with humility as an example so that God receives all the glory. This theme is also reflected in Romans 12:1-2.
Worship is about God, not about the people on stage or the great music...all must point to God.
We left our meeting with this prayer:
God, help me never to be a distraction to those I lead. Help me know what is appropriate in my worship and my music. Give me wisdom to choose the right clothes to wear. Help me in all I do to reflect who You are. Help me never to be a distraction. And as Paul says in his first letter to Timothy: "I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry..."
Do you have published guidelines for the people who lead worship from your stage or platform? How do you communicate these guidelines?