I started singing with the praise team at church recently. This is something I was heavily involved in at our last church, and am now finally doing again (I missed it a lot!). Yesterday I sang lead, which is sort-of a way of leading worship, though because the praise service is a bit more low-key than a lot of churches, it basically means I sang soprano and often times my voice was predominant. We’re in the process of looking for new leadership in our church’s music, both traditional and praise, and the subject has come up that I should apply for the praise team leader. Yesterday when we talked about it (my husband, myself, and a couple of the team members) I said I didn’t feel like I was qualified. I know I can sing and pick music, even help with the computer side of things, but that my musical abilities were limited and I don’t have a lot of knowledge/experience in instrumental music, though I’m learning. One of the people was encouraging, but another member of the team said something that has been sticking in my brain ever since: “There’s a big difference between singing and leading.” I don’t think he meant it as a slight to me, though I’m also not 100% sure that he would be willing to accept me as a leader either. I got the impression during the preparation for yesterday’s service that he would rather I didn’t pick the music.
I know that I’m taking what he said way too personally, but this is something I’m struggling with. Should I apply and go through the interview process? Should I just keep my head down and stop wishing that I had abilities that I don’t possess? I am sure my husband will comment on this post and be encouraging (thanks, honey) but the truth is, I’m having trouble tapping into what God is saying about all of this. When I was leading worship yesterday, I couldn’t bring myself to look at the people, for fear that they weren’t singing or didn’t like the songs. I have always been afraid to speak during worship, either to share a verse of a Psalm or to lift up a prayer to heaven. That kind of practice would have been more acceptable at our last church than here, and I never had the courage to do it there. So I believe him when he said there’s a difference between singing and leading. I also struggle with standing up for myself, my convictions, and my opinions when faced with people who are older, more experienced, more talented, or all three. And I spent most of the service yesterday sweating over the music and timing, something I never really had to do before, I just felt the music and sang. I find myself wondering where the line is between humility and lack of courage.
At the same time, my devotion today focused on the difference between joy and happiness. As most of you know, the focus of my life for the last couple of years has been joy. This devotion pointed out that joy is found only in Jesus Christ, and asked the question, “where do you experience that joy most in your life?” The answer that came to me immediately was “in leading worship through singing.” I’m still praying and listening for God’s voice on this one. I get the sense that he’s leading me in this direction, but I’m not sure yet. It certainly makes it difficult to sleep at night.