You're the Lead Sheep

Written by ryan on
Lost Sheep

True confession: when I worship and even lead worship, I'm not just thinking about the words I'm singing.  Yep.

"Should I close my eyes?  Would that make people feel disconnected and disengaged with me?  What if I forget the lyrics?  Wait, what am I singing again?"

"Should I raise my hands?  Does that mean I have to put my pick down?  Does raising my hands half-way make my worship look half-hearted?  Does raising one hand make my worship look half-committed?"

And so on.  We all do this.  But, ahem, that's why we need a worship leader.

Our minds are so easily distracted, and so full of stuff.  Apparently, the average adult attention span is now 8 seconds.  That's down 33% from 15 years ago.  That's right, now we're officially worse than goldfish.  And you know what?  Goldfish don't have smart phones, so now they have the upper  I digress.

And even if we can somehow keep somebody's attention past 8 seconds, their focus will typically last 20 minutes tops, and then they're done.  That makes me feel better about my web site's average 90-second visitor.

30-minute sermons?  3-song mashups?  Hmmmm.

So, as worship leaders, where does that put us?  A lot closer to shepherds than I first thought.

On Sunday mornings, we stand before a group of individuals who have super complicated lives and are uniquely challenged and pulled in every direction all the time.  So there's that, and they can't keep attention long enough to make it past the background design of the first lyric slide.

Shepherds have a similar responsibility.  Their sheep are currently here, and they have to get them there.  All without letting a single one get lost, hurt, or killed.  And boy, do sheep get distracted (please come back after watching the video).

But, the analogy breaks down a bit, because we, though leaders, are also sheep.  We're right where they are, with all the complexities and distractions therein.  So, now what?

Sigh of relief and holy refuge again.  When it comes to worship, it's actually not all up to us, though we can count on God to keep His end of the deal.  God has promised that His Holy Spirit will be with us (Isaiah 63:11, Mark 13:11, Luke 11:13, John 14:26, John 20:22, Acts 1:5-8, Acts 2, Acts 4:31, Acts 10:45-47), enabling us all to speak, worship, and be present with Him.

I guess that makes the Holy Spirit the true Worship Leader, and places us leaders more accurately as the lead sheep.  Our challenge, then, is to be so engaged with the Holy Spirit that all of our distractable worship-leader-sheep hearts and minds can guide all worshiper-sheep to worship their Good Shepherd.

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What do you think? Keep the conversation going below...

Thank you for lowering the veil, not only on leading worship, but on living authentically before God and others. Honestly, I relate to sheep more than any other Bible character.  :) Though I still tend to fight it, dependency is where I most fully rest and find joy in Jesus.

Thanks, too, for being "Lead Sheep" Saturday and trusting the Holy Spirit to lead us. He did lead, and we saw our Shepherd, didn't we?