Boring Interruptions and Leading Worship

What do Bony M, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Hits of the Sixties and Best of Folk have in common? Answer: I’m sick of them all. Or, more accurately, of their particular CDs in my car. Due to inertia, I seldom change a CD, and generally play it to death, rendering its sounds repellent for the next 2-3 years. I therefore made the wise decision to instead employ radio to slake my musical needs whilst driving. I listen to BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. Both play lovely music yet manage to nark me in equal measure. Radio 3 feels the need to interview conductors and dust-in-their-veins academics to discuss the music played. Classic FM does less of this, but varies insufficiently its diet of adverts. I don’t mind advertising per se; it’s what pays the station’s bills, unlike Radio 3’s generous allowance from my TV license. But an overly repeated ad soon irritates; when this happens, I swap to the other channel, and vice versa. I listen to these stations because they offer classical music; if I want to hear interviews or speeches, I’ll tune into Radio 4. Occasionally, I’ll swap from one Classic FM to Radio 3, only to find both of them twittering away instead of playing music. It’s a ‘First World Problem’, I know.

This situation sometimes reminds me of people leading Sunday worship. I have heard some begin by explaining what kind of day they have had. In truth, I don’t care, just lead me into God’s presence. Others will describe in detail why a hymn or song was chosen: I don’t give a fig, just show me Christ. Others will tell jokes or comment on the weather or share an anecdote from the football match they watched the day before. At this point, I’m wishing to change the channel, but I can’t, because I’m in church, and there’s no other service available in the room.

When one leads worship, one’s personality and mood should not be discernible; the job is to point to Christ, not to self. It’s harder to conceal one’s personality, views and tastes when preaching, but leading worship is a discreet affair. Talking about one’s self is like a boring Radio 3 academic discussion or a tedious string of Classic FM adverts.  

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30