Quick Tips Following A “Bad Worship Set”
First, I need to establish the meaning of a “bad worship set”. The super-spiritual (for lack of a better word) would say it doesn’t exists. And…they’re probably right. What seems “bad” to me may often be incredible to someone else. The vocals may be flat, the guitar may be out-of-tune, the drummer may need new heads — but that doesn’t mean that anyone in the crowd will even notice.
Here’s a few quick tips to remember following a “bad worship set”.
1. Most of the crowd is clueless. I recall the worst morning of my life as a worship leader. We had a special guest speaking that morning, so the auditorium was unusually packed. The intensity was high, and so was the praise and worship…until the final song of the set. It was a new one and I thought everyone was ready. Just writing about it still makes me cringe. It was aweful. I’m not kidding, it was aweful!
The band was embarrassed, the vocals were upset, the soloist almost left the church over it — however, did anyone in the crowd even notice? Probably not. Seriously. The rest of the set flowed well, the Holy Spirit wasn’t quenched, and the service went on. I never heard one word about it (except from the soloist — and his wife; oh, man).
It’s good to remember that the crowd isn’t worship gurus like you are. Most of your people are not musicians. If they were, they would be on the stage. Since they’re not, they’re probably clueless. Enjoy the fact.
2. It’s Not About You. Even if the crowd was filled with great musicians, it’s important to constantly keep in the back of your mind that it’s not about you! If you’re still getting nervous about the set, or upset when it wasn’t what you were hoping for, it means one thing: you’re still making it about yourself. Have fun, do your best, and leave the rest in God’s hands. He’s bigger than your mistakes — and He can use you in spite of them.
3. Everyone has “those days”. It’s a fact: even the best makes mistakes. I remember one of the most encouraging moments of my worship life, which had nothing to do with me or my team. I was watching a live feed from a conference from one of the largest churches in the world. They look perfect and they sound perfect. However, this certain afternoon while I was ready to be amazed, instead I was shocked. The vocals were a little pitchy, the mix wasn’t perfect, and the guitar player wasn’t quite “in the pocket”. It was kind-of, ordinary. And I loved it.
It’s encouraging to know that even the best in the world may have a “bad set”. In the words of Kevin from Home Alone when he was talking about getting into mischief: “we all do”. Well…we may not all get into mischief, but we do all have “bad sets”.
4. Learn From Your “Bad Sets”. Why didn’t the set go as planned? It might have been a major spiritual battle in the unseen world — that’s very Biblical. However, it might have been because you needed a little more practice. Maybe your team wasn’t feeling appreciated; your sound tech was feeling overworked; your batteries hadn’t been checked; your drummer really did need new heads. Maybe you and your spouse didn’t have the best morning, or your kids have been a little more like Tom and Jerry and a little less like the Brady’s. Bottom line: learn from your mistakes.
5. Talk To Someone You Trust. On one of those days, I talk to my wife as soon as I sit down. I know the people sitting around us may not appreciate it, but it encourages me when she puts things into perspective. I also love to touch base with my pastor — maybe he was feeling the same vibe in the service, helping me see that it wasn’t just me. It’s important to keep the communication lines open — especially when you feel like you’ve had “one of those sets”.
What are some other tips following a “Bad Worship Set”?