Tuesday, December 13, 2005

To Talk or Not to Talk...

Talking...that's the subject of my first blog. I've been leading worship for 10 years now and have always dealt with the quandary of talking during times of musical worship. Have you ever been in a service where you feel like you get two sermons back to back? The worship guy stands up there and has some sort of cliché intro for every song...or stops in the middle of a set to give his own 10 minute sermonette. That's usually the time I start counting lights on the ceiling or conveniently step out to grab a cup of coffee (what church doesn't offer at least coffee now).

As a worship pastor, I am typically pretty emphatic about not talking during the musical worship time. I'm not saying that you never say anything...I'm just referring to instances like above. Over the years though, I've noticed that the people I pastor begin to wonder...can the guy even talk? I do a fair amount of prompting during songs to help our people stay engaged and occasionally will say something short to intro a song, but for the most part, I leave the talking to the talking guy. I just figure...we're here for about an hour and fifteen...I'm responsible for the musical part of leading our people in worship and the lead pastor is responsible for delivering the spoken word. They sort of fit like hand and glove...why mess that up?

Now...I am taking my role as a pastor more and more serious these days. I see that God has placed me here and has given me a flock to steward. That being said...can I really steward the flock if they never hear my voice. Oh they hear my voice in song...but that's singing. I'm talking about actually pastoring them. Yes, I can pastor people one on one...but once you get to a church of at least a medium size...that ceases to be an option.

My pastor has been pushing me to preach for the past 4 years or so...I finally did so about a month ago. Talking isn't my favorite thing to do. I can do it, but don't really care for it. The more I spent time preparing my message...the more I realized...I really don't like this. I enjoy doing music...I don't enjoy all the "cave" time that is necessary for planning a sermon. And there's something different about practicing your sermon speaking to a wall and sitting down to practice a song on your guitar. You just feel plain weird preaching to a wall. (Though I'm sure that's how it feels on Sunday mornings sometimes!)

Anyhow, I take a vested interest in the people God has given me stewardship over. I want to lead them well. As I look at my role as pastor, I want to know that I am leading our people in every way God has set out for me to do so. Just because talking isn't something I particularly enjoy, doesn't mean I should not do it. However, I think it means that much thoughtfulness should go into what I say...and just like in music; I think the "less is more" rule surely applies for worship pastors. If nothing else...I definitely don't want to talk unless I have something to say.


  1. I'm humbled to be your first official comment!

    I was thinking about this post this morning and how sometimes silence is avoided at all costs during church services. The pastor or worship leader feel the need to fill every second with noise, music, talk, whatever.

    But silence can be really powerful. Thank you for letting there be moments of quiet during worship - I think that gives the worship a confident trust that God is in charge here, not us, not the leader. It's His service and He can fill the silence with His voice...

    It also trains those worshiping to focus...to point their wandering minds back to Him...

    Keep blogging, brother! It's good stuff!

  2. Thanks Jeannie. You said what I was about to say.

    I am thinking about silence and the advantage--at times--that silence brings into a worship atmosphere.

    Recently we did a conference and a workshop was on Holy Silence, facilitated by Chaplain Pearly Susan Daniel. See the details here: http://www.omc.ca/Provincial_Conf_2008/Provincial_Conf_2008_%20PostConf.htm

    Pastor Tim, I like your blog title. May be my book on cyber worship will have some ideas for you on online religion and religion online--the book in short is about both: IT & worship perspective.
    Best wishes and sincere regards, MT