VIDEOconfessional of The Worship Debacle of May 18th

I was so excited about this past Sunday, I’ve honestly been excited about the past few Sundays but not all have turned out the way they were intended. This Sunday is a GREAT example of that so why not open it up here: The Worship Debacle of May 18th! Below you’ll find some live video with text commentary from Sunday.

Here is a montage of the 1st 2 songs of the 2nd service, check it out:


  • Great contemplative prelude video
  • Good moody swelling songs for worship
  • Great offering video by Amena Brown
  • Life-changing message
  • Incredible closer: Mission’s Flame by Matt Redman


  • Great contemplative prelude failed. Probably the least successful prelude we’ve done in a while. While those already in the sanctuary probably totally dug it, it did not get people in from the Gathering Area.
  • Worship songs troubled by key player getting to practice late coupled with the bass player missing the 1st song during the 2nd service. So for the 2nd service I was totally not worshipping! In fact I started praying during Be Thou My Vision: Lord please allow worship to happen despite me because I am just not having it! Then I was convicted that I should be having it to which I argued: Tough I am just not having it!
  • Amena Brown was incredible. Message was good. Mission’s Flame was awesome! However, Amena Brown + Message + Mission’s Flame = Incoherent goop. Unfortunately, we did not do our duty to thoroughly examine these elements and with poor planning gave poor execution and an service that did not flow. However, I wonder who actually really could tell? I’m sure they didn’t see the awful disconnect but I always wonder if its the difference in people leaving going: “WOW” versus people leaving going: “Hmm.”

9 Responses to “VIDEOconfessional of The Worship Debacle of May 18th”

  1. May 20, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    A “wow” vs “hmm” is in the details and does require planning. I can see why your ticked. It’s some good wisdom to keep in mind that others don’t see things at the level that you do.

    I’m really digging that arrangement of “Open the Eyes.”

  2. May 20, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Yeah thanks Billy. I’m glad that the first comment out didn’t bag me on that šŸ™‚
    I didn’t explicitly state that yes, the Holy Spirit is what can really turn a “Hmmm” into a “Wow” but in the human side of church it is in the details and planning to do all that we can to make a “Hmmm” into a “Wow.”

    Thanks. Yeah, we strayed a bit from it b/c we were missing a lead electric and a bassist, obviously šŸ™‚ but it’s supposed to have a bit of a Clocksish Coldplay sound to it.

  3. May 20, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    You are always much more aware of what is not happening according to plan than everyone else. I understand the frustration though, I am the Tech director at my church and also wear the service production director hat too. When something like that happens, and yes it does, I don’t know if I am more frustrated by the lack of music quality with a missing musician as a sound guy or more frustrated as a producer wondering how THIS week “they” forgot when the service started.

    Like I said though, most folks don’t know what your intentions are, so, as long as you don’t let it fluster you, you can usually pull off something worth while anyway.

    Maybe next time that happens you pause between verses to welcome him to the stage. HAHA! I bet it wouldn’t happen again… because you would need a new bass player.


  4. May 20, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    That’s a neat video, but probably no one would have noticed. What I noticed more is how late people come to church. You did a good job not being outwardly “phased” by all of these obstacles.


  5. 5 kim
    May 20, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    I have so completely been there! And I have asked the same question hundreds of times: what effect did the lack of flow (or fumbled song or poorly planned element) really have on people? If we believe those things matter (and we must believe that or we wouldnt be aiming for them) then it has to be true that the absence of them matters as well. Of COURSE worship still happens and God is still glorified, but…. I think you’re on to something with the ‘wow’ vs ‘hmmm’ thing. My pastor refers to our Sundays like this as Big Mac Sundays. When you leave, you know you’ve eaten and you will be physically sustained, but a gourmet meal would have been even better.

  6. May 20, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    My question is: Does the same bass player play for both the 1st and 2nd services? If so, how was he so late?

    Last Wednesday we had our “All Church Worship Night”, where the youth (who usually meet on Wednesdays) come into the main service and the youth band integrate into the main service band. The setlist went something like:

    Send Your Rain (an original)
    Break Free
    What The World Will Never Take

    Let’s just stop there, because that’s precisely what happened. The first two were flawless and went over wonderfully. On “What The World…” the drummer had a space-out moment and clicked the tempo to a completely different song! The guitarist playing the intro to the song kinda just froze, waiting for the correct tempo. I was leading so I looked back at the guitarist and motioned nervously for him to just start playing it (since it’s somewhat a guitar intro anyway). Well, he did. Once he started playing he found that his low E had dropped about a 1/2 step out of tune. So the intro preluded by what felt like an eternity of awkward silence was a complete disaster. Luckily we were able to kind of just laugh it off. But it surely wasn’t very comfortable at the time. The rest of the night went well by God’s grace.

  7. May 20, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I’ve found it’s not always what happens, but what you do in reaction to it that makes a difference. Stuff like this has happened in the past and will happen again. Unless it’s something major major, I’ve found the best attitude is a “show must go on” face that might be completely opposite of what’s going on inside (like you successfully maintained). People will appreciate your professionalism. A lot of times, if it’s something musical in the song, most people won’t notice. And if it’s really major, everyone always appreciates someone who can laugh at themselves.

    (Oh, and I hadn’t heard your hollowbody yet since when I saw you at Christmas you’d just gotten it. Beautiful, even on a grainy video.)

  8. May 20, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Great things here, thanks everyone.
    To clarify:
    – I would have loved to stop at the end of that bridge and announced: “Let’s all give a warm welcome to our bassist this morning!” Hahaha. It’s ok I have 2 bass players šŸ™‚ Just kidding Kirby! I love you!

    – Bass player snuck out inbetween services to grab lunch because we were throwing a big picnic on the grounds after the 2nd service and he got caught in the chaos that is Wal-mart!

    – Yeah I think it’s totally how we carry on with these things. I’m disappointed in myself in how much I let everything get to me. Looking back at it some of it really makes me laugh and the parts that don’t are valuable lessons learned. I thought I had another video ready that’s the closing song we did b/c a ton of people came up afterward who LOVED the tune and so all things ended well for them. However, again it wasn’t without a cost šŸ™‚ Apparently though I loaded the wrong video so you’ll have to wait till tomorrow.

  9. 9 rodge
    May 23, 2008 at 8:40 am

    very honest of you mate, thanks for showing and telling it how it is. I think it takes guts to air publicly what was going in in your heart at those moments. I wish I was more honest with my team that way. It’s easily to say it but much harder to walk it all the time.

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