I have been in the worship ministry for quit a while, 13 years to be precise. During those years I have faced my share of challenges and I have seen co- worshippers go through theirs. What never seems to stop amaze me is how we look on stage vs how we feel on the inside. We look like celebrities in our finest dresses and suits and our "on fleek" makeup. No matter how awful we feel sometimes we have the ability so shake it off the minute we hit the stage! Like the day after my father in law passed away and I was scheduled to lead the praise and worship.
I remember preparing myself for service and telling myself to be strong. The moment I entered the church and met the first person who spoke to me I felt like breaking down. I rushed into the restroom and cried. I couldn't stay too long though because the soundcheck was taking place. That evening I led the praise and worship with a broken spirit.
I have also had days when I was so angry after an argument with my husband or my kids and I just didn't feel like singing! Matter of fact I felt like a hypocrite on stage. Even though I would pray before the service began I knew things where not right yet.
Or the time that my family and I were going through a financial crisis and I would be singing about faith and wondering how we were going to make it through the next day. I can mention tons of moments that this worshipper cried.
Before the church building went open, the lights went on, the soundcheck took place and the keyboardist hit the first key a worshipper cried.
We can sing the most beautiful harmony, walk off the stage and wonder how to bring that harmony into our home.
There's a worshipper that's being abused and we can look into her beautiful eyes yet not notice the tears that are held back. Or a worshipper contemplating suicide, oh no that can not be, real worshippers do not think that way. Well what if I told you they do?
Worshippers cry because things go wrong in their lives too. They cry because of their children, they cry because of their marriage, they cry because of their health or even because of their insecurities. They even cry because of the shameful sin they committed and do not know how to return to the One they worship.
Worshippers surely cry.
We can orchestrate songs to be sung and create beautiful symphonies yet sometimes lack the ability to put the same effort into our personal lives. And we cry.
Over the years we have learned how to put on a smile, no one needs to see what you're going through because that's not encouraging right? We have learned that we are a frontline ministry that means we will get the first blows, but God help me cause I never seem to be prepared to be hit like that! Clap your hands, dance, shout for victory and do not forget to rejoice in the Lord always! And again I say rejoice!
That is definitely true, the Bible tells us so. But if you are a worshipper, do not forget that God values your honesty and vulnerability. Like the woman with the issue of blood, she had been through so much shame she was done with it and she ceased her moment to be healed. Not knowing what would happen to her she touched Jesus and was made whole. Or the man that was paralyzed and could have accepted the cards life handed to him but he had the best of friends that risked being laughed at or even ridiculed for carrying him to the rooftop and descending him right in front of Jesus. Or how about Peter who messed up big time by denouncing Jesus, the one he had been so close with.
We all have a story to tell or a secret to hide but God is calling us to be transparent to Him. Its oke to cry, that is an emotion installed in you. But worshippers need to come to a place where we're not "faking it" but we are surrendering it. Its oke to let your team know "no I'm not oke, I am barely making it". What makes us strong as a worship team is not necessarily the beautiful sound we produce but the relationship we first of all have with God (the One we worship) and the relationship we have with one another. In some way we all know we face challenges, we're all human right? But we need to spend time on building bridges that will allow each other to come close. The moment there is transparency and vulnerability we break the bondage of shame and we join our forces and say no more Satan! This is how we 'love our neighbors as our self'. I won't allow you to go through by yourself! But how can I fight with you if I don't even know you are entangled in a fight?
Worshippers will definitely always cry but when we do I hope it's because we are reminded of how God has brought as through before and when we lift up our eyes as we sing and tears fall of our face I just hope it's because Jesus is in the room doing to the audience what He has done for us... He touched me.