Perfection vs. Feeling

It’s been a while since I visited this little series “The Nuts and Bolts of Worship.”  Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve wanted to get back to writing more of my own stuff for Worshiping… It seems I do really well with quotes and links to other good stuff about worship, but haven’t written much lately on the subject.

Over the years, especially when it comes to music, people would consider me a perfectionist.  I would be guilty as charged.  I was having an interesting conversation with a member of the team on Sunday about this idea of creating music that is technically perfect.  This is really where the creative comes out in me.  Somewhere we have to create a balance – and it really is a fine line at times – between getting it perfect or having it feel good.

Many years ago I heard this comment about singing in the choir. “Always trust the director when it comes to the sound, because you hear the warts and all and don’t have the perspective of the director who is out in front of the choir hearing the voices blended together.”  It really is amazing what a few feet can do.  In the choir, you can hear all those bumps and bruises, but out where I normally stand anymore, you can’t hear those – especially when the choir is concentrating on blend.

One of the things that has happened, as I have gotten older, is that I want things to feel right.  I can’t remember which song we were working on this past Sunday, but we went back over a trouble spot.  It was me and the keyboardist and we were making sure that we were playing the same chords.  (I usually don’t have a printed score or chord charts in front of me – there are times especially on hymns where the chord changes on every beat.) Our keyboardist double checked me on a chord progression and after that it sounded much better.

I loved her attitude, because it was this – she didn’t want our playing to become a distraction.  There perhaps is the distinction.  We want to know/play our music to the best of our ability – we want to play our music or sing so that we don’t become a distraction and take away from the congregation entering in worship.  That’s what we need to shoot for as we rehearse each week.  Sometimes we feel that we need to have it all perfect and if it’s not perfect, we haven’t done our best or we have disappointed God with our sacrifice of praise.

Sunday morning was a perfect example of a service, while not technically perfect, was a Spirit-led service where God moved among his people.  Sure, we had a small technical glitch with Skype, but that didn’t detract or distract – something I consider very important. Yes, I feel that we need to make sure that we are executing the music well – because when we don’t we become a distraction, but there are times we focus so hard on executing the music well that we become distracted and lose our focus on worshiping our great God.

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