The Worship Leaders
The Worship Leaders This is set within the context of 2 Chronicles 20, the musicians from the temple, with more than a nod to contemporary worship and some of the issues faced by some! It is just for fun! Any similarity to situations, churches and people are purely coincidental...
But it also shows the importance of worship and music - as it was the musicians and worshipers who were sent out into battle before the army.
Ephesians 6 tells us we don't fight against flesh and blood but against evil powers. And 1 Thessalonians 5 reminds us to rejoice always, keep on in prayer and to be thankful. There is God-infused power in worship!
Why do we worship God?
What is worship in spirit and in truth? (John 4.23-24)
“We become like those we spend most time with.” Is this true of worshiping God?
The Worship Leaders Sketch
(Sketch has 3 worship leaders chatting)
Muso 1 – Anyone seen any decent bands recently? Since that Moabite mob arrived, the only thing I can hear is their gibber gabber…
Muso 2 – Not a lot going on. Has anyone been watching the J-Factor in the main square? It used to be pretty good but it’s all gone a bit commercial now.
Muso 3 – I’ve been offered some gigs but am resting the voice as I’ve been on the temple rota so much recently. If I’m not on vocals I’m on lyre. They even wanted me on sound…
Muso 1 – Yes the new rota is a weird one. I was down to lead a lot last term but not so much this term. I wonder if I did anything wrong?
Muso 2 – It’s probably because of those new robes you’ve been wearing and that new Fender-branded hat you’ve got. Sponsorship is fine but in the temple it’s not the best idea to flash the logos!
Muso 1 – Yes, true. Fair enough. I’ll stick with the old plain hat!
Muso 3 – I had some complaints last week that the music was too loud. They asked us to turn it down but it’s a bit hard in mid-session.
Muso 1 – Any good new songs out there?
Muso 2 – I’ve heard a few from Kenaniah Redman, Chenaniah Tomlin and a couple from Abu Gosh Bethel Church and even Moriahsong - but there’s always someone with something to say. I've heard it all – too many songs that say “I” and not “we”; too many songs about what God can do for us and not what we can do for him; too many new songs and not enough hymns and so on… But surely God looks at our hearts!
Muso 3 – Someone was complaining to me the other week that the worship was becoming too much of a performance and not ‘real’ enough. I told them that God wants us to be ourselves – if it’s about all of God and none of me, then why did God create us?!
Muso 1 – You’re right. It should be all of God in all of us! Someone told me that the bass was too heavy last week after I led. There are the bass singers, singing their heart out only to be told they're too bassy! It’s hard enough leading worship without people nagging you. I mean, I’m open to people’s ideas and constructive criticism but really..
Muso 2 – This one woman spoke to me recently and asked why her son hadn’t been playing in the band enough. She wanted to have words with whoever did the rota… I told her that her son wasn’t playing as he hadn’t been turning up to any of the practices!! And then people complain if the worship isn't spontaneous enough and is too planned. Someone even said planned worship wasn't from God as we just need to be open to him. I said that we are open to God in choosing the songs and that practicing honours God and enables worship to flow. If we practice we'll be more able to be spontaneous!
Muso 3 - I had someone say they didn’t like the set some young Levites did recently. I was pretty outraged and told them – they’ve been working on that set for weeks, playing, doing their homework, praying and spending time growing in worship. It was pretty crushing for them.
Muso 1 – I daren’t tell anyone I go to gigs outside of the temple. I’ve been accused of liking that ‘secular’ music too much. I mean really… Music isn’t secular or sacred. The words may be! And then someone told me I was a rock star because I’d got the latest strings and a new bit of wood on my lyre!! I only got it so it improved the sound and I felt it would honour God more.
Muso 2 - Someone else said we shouldn't be playing some instruments as they weren't mentioned in the Torah, so it 'wasn't Biblical'. I told them, 'that was a list of what instruments they used then, not a complete guide'. Honestly, some people misinterpret the Law all the time - there wasn't a temple in the time of the Torah but God speaks to us today so here we are in the temple! So what are we going to do, knock down the temple! I mean #irony...
Muso 3 – Some people are pretty encouraging though. I mean, I know we play for an audience of one – God – but it doesn’t half inspire you when people say thank you and appreciate the work it takes. And I mean the work that everyone puts in. We don’t do this for property (we don’t own any!) We do this because we love God and love music and worshipping him. It’s our calling.
Muso 1 and 2 – Amen to that!
Muso 2 – Someone even suggested we should be playing on the side or at the back of the temple so we couldn’t be seen, in case people thought it was about us and not about God! I said to them ‘no-one thinks it’s about us - everyone knows it’s about God.’ If you need to think about stuff like that then you’re not thinking about God!
Muso 3 - Have you had some people say they don't agree with the words in some of the songs you sing? I have. One time a guy got up after we'd done one song and said, "I don't agree with that song." He'd missed the point completely. Worst one ever was after we'd sung 'Guardian' and the speaker shouts about God, "He's not your guardian, he's your father!" Worship leader ran out in tears! And he was wrong - God is our guardian. I felt like whacking him one (in love, of course) on behalf of the worship leader and then saying as he got up off the floor, 'you're right, he's obviously not your guardian'...
(They all chuckle)
Muso 1 – (Shakes head). Still, we've had a few laughs haven't we? Remember when the printers got the words wrong on the scrolls? It should've said, "Now set the captives free" but it said, "Now set the Captain free." Did you see the look on Captain Zechaiah's face?! But it’s been good recently though, things have changed. Everyone has come for the fast that the King has initiated. They have to – we don’t know what’s happening with these armies coming against us.
Muso 2 – Yes I’ve noticed far more people coming to the temple than normal. Standing room only at times. Who knows what’s going to happen next.
Muso 3 – Haven’t you heard the news from earlier?
Muso 1 – What news? We were in the green room resting after leading worship all night.
Muso 3 – I thought everyone was there! I was leading this morning when Jahaziel, son of Zechariah started prophesying. God spoke through him and told the army to march against them tomorrow. God said we wouldn’t have to fight this battle but to take up our positions, stand firm and see the deliverance that the Lord will bring. Josh’s team from the Kohathites and Korahites started praising God with a loud voice.
Muso 2 – Yes we heard that. We thought things had got a bit lively but we were just so tired after being on the rota so much recently. Typical – we missed it when God was really moving and speaking!!
Muso 1 – I guess we’ll be in temple while the army goes out. Well, you guys probably will be. I seem to be out of favour and not on the rota very much. It’s pretty gutting really as it’s gone so well recently – God’s been doing great things.
Muso 2 – At least you’re not in the army having to go out and face the enemy!
Muso 3 – Mind you, God promised that we wouldn’t have to worry and that the battle was his – he would sort out the enemy and bring us relief.
Muso 2 – True. It’s gonna be awesome to see!!
(Messenger walks in and hands Muso 1 a note, then walks off)
Muso 3 – What’s that? Is it the new rota?
Muso 1 – (Studies it carefully and pauses). Yes.
Muso 2 – So, are you down to lead at all?
Muso 1 – You could say that.
Muso 3 – What do you mean?
Muso 1 – I’m down to lead tomorrow.
Muso 2 – Oh no, you’ll miss all the action again!
Muso 1 – Oh no I won’t... We’re going out in front of the army!
Muso 2 – We’re what? Who agreed to that?! I don't remember being invited to that meeting!! We don’t even have weapons... What are we going to do? Sing them to death? Batter them with our shofars or deafen them with our horns?!
Muso 3 – The way some of the worship team have been playing recently, we’ll probably send them packing because we’re so out of tune and out of time. They’ll be covering their ears shouting ‘aaaagh, no more, we can’t take any more of this off-key singing! Run for your lives...”
Muso 1 – (Half-jokingly). Why do I suddenly feel they need to find another worship leader?! And you guys won’t escape – we’re all going out ahead – all the worship team!
Muso 2 - What songs are we doing?
Muso 1 - (looks at the note). We're singing, "Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever."
Muso 3 - Good! I like a good Tomlin song, me!
Muso 1 - As long as we don't have to reach the same high notes as he does! I'm sure some of these songwriters are part human and part-chipmunk their voices go so high. I guess we'll need to re-key it again...
Muso 2 - Let's hope they print the right words on the scrolls this time. Mind you, it's not too hard to remember... "Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever." We'll have to do something with it - throw in a couple of chord changes, few harmonies, or do some call and response to vary things up...
Muso 3 – I reckon we'll just be shouting it! You know what. It will be fine. God is with us and he won’t let us down. If God says go out first and that the battle belongs to him, then I trust him. Right?!
Muso 1 and Muso 2 - (pause, look at each other) – Right!
(They all march off stage)
Sketch added 19/12/15, updated 23/12/15