Breaking New Ground In Music

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Hands Up!

Talladega nights, starring Will Farrell as Ricky Bobby is one of my favorite movies.  In his first interview as a race car driver, his hands kept “floating up” into the camera shot.  He kept apologizing that he didn’t know what to do with his hands.

When I coach worship leaders and teams, I stress that they have three responsibilities.  Those responsibilities are to convey the message of the song, communicate what is in your heart and engage the congregation into worship. The majority of worship teams have not ever been instructed on how to do this.  They just join the team, get up there in front of everybody and “wing it.”  Sometimes they are told to be “more demonstrative,” smile or some other vague instruction.

I use this visual to make my point.  In one hand, pretend you have a microphone.  Now raise the other hand as you would when worshipping. Or, if you hold the microphone with two hands, do that. Then talk to someone with this stance at your office, with your family or at the store.  I hear you laughing.  It’s what we “think” we are assumed to do as worship leaders or teamers.

When we worship, that’s the emblematic pose for any worship leader or team member.  Our praises go to God, but our visual duty is to the congregation. 

So, what should we do?

Do that which you generally do when you are communicating with another person.  Be normal with your hands, show the appropriate expression on your face. Show passion and enthusiasm as you would toward that which would obviously make you happy.  You don’t have to “fake” anything.

If every person on the team would be themselves, then the visual characteristics of communication and worship would be “off the charts. “

Dwight Whitworth