Monday, September 20, 2010

The Antidote to Worship Crankiness

By Mark D. Roberts,
Laity Lodge Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence

Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;
praise him with strings and flutes! Psalm 150:4

Worship crankiness. As a pastor, I've dealt with it for years. As a worshiper, I struggle with it.

What is worship crankiness? It's engaging in worship that is meant for God's glory but getting stuck in grumpiness. It's when the choir is off-key, the sermon is under par, the praise music is too loud, and you just get grouchy. Rather than focusing on God, you end up worrying about the things that bug you in the worship service. Instead of giving yourself to God in humble worship, you end up preoccupied by yourself and your frustrations.

You know you're infected with worship crankiness if you continually find yourself bothered by things in worship that, in the end, really aren't that important. Or you know you've got the bug if your comments after a worship service tend to be critical rather than reflective of your relationship with God.

In my experience, worship crankiness often has to do with music. Some folks get bugged when musical quality is low. Many become irritable when the genre of worship music is not to their liking. If you're a hymn person, you get cranky when you're supposed to sing praise songs. If you prefer contemporary music, you want to fold your arms and frown if you have to sing hymns led by an organ. And so it goes, week in, week out. the rest image
The more we seek God's glory, the less we will be focused on our personal likes and dislikes in worship. The more we focus on giving ourselves to God, the less we will be preoccupied with ourselves and our feelings. The more we remember God's greatness, the more we will want him to be praised with every instrument, every voice, every genre, and every person.

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