If you are a Worship leader, this has happened to you at some point (unless you are Carmen, he never makes mistakes): you start a song, and something is terribly wrong. You know it, the band knows it, everyone in the congregation knows it, but everyone just keeps pretending they don’t notice, until, at some point you have to stop the whole song and just start over.
Well, this happened a few Wednesdays ago at my youth group. The students who make up the youth band right now are pretty young and green when it comes to the part of being a musician where you share your gifts with all the other people in a room.
Its so scary for a while, and even after you’ve been doing it for a long time, its still really daunting sometimes to be sharing what you love in a way that makes you so vulnerable. But this is part of the beauty of corporate worship: we come to God, all with differing skills and differing levels of maturity, yet all equals before Him, because all of us desperately need Him. This is why moments like these are such a great chance to teach the Gospel. Don’t miss them!
Here are three ways to react that will help your entire youth group(including you and your adults) grow in your understanding of Worship, and the Gospel.
Duh! Admit that a mistake happened! Don’t try and get through that moment of mistake as fast as possible so you can act like you have it all together again, because none of us do. Your students need to know that the band is just like they are: broken people who need God!
Remind everyone(and yes, I mean right then and there) that God doesn’t accept our worship because of how good we are at it. If He did, we would all be in a ton of trouble! He accepts our worship to Him because of what Jesus did, and continues to do as He intercedes for us (Romans 8)
Make sure that whoever it was that made the song stopping mistake doesn’t wallow in their mistake. Remember how unsure of yourself you were in High School? Well, that student is probably feeling pretty insecure, so make sure that you continue to build a relationship with them and continue to remind them of how important their role is to you, not just the youth ministry, but you personally. Practically speaking, whatever it was that they made the mistake on, help them to hone that skill! If its something that you cant personally help them with, find someone who can!
Of course, each situation is different, so your pastoral work in that situation should fit it, but if you can get your students to begin to see how the Gospel speaks into every part of their life, you will begin to see a student body whose relationships to God and to each other grow together in humility and maturity.