I love my guitar very much. The main reason I love it is because having learnt to play it I can now pick up most worship music and play it fairly quickly. This is great because it means when I want to, I can spend some time singing songs of worship to God in my bedroom really easily.
When I’m at home singing on my own it’s really easy, I know that if I miss a chord it doesn’t matter, if I sing out of tune I don’t mind and if my fingers hurt I can stop for a while. When I’m at home I sing really loudly and I can focus completely on God and what he is like which just leads me to worship him even more.
Now tomorrow I have to lead a group of other people in worship. I will be playing my guitar and singing worship songs to God, but I know that it will feel very different. If I miss a chord or sing out of tune it does matter, perhaps not a huge amount (it’s a pretty informal setting), but it does make a difference. If my fingers begin to hurt I have to ignore that and carry on anyway. On top of that, I have a room full of other people to think about. If I’m going to move from the chorus back to the first verse again I need to indicate that in some way to other people, I can’t just do what I feel like and expect everyone to follow easily. This (and various other things which will be running through my mind) means that it becomes harder to focus totally on God.
On top of all that, the aim of corporate worship is to worship in community, to lift up God and declare truths about him together so that we remind each other what God is like, and that we are part of a family. I cannot simply get lost in my own private world of worship, I must be in a place where I am praising God in the company of others. I must take part in eyes open worship, where I can observe the people around me and be uplifted and inspired by them.
This is both a fantastically exciting prospect, and a really scary one. As I prepare the music I will be playing tomorrow I pray that God would empower me to worship tomorrow with a right attitude. This is no mere performance, nor is this an individual act of worship, this is something different, something much better!