I had the occasion one day to be in a room with a group of people who were discussing a recent worship experience they had shared. In the room were mostly seasoned worship veterans with one exception – a younger associate had accompanied his leader to the gathering.
It went something like this –
“I didn’t like the songs.”
“There wasn’t enough diversity on the stage.”
“The visuals were lacking.”
You get the idea.
Finally, someone called on the younger associate. His comments changed the whole meeting. He said something like this –
“I was fed today. I came hungry and needing to hear from the Lord and I did. I didn’t know every song, but the singers sang with joy and it blessed me. The message really ministered to me. God knew what I needed and that’s exactly what I experienced today.”
The rest of the room seemed to be affected by his feedback because the whole tone changed. From the moment he spoke until we left the room, the spirit of the meeting changed. The moment brought Proverbs 25:11 to mind – “A word spoken at the right time is like gold apples in silver settings.” (CSB)
Later as I thought about the whole thing, this question came to mind – when it comes to worship, are we Food Critics or Beggars? Are we there to evaluate the menu or be fed?
As professional Christians, we choose the seat of critic way too often. The next time you enter in worship, choose the seat of the beggar. And, the next time you find yourself in one of those “Food Critic” conversations, take the part of the younger guy who simply feasted on the Lord’s presence.
Your criticism will evaporate in the joy of being fed.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.