Mandy’s WC 9.16.07

WC = Worship Confessional

this was a particularly “girlie” sunday for me, namely because i was full of emotion that i could not escape during the service…

it was one of those sundays i didn’t think i could get through… my heart was ripped open this week after getting the news that my sister-in-law was diagnosed with bone cancer. she’s 25. my brother was devastated. the whole family is heartbroken…needless to say, its been a long week.

the songs chosen for the service seemed to hit me like a ton of bricks during the service. i didn’t think i could get through Redman’s “Blessed be Your Name” and it was the FIRST song! closing the service with “Have Thine Own Way” didn’t make it any easier…

i’ve been leading worship for ten years, but i’ve never experienced a sunday like this. i didn’t feel “all there.” i found myself going on “auto-pilot” – just going through all the right motions, as i know i should. saying the things that a good worship leader would say. presenting the songs the way a good worship leader presents the songs. moving the congregation through the verses to chorus to next song with “phrasings” and “cues” that indicates the next part of the song…

even though i didn’t feel genuine about my demeanor and presentation, i felt very genuine in my role. i felt genuine in how i was leading the people… genuine in my desire for us to experience God… genuine in my efforts, even though they were “auto-piloted” and not spontaneously inspired.

how do you handle pushing through a sunday when you don’t feel “all there” – a sunday where your emotions are in your throat and you don’t know how to stay focused?

Order of Worship:
Blessed be Your Name – Redman
Welcome and Announcements
Missionary’s Presentation
I Love to Tell the Story (444) – Hankey & Fischer
Enough – Tomlin
May the Words of My Mouth – Terry Butler
Scripture Reading
Have Thine Own Way (591) – Pollard & Stebbins, 1907


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. A.
    Sep 18, 2007 @ 00:29:30

    I was emotional this Sunday as well during worship. Mainly due to a week that brought fatigue both physically & mentally, & the ever-lacking patience of wondering ‘when’ the calling in my life will be made by God–which is probably farther off than I like to think about, but I have a lot to learn & growing to do as well!

    Sometimes I think letting our emotions be displayed to God is okay in worship, even in leading. It’s hard, for sure, but it shows God as well as others what is in our hearts, & that life is never easy & that we can be honest with God when we’re struggling or not feeling the energy we usually have, or whatever else.

    All that said, ‘Blessed Be Your Name” is a song that’s taken on even more meaning for me this week–how cool that your church utilized this song in worship on Sunday!

    My prayers to your sister-in-law as well as you & your family, Mandy!


  2. mandythompson
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 12:40:32

    amanda: thank you!


  3. tam
    Sep 22, 2007 @ 20:46:31

    I love this! Are you gonna have a link to it on your other site?


  4. heatherblankenship
    Sep 25, 2007 @ 02:53:10

    I think when we are broken, our worship is that much more fragrant to God. It is in our brokenness that He draws near. I think about David, he was so emotional, he was an amazing worshiper AND God called him a man after His own heart. I agree with the above, we can be honest with God about our feelings, or lack of motivation and desire. Anyhow, good post, love you!!


  5. Jan Owen
    Oct 06, 2007 @ 12:53:01

    I have had several experiences like you mention and it is paticularly hard to be “skillful” at those times but it can be a gift when we are just plain transparent. I firmly believe that with a worship leader a heart touches a heart. People are moved by seeing us genuinely connect to God and yes, even struggle through worship at times. I think they feel nearer to us and think “okay, she’s real after all!”. I had to lead worship the morning after our pastor’s wife committed suicide for two services. She had been my friend for 22 years. It was both horrible and yet sweet in a way. It was comforting to stop and praise God in the midst of the pain. I also led worship at her funeral. I’ve done many funerals but a suicide is just a whole different ballgame. And we did have a time of worship. And it was HARD but I believe that it brought some hope. I also led worship after 9/11 and that was particularly intense. There have been other times as well – I led the day after the death of both of my grandparents, leading through losing a pastor that was a truly close friend, and just leading on Sundays that I am exhausted emotionally. I believe God honors that faithfulness and to worship in the midst of brokenness is a particularly fragrant sacrifice, as I believe has been mentioned. It is also a very special gift we can give our congregations – to lift their eyes to the only One who is truly Hope and Peace. Thank you for sharing your heart and I am sorry about your sister in law. That is truly tough.


  6. bellissimanh
    Oct 06, 2007 @ 23:05:15

    Mandy… I had a similar experience recently. Going through a tough time at our church right now, but in the midst of it all, my heart for the Lord is stronger than ever. He means more to me than ever before and my desire to share that with those around me is almost tangible. I stood up to sing “Everything To Me” (Avalon) and I got about as far as “…but ask me why He loves me, and I don’t know what to say..” and it all just fell apart. Thankfully, I used a track with background vocals, so although they didn’t hear the melody for a few bars, the lyrics came through loud and clear. I did manage to pull it together and finish strongly and clearly. I felt horrible about it… hate it when I get so emotional when I have something so important to say… and yet people were so moved by the fact that I clearly believed what I was singing. They could see my heart and knew that this wasn’t just a song… that it was my own testimony and that I truly meant every word. As I took my seat the pastor thanked me for the song, but more than that for the heart behind the words. I couldn’t count the number of people who echoed his sentiments to me throughout that day, and the next week.

    I think that when we are affected by worship… when we are truly moved, even if it means we have to just weep through a stanza, and let someone else lead… people understand and appreciate that worship is not a “gig” for us. They get that we are truly kneeling before our Father in an attitude of worship, seeking to bring Him just a fraction of the love He has lavished on us. They understand that it’s not about us, and not about them, but all about Him. And after all, isn’t that our responsibility on that platform? To usher them into His presence and help them to bring Him the glory due Him?

    I think He was looking down on you with love that Sunday, Mandy. You may be just a girl, but you are HIS girl… and I know you make Him smile.


  7. bellissimanh
    Oct 06, 2007 @ 23:13:52

    Ok… I just reread my post and I want to clarify. When I mentioned having a similar experience, I meant breaking down in front of the congregation. I in no way meant to compare my issues with my pastor leaving to your sister’s health issues. It sounds like that, but I didn’t mean it that way at all. I’m so sorry for what your sil’s going through… and I’m praying for all of you.


  8. Amy Pearl
    Oct 09, 2007 @ 00:50:30

    I came across this post from the facebook group “Heart of Worship”.

    I don’t know you, but I just read your post and I just wanted to encourage you and say that I had an experience like that years ago (having to worship during a storm of life and feelings) … I’ve never forgotten it … but I came to realize, that worship to God is a sacrifice, and although it means so much to Him, every time we praise Him, it means even MORE when we don’t “feel” like it, when we are hurting, when we are going through life’s darkness, and we still honor Him. He understands our hearts and hurts MORE than we do.

    ~ I pray that you, and your family feel God’s comfort through this.



  9. A.
    Oct 09, 2007 @ 01:00:18

    Hi, Amy,

    (I’m not Mandy, but I wanted to respond to your comment, too!)

    I just wanted to thank you for your comment as well, as worship was a struggle for me this particular week, & your message reaffirmed some things & thus gave me hope! Thank you.

    (btw, I’m the one who posted the WIW link at Heart of Worship, glad you stopped by!)


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: