Caveat lector: I do know that the junk I’m about to write about is mostly manageable, and largely by me. I don’t, however, know whether I am up to the management task.
Another opportunity for worship has been ruined for me. Another opportunity squandered.
It was someone
- with a good heart (most leaders have those)
- with a fair amount of talent (more than most)
- with a relatively winsome way about him (a good deal more than most)
But it was someone who also ran rough-shod over style, over tempo, over accuracy — and in the process, over congregational togetherness. So many “leaders” do this kind of thing (everywhere). Even worse, this particular congregation is so accustomed to such carelessness that it has no idea anymore. Some of the singing was so bad — so distractingly, ridiculously off, note-wise and rhythm-wise — that I had to walk out. There was no possibility, given my state of heart and mind, that I could recover any appreciable sense of worship, and I didn’t see the point in perpetuating hypocrisy, so I just walked out and stayed out for a good 15-20 minutes.
In contrast to the rest of the congregation, I have a good idea of what was wrong and how to fix it. I once had a desire to help, but that desire has essentially been quashed by repeated realizations that what I have to offer falls on deaf, albeit often affirming, ears. No, it hardly matters anymore whether I get an affirming nod or a sincere thank-you handshake or even a nice note on Monday morning. At this point, I must face the realization that my ideas and visions and desires are slowly being metamorphosed into mere disgruntlements and apathies.
Still, I am sick with desire for improvement (not “excellence” — that’s an overused term for something unreachable, but at least betterment), for meaning, and for well-handled details of the Christian assembly — to accompany all thoughtful content. And I still have a vision for the worship of the Lord in Christian groups. Somewhere in there. I think.