Seek and you will find

Monday, July 16, 2012

Come and Worship

I, Kristen "The Great One" Eleveld, have a confession to make: I don't like singing praise and worship songs. That's right. I said it. I said and I meant it and I'm here to represent it unless it made you mad.

It's not the praising or the worshiping that I dislike. I just don't really get into singing. I feel bad about that because every good Baptist is supposed to sing (but not dance). But I missed the gene somehow. I'm not what you would call a "good" singer or "talented" or "someone who does anything but mouths the words most of the time." I mean, I'm not Scuttle. I'm just not Ariel.

Don't look at me; I've got nothing to do with this.

But any time I try to explain this to anyone, I get the Look of Abject Horror. You know the one: Eyes wide, mouth slightly open, sharp intake of breath. Occasionally their hands go to their hips, or, worse, their chest (which in Southern means, "Ohhhh... I'll pray for you."). They sometimes take a step back. A head shake is almost always present. The top three responses are as follows:

1) "Oh, but you're such a good singer!" I'm not saying I'm good or bad. I just don't happen to like it regardless. I am also good at algebra. But I don't do it for fun.

2) "But it's praise and worship. The songs are about God. How can you not like them?" If not liking a song about God is enough to get me in trouble, well, then, don't get me started on 104.7 The Fish (The Fish Atlanta dot coooommmmmmm). It's not the content of the song. It's the singing.

3) "Maybe if you thought about it this way, you would get something out of it." Ahh, so I just need to rethink my strategy. ... ... ... ...nope, still don't like it. Look, it isn't what I am singing or why I am singing or how I am singing. It isn't the praise and worship team or the song choice or the key. I just don't enjoy singing as a form of worship.

Some people will never get that. It's hard for "music people" to get that while I can listen to the words of the song and believe them and worship in my own way, I just don't like to sing that much.

I'm not a total heathen. I get a ton out of other forms of worship - writing, reading my Bible, dramas. For some reason, the writing and the dramas tend to get left by the wayside. Not on purpose and not out of malice. But it's never the praise and worship time that gets left out of church weekends. It's not usually the band that has to worry if all their hard work is for nothing. I hope I'm not sounding judgmental because that is not my intention at all. I just think there needs to be a balance. I think the kids who want to be in the youth program who can't sing should still feel like they can still be a part of something. I want to be able to read the words on the screen or in the hymnal and worship through the lyrics in my own way, even if I am mouthing the words. I want to be able to tell someone I get more out of watching skits than I do from listening to music without getting one of these:

Bless your heart. 

I am definitely all for people who love to worship through singing. My BFF Jen loves to worship that way. My sister-in-law is all about singing and I know she gets so much from it. Sometimes I wish I did, too. But I am content with worshiping in many of the other ways that are just as wonderful to God.

So how about you? Singing or no singing? No judgment either way. Unless you're wrong.


  1. After reading this and realizing I am not alone, I will confess that I usually mouth the words to songs at church, too. :)

    1. Yes! Another one for Team Mouth The Words. We might need to shorten that name.

  2. I like worship songs but I sometimes don't fit in either. If the part is ladies only, I lip sync because I'm evidently a tenor and people look around to see who the guy is who doesn't know its ladies only. I have also told our music guy: "If you hold a note longer than a couple of beats, I stop singing because I'm not a singer." If they do what I'm told is a 'second ending' that involves holding notes longer and maybe an added Amen, I also quit singing--too complicated. Again, I am not a singer. But, though I can relate on this level, I'm still horrified and will definitely add you to my prayer list. :)

    1. I have the same problem - if I try to do the ladies-only part, people are still wondering which man got confused and sang in the wrong part. Oops. I am a rockstar for one or two songs in just the right key - and then I go back to being a lip syncer!

      Thank you for your prayers - I believe the official prayer group for me meets on Thursdays at 4. Bring your holy water.

    2. Donna, I am a worship leader and I know what you mean about people not being able to hold out the notes! :)

  3. Oh, heck yes and amen sister! I completely 100% agree with you, even though I'm the opposite. I'll explain: I get the same reaction when I tell people I don't get much out of reading my Bible. "WHAT?! But...aren't you Christian?" Good Lord, people (whom I do believe in, by the way). I feel that I'm praying when I'm singing, more so than when I'm just plain praying or reading, etc. There's something in the music that connects to my soul more than written words can. To each his own -- God made us all different for a reason. Give me music. Give you words. We'll all get it figured out eventually. Or not. Because, you know. :)

  4. I agree with pretty much everything that EmRivet said. Kristen, I also get more out of reading the lyrics...only sometimes, though (usually when I don't know the song and I'm trying to learn the music, I pay attention to the lyrics more). And forget about the idiots who give you dirty looks; they're jerks.