Whether you’ve just experienced charismatic worship for the first time at Live or you’ve gone to every Conference since you were born, here are six freak-outs about worship that everyone can relate to.
1. Everyone is looking at me
You’ve never raised your hand and you can already feel the sweat collect on your back as you begin to lift it, higher, higher. It’s at your shoulder, now in line with your head. As you straighten it out above you, you glance from side to side. No one says anything and the world doesn’t collapse. You breathe a sigh of relief, feeling victorious. This isn’t too bad! The only problem now is what do you do with it now that it is up there - how long are you expected to keep it up?! Will everyone think you’re totally unholy if you take it down? – it is getting sore after all. You’ve now completed your first ‘raising hands session’ during worship. Mission complete.
2. You don’t know the lyrics to the song
You’re doing a good job of glancing towards the screen occasionally and still looking deep in worship but you can pretend no longer when they fail to change the slide for the next verse. You try to mouth along or provide an echo to the band, or some off-tune counter melody you made up on the spot. You start to wonder why they haven’t asked you to be a worship leader when *flick* someone finally changes the slide across to the right one. You breathe a deep sigh of relief and get back to what you’re here for.
3. You can’t clap on beat
A fast paced song comes on and a few people start to clap along. A few more join in until most of the people around you are clapping some complicated éclat. You start mastering just the strongest beat, then make it a double. You’re a bit off in timing so you try to tap your foot along to keep you up with everyone else. It seems to be working. You manage to join them just in time for the final round of the chorus. You feel like a champion, a conqueror – but you’re glad the song is over and that they move onto something slower.
4. You’re left standing alone in your pew
You close your eyes and then next thing you know you missed the memo – your friends are gone and you don’t know where to – the bathroom, outside for some fresh air, the prayer team line, Reconciliation? You do a quick scan of the church - you can either stay put, counting down the painstaking moments until they return, or go looking for them. You run the risk of finding them several people ahead in the Reco line, but you go on the hunt anyway, and now you have to stand by yourself in line for something you didn’t actually want to do. I mean, you want too, buuut you don’t. Y’know?
5. When it’s Adoration night and everyone is kneeling.. except for you
You are deep in worship but feel something change in the room. You open your eyes to find that you missed the cue to kneel because the Blessed Sacrament has just entered the room and you’re the only one still standing. You try to appear calm, like you totally meant do that, and casually take your time to kneel down before the Blessed Sacrament. It’s cool, it’s cool.
6. When you didn’t dress for the moshpit
The worship team decides to finish up with some Hillsong Young & Free and everyone rushes to the front. Your perfectly straightened hair and long sleeve top do not think this is a good idea but you feel the pressure and you follow along anyway. Nobody preps you on ‘what to wear during the sweaty moshpit sessions.’ Afterwards, you avoid your crush and dash to the nearest bathroom. Your fear is realised as you stare at the mirror: your makeup has run, your hair is a mess, and there are sweat patches under your arms. You say a quick goodbye to your friends and quickly leave. It was totally worth it though. Next time, you’ll be prepared.
We all have these freak-outs from time to time, it’s not just reserved for the first-timers. Luckily, the reality is that no one is really watching what you do. If anyone is watching, it is probably just to try and pick up on what to do because they are equally as unsure themselves!
Next time you turn up to an event, be carefree and abandon yourself to worship Jesus, following the promptings of the Holy Spirit!
By Michaela Daphne
Michaela is an author, copywriter, and blogger from Brisbane who is currently living in Singapore. Visit www.michaeladaphne.com and follow her on Instagram @michaeladaphnewriter to find out more.