I was privileged to lead about 500 women in worship through music this past weekend. It's something that I frequently do and I find it a very enjoyable privilege.
I prefer to maintain some sort of professionalism when I lead and though I can be quite emotional off the stage, I find it hard to sing well and cry at the same time, so I prefer to maintain some sort of composure. But this past weekend was so full of little kisses from heaven upon my own heart, that I couldn't hold back the tears very well.
In discussing this with some friends, I discovered that they much prefer to see a worship leader who isn't afraid to cry and let their true emotions show.
I held it together until the other singer, Bonnie Keen, sang a most beautiful arrangement of the "untitled hymn". The last time I sang that song was at the funeral of a 13 year old son of a deacon family at my previous church.
I've never handled death very well, not sure if it's due to so much death in my own family or what, but whatever the case, I couldn't get through that song at his funeral and I wasn't getting through listening to it this past weekend either. I was doing ok until the last verse......'fly to Jesus'. My tears began to fly too.
It was my turn to lead an upbeat version of "I Am Free" right after Bonnie moved us with her song and all I could do was cry. Since I had just had a discussion about showing your emotions when you lead worship, I decided to do something different and let the tears flow freely. After I was able to pull myself together enough to speak, I just told the women that I was so moved by that song and could not hear that song without thinking of the family who lost their teenage son. His name was Nathan. The brother I lost in our farm pond was named Nathan also.
On the way home from the conference, I got up the courage to ask my friends what they thought of letting my emotions show in that instance. I was quite shocked at their answers. They wanted to see a worship leader who was 'touchable' and somehow my transparency made me relatable to them. If these were my good friends feeling this, how much more must people you've never met need to feel this.
This hit home when a new found friend on facebook sent me the following message:
"thanks 4 ur friend acceptance 2 fb. i say again how awesome ur leadership was in our worship music this past weekend @ sandy cove. luv'd 2 ur open emotion, i think that shows a true heart & i forgot any tissues...so thankgoodness for sleeves!! lol."
I don't mind being transparent, but I always feel that hesitancy when it comes to being on the platform and being in front of people. Why do we need to be so prim and proper?
I welcome the thought of being a 'weepy' worship leader.
How do you feel when someone on the platform weeps? Would love to hear your comments.