Here's one for all of you with an opinion either way. If you have one, I'd like to hear it. I know how I feel but I am hearing how others feel and the arguments are interesting on both sides.
I am now in a band called Midlife Chrysler. I haven't been with them long, perhaps 4 weeks of rehearsals. We have a couple of possible gigs coming up and one of them is to play for the Celebrate Recovery meeting at church. We wouldn't be playing our typical rock tunes but a set of worship songs. Now, here comes the meat of the debate.
Most of you know I used to be a minister, most recently a worship leader. But things went sour at that church and I was "let go." It wasn't the only thing that lead to my current "crisis of faith" but it was a major factor. To make a long story short, I don't believe like I used to. Heck, there are some days I don't believe at all. It's a daily wrestling match. But belief or unbelief, I don't really love God anymore so I don't worship. As a worship leader, I took the subject of worship very seriously. I know, for the most part, what it's for and what it's all about and I know that I don't have it in me to sing praises to God. Sure, I could fake it and I'd be darn convincing but that's not me. I like to operate from a place of authenticity even if it means being a pain in the butt. So, I have chosen not to worship. Now, I have lead worship once or twice since that time but it didn't feel right so I stopped. Folks tell me that I am a gifted worship leader which doesn't help me in the struggle. I have no doubt that I was a gifted leader when my faith was intact but I don't want to be encouraged for faking it.
So, do I do the worship gig with the band or not? I have been honest with them and I have had a chance to dialogue a little bit with them but we haven't had a full blown discussion. My position is one of not wanting to get up and fake it. Others have the position of who among us is worthy to lead worship in the first place. We all have our stuff that gets in the way and God doesn't need you to get cleaned up before you come to Him. Others say I might find my way back to God if I'll just start singing. Maybe. I understand most if not all of the arguments. It's a tug-of-war that I've struggled with a long time. The last church we attended had an atheist playing bass. That would have never happened if I were in leadership back in the day. We always believed that those leading worship should at least be attempting a relationship with God. But who's to say that letting an atheist play bass in the worship band is a bad thing? So, you see my struggle. I go back and forth on the issues.
I know this entry is a confusing mess but hopefully you understood the point I was trying to make. If you have an opinion, I'd love to hear it. You can leave it in the comments or, if it's really lengthy, shoot me an email. I welcome all arguments.