God showed up. I think I know what is meant by this phrase. It can be a way of saying “we felt emotionally touched during the music time,” which can be an okay thing—it would be weird for Christians to never feel engaged emotionally in worshiping God—but it can also be a way of equating emotional reactions with God’s presence in an unhelpful way, in a way that inadvertently communicates to people that when they don’t feel good, God must be absent.
In which a crusty old curmudgeon rants a little about annoying song leader banter. Don’t take this too seriously, except maybe do.
- Are we ready to have fun this morning?
The answer is, “Probably not.” The truth is, when this is your welcome at the start of the music time, it tells me where your head’s at. Nobody goes to church to have abad time, of course, and I’m sure plenty of people go to “have fun,” but is this the point of worship? Is “having fun” where you want hearts directed as you lead people to exalt God? No, it’s where you want hearts directed when you’re just trying to “crush your set” or “rock it out for Jesus” [see #5]. “Are we ready to have fun?” is just slightly worse than this next common opener:
- How’s everybody feeling?
If I wanted to stretch to justify this statement, I could say that what you’re asking the congregation to do is self-reflect on their spiritual condition and present their real, whole selves honestly and submissively to the glory of Christ as you lead them in adoration of him. But my guess is that 9.9 times out of 10 what you’re really trying to do is get people to say, “Woooooooo!”
- You can do better than that!
Or some other form of nagging about how we’re not singing or participating to your liking. It’s never really on my mind at a church service to think of ways to impress the worship leader. Similarly shaming is:
7. I can’t hear you!
6. [Introducing a hymn] Here’s an oldie we dusted off
5. “Rockin’ worship.”
4. Lord, we invite you to be here
3. God showed up
2. Let’s give God a hand
1. Turn to your neighbor and _____________