Q & A: Appearing "Worshipful"

Q: I am a singer in a choir, and I am having a hard time looking at the congregation when I am singing a song that speaks to God. Yet I want others to know that this is a message to them, that they can have this personal time with Him, as well—it is not just for those on the stage. I love to close my eyes when I am singing; I can block out all the distractions and focus on Him. But it can look like I am ignoring the congregation, or that I am lazy or tired, even though I have joy on my face. How do I maintain the balance?

RICK MUCHOW: Simply put, when I am singing a lyric to God like “I love you Lord,” I don’t look into the eyes of other people. I look up or close my eyes. When I’m singing a song about when we worship—for example, in the song “Shine” by Matt Redman that says “we will shine like stars in the universe”—I will thoughtfully, sincerely look at other worshippers to acknowledge that we’re all in this together as the body of Christ, and we serve and love a wonderful God.

It is important when leading worship to remember that the goal is to connect others to God in worship. The worship leader’s most intimate worship experience is mostly done when we are NOT leading others: in a quiet time, private worship, or when we take part in a corporate worship services as a member of the congregation.

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Rick Muchow
Rick Muchow is the Pastor of Worship at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA and has served faithfully there for 21 years. Rick has recorded 11 albums and has 84 songs registered with CCLI; he also authored The Worship Answer Book and is a contributing editor to Leadership journal. Rick offers resources and ministry support to the local church through his Web site, EncouragingMusic.com.