What Happens If Your Worship Leader Is Out of Tune?

Photo of Westminster Abbey choir by geo pixel
Photo of Westminster Abbey choir by geo pixel, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56978340

I’m not a great singer. I’m pretty much always out of tune. Worse yet, I don’t know how to get back into tune once I’ve fallen out of it. It’s not that I don’t know that I sound terrible. I’m totally aware of it. But there’s nothing I can do about it. I feel really sorry for the people in church who sit in front of me. I try to sing softly, but sometimes I get carried away in the song and just belt it out.

I imagine the people around me just think, “Oh bless her heart. What she lacks in talent she makes up for in enthusiasm.” But what if it’s not a congregant who’s out of tune? What if it’s the worship leader? You know, the professional musician who leads us amateurs in song? What if he’s having an off day? What chance do the rest of us have to get it right?

It’s happened more times than I care to count. It’s happened at multiple churches. It’s happened in cities on each coast. All I can do is cringe, and think of the choir. How do those brave souls, many of whom probably have perfect pitch, keep those smiles on their faces? How does the guy manning the sound board resist the urge to turn down the leader’s microphone? How does the pastor not get up and start his sermon early just to give us all a break?

I can only think that it must be Jesus. The Holy Spirit is truly empowering us to go above and beyond our natural capacity to be snarky, eye-rolling, judgmental jerks. And that’s a beautiful thing. Wait a second, maybe God is doing this to the worship leaders on purpose.

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