In Worship, Harmony is More than Just Singing

May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Romans 15:5-5 (RSV)

It seems very simple to me:  the rehearsal starts at a specific time.  Each member of the worship team knows what time that is and has the responsibility to be ready to start at that time.  Simple.  Straightforward.  Clear.

Yet, it happened again.  Band rehearsal started with only the keyboard player, the drummer, the bass player and the tech guys.  As we worked through the first set of songs the rest of the worship team trickled in.  Some were apologetic, others confused about the time, still another offered the classic excuse, “I’m usually on time, but this week was hard…”

Well, being the compassionate, others-focused leader that I am (in case you missed that, I was being sarcastic!), I went ahead and unloaded on them.  Now, I’m not the kind that raises my voice, but when I’m irritated people usually get the idea.  So, for the next few minutes I helped raise their awareness of the necessities of arriving on time so that the rehearsals could proceed and we could cover the necessary material.

We continued our rehearsal and worked through each set of songs – though cutting short on some details because we had run out of time.  There was tension in the air, and the irritation bounced from person to person like a super bouncy ball in concrete room.

As I’ve reflected on this incident, I’ve considered the self-centeredness of each one of us and how that shaped our view of the situation.  Those of us who were on time felt inconvenienced and disrespected, while those who were late felt wrongly accused and were never given the chance to explain their situation.  From each person’s perspective, there was validity in their feelings.

Considering the verse quoted above, however, there was a breakdown in the “harmony” of our group.  God had granted that we could “live in harmony with one another,” but we failed to walk into the reality of His gift on that morning.  We were selfish – each of us – and that focus on ourselves and our own inconvenience and excuses caused the breakdown.  We may have performed together that day, but I have a hard time believing that we were “together with one voice.”

When we deal with these situations, and the differing personalities and life habits that team members have, there are better ways to resolve the issues that arise.  It seems that those who are late could consider more carefully the stress others feel because of time constraints and details that must be overlooked.  Those who are normally early must be willing to see the people and their needs first, before assuming others don’t care about the task at hand.  Either way, the focus must move from “self” to “one another.”

If you notice the verses again, you’ll see that the point being made about unity is expressed in musical terms.  To sing in “harmony” and with “one voice” we must be aware of what is happening in the lives of the other members of the team.  We must be willing to listen, forgive and pray – as well as pursue opportunities to help each other do better and managing our time and expectations.

The whole point, after all, is to glorify God.  Glorifying Him is not just singing some nice songs and sounding pretty, it’s about how we live with each other and how our love overcomes difficulties.  Glorifying Him is holistic and encompasses each part of our life and relationships.  May we do so with greater care for those around us.

Father, You’ve granted to us the gift of living in harmony.  Help us to experience that harmony in each of our relationships and together glorify You as our Lord and Creator.  Amen.


Posted on August 11, 2015, in Content of Worship, Corporate Worship, Leadership, theology, Worship Leader and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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