In my 29 short years on this planet thus far, there are some things that I feel I have learned; nuggets of wisdom, fish fingers of insight, battered mantras if you will.
One of these is that one’s sobriety is inversely proportional to the strength of one’s belief that a pint of cider could be balanced on one’s finger.
Another is that stuff should be more fun.
As such, I am a firm believer that there are very few situations that cannot be improved by the wearing of a fake moustache. One time I banned the word deadline in my meetings and replaced it with the infinitely more appealing ‘happy fun-time day’. The ability to laugh at oneself is a prerequisite for being a competent human being.
Too much turkey without cranberry sauce
Worship music in particular, could do with a large serving of this delicious, fried maxim.
For a while now, the music we play in church has been strongly influenced by the Coldplay/U2/Snow Patrol sound. And I have no problem with that per se – I happen to be a really big fan of dotted eighth note delay and really easy guitar solos. And there are plenty of reasons why those bands provide an excellent model for worship music.
But just as too much turkey without cranberry sauce gets bland quickly, a Coldplay-heavy diet without enough Jackson Five – for instance – to complement it can easily become a little too earnest and, well, dreary.
Obviously, worship is something that I take seriously. But I happen to passionately believe that having fun and taking something seriously are not mutually exclusive concepts.
And I’m not saying that all worship music should be hysterically fun – full of lollipops, bubbles and fake smiles; that’s not real life.
Of course, there are times in worship when we need to be quiet, times to be still and contemplate, times to be overwhelmed and in awe, times to be grandiose and anthemic, times to weep and to lament.
But there are also times to have a downright good laugh. And we’ve not always been great at that.
So, next time you lead worship, why not chuck in an unexpected reggae bridge, a key change or three (bonus points for only modulating a semitone at a time), or play one of those songs that gradually speeds up with each verse.
Because stuff should be more fun.
Also, just to put your mind at ease, I have never personally tried to balance a pint of cider on my finger.