I remember a Sunday at Sandals when JC’s Girls had had an outreach the night before. JC’s Girls was an outreach my wife was a part of to the sex industry/strippers/porn stars/ect. of Los Angeles. I remember walking up to the mic…starting the song…looking down…
All over the first 2 rows. Scattered like confetti.
Apparently the outreach was a smashing success.
And suddenly I forgot every word to the first song we sang.
“Look up”, I thought.
“Just look up”.
Every trick from Every Man’s Battle I’d learned was not working.
Bouncing…um no. Wasn’t working.
I battled through the set and went back to the locker room (a poor church’s green room) defeated.
I’d just thought about breasts and God for an entire worship set.
Stick a fork in me…I was done.
Then after the service Heather (mi hesposa) introduced me to one of the girls.
I can’t remember her name but I remember her story.
And I remember the humanity in her voice.
And at that moment I realized that it was not just on successful JC’s Girls Sunday morning I had had trouble connecting with my church.
It was every Sunday morning.
You see there is a story behind every person who walks into your service.
And to 99% of them…you are just a guy or girl on a mic with a lot more energy than they have or ever want to have on a Sunday morning.
I remember making a conscious effort beginning the next Sunday to be in the crowd before and after every set.
30 minutes before I got on stage I would walk the aisles of the gym and meet every single person that was sitting there. I heard stories of greatness and sadness. Stories of hope and despair.
When I took the stage 2 things happened.
1. I was more than the hyper bald brown guy on stage. I was Carlos and there was a shrinking of the gap between them and I that I never knew existed. The more Sundays I did this the smaller the gap became.
2. They were more than just the lady who cried during every song, the guy who keeps his hands in his pocket during every song and could care less, the stripper with the WAY too tight clothes on…or off, the couple who makes out during every worship song.
They became the lady whose son died a year before, the guy who tells all his friends how amazing our band is, the girl who is working at Ralphs grocery store in the am and stripping in the pm to feed her 2 kids, and the make out couple…well they just love to make out.
Stories…they make our world spin. And those people in front of you, each and every Sunday, they are full of them. They are waiting for you to hear them so that when they start crying on that bridge of that song each and every week…you will know why.
Get out from in front of the people and get beside them…
You’re worship leadership will explode.