One of my favorite features of the WordPress statistics page (web hits & clicks, etc.) is the “Search Engine Terms.” This means that if you Google a phrase that leads you to my blog, I’m told what the phrase is. For instance, I once wrote a blog about getting my butt stuck in the passenger seat of my car due to a bubble gum accident. Now, I’m privy to a good amount (more than you would think) of butt-gum internet searches: butt stuck in window, butt in gum, left butt stuck, my butt is stuck, and so forth.
By far, the most common search terms that bring people to my blog have to deal with worship. Last year, I was Freshly Pressed due to my blog Confessions of a Former Worship Leader. In short, my thesis was twofold: the church encourages musicianship without calling it music, or concerts, fostering a milieu of anxiety ridden (red-headed, guitar playing) church musicians; and the church, or us, has gone overboard, or obsessed, in presenting a program-over-people approach of worship.
I don’t mean to revisit the post fully; I have no intention of that. Personally, I’m very much beyond it (admittedly, because, I don’t attend Sunday service anymore). However, since the worship blog brings droves of readers to my site—with a bevy of search terms along with it—it seems wise to share what I have learned from the people who frequent my site.
SIDE NOTE: These search terms are used for education and discussion only, not to expose anyone’s dirty laundry. If enough take offense, I will be happy to reconsider the content of this post.
The worship conversation is still very much alive, the disconnect as well. Every day (not an exaggeration) I read search terms from people who are confused, angry, broken, curious, sometimes tormented by what the church (we) have labeled as “worship.” Others are looking for the “perfect team,” and others, still, for the “perfect formula.” The chasm, or disconnect, is growing wider, and that is unfortunate.
Here’s some selections from the past year with a few short comments at the bottom.
getting burnt out as a worship leader
after leading worship i feel empty
i picked the wrong person for worship
we can’t worship and honor god just any way we want
how to fix a broken worship team
raising your left hand during worship
worship should it be trendy
is it wrong to work up worship
difference between concert and praise night
worship leader struggles
is the praise n worship leader allowed to have sex
feeling believed in as a worship leader
the demise of the worship leader
how do worship leaders feel when leading worship
best way to set up my worship team
doubts about my role in worship team
why do we pump people to praise in church
our worship service has become a rock concert
don’t put on a concert when leading worship
using worship music to get in the mood to hear god
things to do to have a good worship singing session
should churches have a worship leader
have you ever thought that the worship leaders should be off to the side and everyone else can just worship
What does this all mean? Well, the old adage you can’t make everyone happy definitely holds true here. The church looks different through everyone’s eyes, worship especially: some want to rock harder, some want to rock less, some want to elevate others, some want to bomb the stage.
While I’m tempted to capture and exploit a theme, I won’t. Posting this was enough from me; I’m curious to hear from you. What does this say about us, our generation, our worship? Are we on the right track? Are we lost? Perhaps we are bored and endlessly searching. I don’t know.
Maybe you do.