“Is it weird to hear a pink bunny rabbit sing these depressing songs?”
As I’ve mentioned before, that’s what Adam Duritz, lead singer of the Counting Crows, asked me and 10,000 other people one night at a concert.
The show was held on Halloween night in Boston. The entire band was dressed up in costumes and Duritz had a full bunny outfit on. Pink fur, white belly, two long ears.
Just imagine a delightful little bunny singing these lyrics from the song, “Perfect Blue Buildings””
Asleep in perfect blue buildings,
Beside the green apple sea,
Gonna get me a little oblivion, baby,
And try to keep myself away from me.
It was weird to hear a bunny sing that and at the time, I thought the lyrics were actually, “Gonna get me a little Bolivian baby.” I honestly assumed Duritz was making a wry comment on celebrity adoption habits and was saying that if he adopted a Bolivian baby, all his problems would go away. (If you’re a Bolivian baby and you’re reading this, first of all, congrats on being bilingual and reading at such a young age and second of all please know I have nothing against Bolivian babies. You are easily one of my favorite types of South American infants. Top 3. Seriously. Nothing but love from SCL.)
Duritz is a master of the mid song chit chat, but unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing for all worship leaders. Sometimes the prospect of an open mic and a captive audience proves too tempting to resist. Sometimes it’s hard to resist the urge to deliver a worship leader mini sermon. Although I’ve written about this phenomenon before, I failed to give you any real pointers on how to perfectly execute a worship leader mini sermon. (And clearly, as someone that’s never been a worship leader and whose one claim to musical fame is dressing up as Britney Spears for a youth group song parody, I am extremely qualified to impart this wisdom.)
Here are the three best techniques for worship leader mini sermons:
1. The Examples Method
I don’t know Steve Fee personally, but I know he’s a really talented worship leader and he can flow with examples like few people in the game. In this technique, you wait until you get to a slow part of the song and then elaborate on the message by listing out numerous examples of how it can be applied to our lives. I think it started with that song “In my life Lord be glorified.” Our church used to sing 37 verses of that. “In my church Lord. In my home Lord. In my school Lord. ” Fortunately, folks like Fee have rescued the Examples Method and applied it in some cool ways. Here is a snippet of what Fee says on the Live Catalyst Reverb CD, which I can’t stop listening to:
“If we’re going to say glory to God it doesn’t mean just glory to God when I’m in front of people or glory to God when people are watching. It means glory to God with every word and every thought and every motive, every meditation. .. It’s as if we’re saying in every part of my life, in every corner, in every shadow of my life, glory to God, with every relationship, glory to God, with every motive, glory to God, with every word and thought, glory to God.”
There are 13 examples in that blurb and although that seems like a lot when read on a blog, in the context of a live song, with a worship leader that’s in the zone, this works.
2. The Dictionary Method
A lot of people will tell you that if you’re a worship leader and you want to dabble in the art of the mini sermon, you’re going to need to have at least three words you can break down into Hebrew. For my money though you only need one: Hallelujah. “It’s a Hebrew contraction Halleh and Yahweh, Halleh meaning to celebrate, to rave, to shine, to praise, to praise Yahweh.” At least that’s what a worship leader told me recently in a song. And best of all, he did what every great dictionary master does, he told me how many times the word appears in the Bible.
3. The Bible Method
Knowing the Bible as a worship leader isn’t a contest, but if it was, please know that Aaron Keyes would crush you. You might know a lot of Bible, you might be able to quote long passages and complex verses, but it doesn’t matter, Aaron Keyes knows more Bible than you do. I promise. At the Off the Blogs event, I was sitting in the crowd in awe at his ability to seamlessly wrap scripture into the worship experience. I was sitting next to Billy Graham and even he said, “Oh snap, that Aaron Keyes is a player.” And Aaron heard him from the stage and replied, “I’m not a player I just crush a lot.” I leaned over to my wife and said, “Did Aaron Keyes just quote Big Pun to Billy Graham?” The whole thing was insane. OK, it didn’t happen that exact way, but I swear if Billy Graham had come to Off the Blogs, even he would have been impressed with Aaron’s Bible knowledge.
Those are my three favorite methods for the worship leader mini sermon.
Did I miss any?
Has your worship leader ever given a mini sermon?
Are you a worship leader that can flow with a mini sermon?