Say what you will about hymnals, they never went blank in the middle of a song. In between verses you never looked down and realized there were suddenly no words on the page. But that happens to worship songs sometimes.
Equipment fails. A coffee is spilled in the soundbooth. A volunteer didn’t load all the slides. The worship leader went too fast with the song and got ahead of the person controlling the words. Any number of things can happen, but the result is always the same.
You look up to belt out the next verse of “Blessed Be Your Name” and you’ve got nothing. The screen is blank. There are no words. This has happened to me a number of times at church over the years and these are only 4 possible things you can do in the audience:
Oldest trick in the book. When you don’t know the words to a song, you simply mouth, “Watermelon,” over and over again. Why this word is the accepted fake out word, instead of say, “Honey Dew Melon,” is beyond me, but it’s true. You need a go to lip synch word? Watermelon time.
2. Stop singing.
Sit this verse out. That’s what happened the last time I was at church and the words went blank. 98% of the crowd stopped singing and just kind of stared at the worship leader in the same way people stared at me when I walked in to my friend Jake’s surprise party and his wife Tara yelled out, “That’s the guy that ruined the surprise party.” Probably not my favorite entrance I’ve ever made into a room.
3. Close your eyes.
It’s not that you don’t know the words of the song, not at all. You’re just so deep in worship you can’t even open your eyes. Lot of people are going to add some outstretched arms to this move, but not me. Pretending to be lost in worship is dicey business. Be careful about this option.
4. Go up to the soundbooth and tell them there’s a mistake.
If there’s one thing sound guys/girls love is when people point out a billboard sized mistake. Maybe you’re the only one who noticed it. Just say, “I’m not sure if you saw or not, but we’re all trying to worship baby Jesus right now and you’re kind of shotblocking that moment. Could you not do that please? Can we have the third verse?” That should go over well.
What do I do when the words go blank during a worship song? I say a small prayer. It goes something like this, “God, will you please remind me to write about this situation on Stuff Christians Like? I’m worshipping and don’t want to snap out of that to pick up my moleskine and scribble this idea down. Will you please hold it and give it back to me when I’m flying on a plane and in writing mode? Thanks!”
But then, I’m weird.
What do you do when there’s an error on the worship music lyrics?