Sabbatical leave…continued.

“But we must be careful. It is much easier to sing about God’s love than to truly be God’s love. It is far too easy to let singing be the most obvious outward expression of our love for God when it is our lavish, selfless and outrageous love for people – even the unlovable – that should define us.”

What defines you?
What should define me, as a christian?
I felt defined by my role as a church singer. And it felt in-congruent. I think when people hear that one of the youth has ‘stepped down’ from a ministry position they assume that you are having sex have sin in your life. Or maybe that’s just my mothers paranoia. lol.

It felt incongruent becauseI felt my personality didn’t fit. It feels like there’s a big focus on looks, you need to look worshipful and happy. But I’m not an expressive person. Even when i am happy it’s hard for others to tell.

But if my heart was worshipping, what does it matter if i have to force out some expression? That’s why you’re there, to encourage others to engage with god through music, and that aint gonna happen if people are looking at you thinking she’s bored or uninterested.

I think even though my heart was worshipping and i would sing in as much truth as i could find, my heart was also questioning and doubting, dreaming, of other ways to do church and faith.

So yes it felt fake to some extent. I felt hypocritical. It’s hard to look worshipful when you’re thinking, god we both know i’m singing lies right now. Or, do i really know you god? Or I hope that one day i can make sacrifices for you instead of it being a meaningless lyric.

I didn’t feel like it allowed room for that kind of thinking and feeling. I don’t know if that’s just in my own head, my perceptions of what others are thinking/judging/expecting of me, or if it’s actually true.


About cornstalk
Corn. Singer. Nurse. Lover of music. Pursuing God (trying...). Secluded. Pianist. Wannabe gypsy. Silly.

2 Responses to Sabbatical leave…continued.

  1. Rebecca says:

    I think you’re right on the money. In fact, this blog could be something I wrote about ten years ago – it’s word for word how I felt about singing in church. The fact is, there is and always will be an element of performance about church singing, especially the upbeat Pente-type services. And even though we ALL have doubts about faith, church, etc, it’s become the norm to hide those feelings and only present the positive side of yourself while in ministry. It might seem harmless to do that, but in reality it’s insidious – people soon feel they can’t relate to those on stage because of the “perfect” image projected from there, so they feel Christianity is too hard and they’ll never be good enough, so they drop away.

    Seems you have two choices – one, to accept church singing for what it is and just enjoy the opportunity to be musical without tying yourself in knots about whether you mean every single syllable you’re singing. Or two, if you feel you can’t reconcile your true self and your relationship with God (complete with its ups and downs) with the persona you’re expected to adopt while on stage, then don’t sing up the front any more. Find another outlet for your musicality. At least then your relationship with God can proceed without all those expectations weighing it down. 🙂

  2. cornstalk says:

    Thanks for your supportive comment 🙂 Yea i think we have had a conversation about this before. What you said about not being able to relate to those on stage because of the perfect image thing, is so important. I used to feel a lot of guilt about it all, which i don’t deal with very well. And so that would cause me to draw away from god. And as you said, other people are often going through the same thing. So i don’t want to contribute to something that might have that effect on other people.
    I think some people just deal with it better, like they just don’t need to tie themselves up in knots over every syllable. Sometimes i do wish i could just get over it..but I don’t think i’m like that. I gave it a good go though, i sang for about 7 years. lol.
    For me it was important to stop doing it. But i don’t know if there’s a better way it can be dealt with, rather than just dropping out all together. I guess one example is when i went to a catholic church in town i couldn’t see any singer but there was a lovely voiced amplified, leading the songs.
    Thanks for your thoughts 🙂

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