I did Sweet Beulah Land as a solo in church this morning. I really wanted to try a few of the skills I learned in Nashville from Allison Durham Speer.
I had it all planned out, cause you know, that's the best way to look spontaneous. (Actually, I'm being serious. Sometimes you need to plan your 'spontaneity" on stage so it doesn't come off as sloppy.) Singers in our church are generally of the plant-and-sing mentality. So.... I decided to move! I used a handheld mic with a long cord, and during the last verse of the song, I moved off the chancel steps and walked towards the congregation. And then ... oh my! ... at the end of the song, I asked them to sing along, acapella, on the chorus again. This was so completely planned! I had the lyrics printed up for the screen, and I made sure the choir knew it so they could be my support.
Nobody has done this kind of thing in our church on a Sunday morning before. I was a little nervous, cause it's always risky trying new things during Sunday worship. But as my wonderful friend, Archbishop Ted Scott said, "We should comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable."
My singing was good. I felt strong and in the moment. I asked God to sing through me, and He came through for me. (Isn't that just His way?) But it was hard to tell the congregation's reaction. A lot of people sang along, which was great. But you know when you just can't tell an audience's reaction? It was like that. Only one person, other than my parents, commented on it after the service. Not that I'm doing it to see how many people will line up to praise me, but we all know we use it as a barometer.
All in all, however, I'm glad I tried it, and, God willing, I will definitely try this style of communicating again.
Our preacher yesterday was from All Saints church in downtown Toronto. She works in a church that caters to addicts and the homeless. What a powerful speaker! Her church is in my neighbourhood, so I've offered to come and sing some Sunday morning. I know they could never afford to hire musicians. Their needs are so much more basic. I hope she asks me to come. I'd really be honoured to sing there.
Only a few days til Write About Jesus. Still trying to gather all my stuff together. Very excited!!!