Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Trouble With Being a Wannabe Rock Star

I feel I have not been as committed to the worship (or my role in the worship life of the church) as my outward, or public, self has been declaring.

This is a new thought.

It hit me yesterday on the train home from work. Up until this point I had convinced myself that I was fully committed. I had discussed the subject of taking on more responsibility with regards the worship in the church with close friends and church leaders. I had been praying about it, studying the bible and reading lots of books (or at times just parts of books – I’m not great at finishing them). Decisions were made and outwardly I was Mr Commitment, Mr Passion-for-worship, Mr Lead-by-God-to-lead-worship – when secretly, unbeknown to even me, I was holding back.

Let me try and explain. In my mind I’ve held on to the idea that I will one day be a rock star. I visualise myself standing on a stage in front of thousands of people who are all there to see me; the singing along to every song, belting each syllable back at me with love and admiration. I’ve even seen my face on the front covers of Rolling Stone, NME, Q or even Smash hits (when I was a wee boy); playing live for Jools Holland or Jo Whiley; the next gig was always the gig where I was going to be discovered as a musical genius – each unfamiliar face was a A&R person at a big record label waiting to raise me up as the new rock god!!!

So what happened?

Lots of things - is the short answer. After much soul searching and a couple of MASSIVE signs from God I realised that I needed to put my wannabe rock star antics to bed and transfer my energy into trekking across the relatively unknown land of worship.

So we finally get to what happened yesterday to shake me (sorry about the delay).

Well I bumped into a musician and fellow songwriter friend I’d done several gigs with on the folk scene in Northern Ireland. We hadn’t seen each other for quite a while and naturally our short conversation was dominated with the subject of music. I asked her if she had been up to much (she was holding a 4 month old baby – so kind of already knew the answer). She then reciprocated and asked me the same question. Here was my moment to share what God had been doing in my life and how I’d been filled this amazing passion for worship and leading God’s people in worship. How I feel lead to pour out my heart in worship whenever I pick up my guitar these days. My response…please do not think any less of me…was two words….two simple words that when out of my mouth crushed me; I could have sworn I heard a cock crowing in the distance; I could see the entire congregation of the church in front of me with their head in their hands in disbelief; I could see Nelson from The Simpsons pointing at me saying “Ha ha”. I said:

“Nothing much”

Arghhhhhhhh!!!! It was that moment I realised I hadn’t committed myself to anything. I was still standing with a foot in each boat – with the boats slowly drifting apart.

The rock star is dead, the servant has risen and I will sing to the Lord a new song.


pappawookee said...

it's funny how God uses our own guilt and shame to chastise us. The way he does it always blows me away. He doesn't give me a row directly, he just flicks a switch and his Revelation leaves me feeling like I just accidentally wedgied myself in front of all the cool kids in school!!!

The mysterious ways of the Lord make me laugh, cry, cringe and feel like running away all at once! But I come back for more every day of my life!

pappawookee said...

It's funny how God makes us feel like we have just been wedgied in front of the cool kids at school!!!!

He always forces my hand and opens my eyes to see my own faults rather than being all disciplinary and pointing the finger saying, 'Evan, this is bad!' - I think He likes to see me cringe and giggles at my pride and stupidity sometimes!!!

Yet I come back for more every day!

Beat Attitude said...

Hey Neil.

I'm reminded of a Nichole Nordeman song "legacy" (check it out on Spotify). I've had a similar experience of the dreaming ego. It's depressing and it makes me impatient and unhappy and conceited.

But (thankyou God!) it's slowly been supplanted by a burning desire to glorify God. The more I understand the gospel, the more un-excited I get by the idea of performing to stadium crowds, by critical acclaim. Jesus is so much greater than us, so much more worthy of praise, so much more worthy of renown. Take the gospel to people who don't know it, or who have lost or forgotten it. Develop your own passion for it and let it fuel your sharing it with others.

Your buddy from the Jiggers :)

Sir Richard The LionHeart said...


This was the blog that I found you with - and am now following. You can probably tell from my own blog what I think about the direction modern church music is going, but hey, you probably have more of a chance being a rock star as a 'worship leader' than anything else.

For me - I am almost the opposite. I have had to turn my back on church fame/rock star junk to get back to playing pop and rock. My faith is bigger, stronger, and Jesus has never been so relevant than when I am forced to be a person of faith in the ordinary world.

I like your blog -