First, I want to give a quick apology for the lateness of this post. I was out of town for a wedding over the Memorial Day weekend, and I’ve been catching up.
Second, I would like to introduce you to a friend a fellow worship leader, Nathan Perkins. Nathan is the head worship leader at Hope Vineyard Church in St. Louis, which happens to be the church I spent my formative years in. He also happens to have grown up there.
So without further ado….
In 1981, the duo of Simon and Garfunkel returned to play a concert in Central Park. The purpose of this concert was to raise money as a benefit to rehabilitate Central Park; the 70’s and 80’s were a very violent and tumultuous period for New York City and the famous park had fallen into a state of extreme disrepair and was often a venue for drug deals and other criminal activity to take place. New York City wanted its park back.
Their collaboration and weeks of strenuous work efforts produced this concert:
At the time, the concert only raised about $51,000 for Central Park (Hundreds of thousands was the goal) and both Simon and Garfunkel felt that the concert was generally a musical failure despite their best intentions.
Do you ever feel like this after a worship set? I know that I do. Often, following a time of worship, I am usually my own worst enemy and critique every chord or note that I have played. In my most frustrating times as a Worship Leader, I’ve shed a few tears or thrown an item or two across the room.
Going back to Simon and Garfunkel… It turns out that their concert that they immediately deemed a failure ended up becoming one of the works that they are most famous for. It topped charts in multiple countries and Rolling Stone called it the best performance that year for any artist.
That’s what I take away from this life lesson. As musicians, we often deem our works and creations an immediate failure, but that’s not how the Kingdom of God works. In God’s Kingdom, nothing is an immediate failure. I can think of many times off-hand that I have played what felt like the worst set ever, turn around, a hear multiple compliments from congregation members. The trick? Don’t be so quick to judge your works and feel discouraged: see what the Holy Spirit does…. sometimes just being available is all that is necessary.