Last academic year I meet with a team at work to put names to the values of the school, and to choose parables to go with each one. When we got to the value of service, we decided on the parable of the talents, to which the sixth formers involved in the meeting automatically said “miss miss miss, you’ve got to do Archbishops got talent”. They knew that this was the kind of mad worship I would lead – they know me well. So… When I was drawing up the rota I put myself down for service.
Service was this week, so two weeks ago I started my plea “if you have any talents that you are willing to show off to the school, let Mrs Netherton know” in a school of over 900, 1 pupil approached me.
What was I going to do? I couldn’t do the planned Archbishop’s got talent – when no one was willing to share their talents.
It got to Tuesday evening, the worship was the next day, I was struggling struggling struggling, and then it clicked. I had to demonstrate. It’s difficult for us to acknowledge our talents sometimes. It’s downright scary to take the risk of sharing those talents, or recognising how those talents/gifts may be of benefit to others.
I was vulnerable, I told the pupils how I had to get over my issues surrounding leading sung worship, how I still get nervous every single time, how I still need people to tell me I’m doing well. I encouraged them to use their gifts to serve others. I usually end by playing a video for them to reflect during, before ending with a prayer. This time, I took a majorly big step, walked off stage, sat down at the piano, playing and singing the song instead.
I was physically shaking, I could barely press the pedal on the piano. I’ve rapped on stage before, I’ve sung as part of a team but also as I was dressed up it wasn’t me, I’ve led worship with others singing along, I have never done this before.
It took me the whole day to recover. But the espouse was amazing, including pupils wanting to raise money selling jewellery they have made, and wanting to take an assembly because they were inspired. One of my friends sending me a ridiculously sweet text about how strong and inspiring I am, which i definitely didn’t feel like.
I have to remind myself, how can we expect people to take risks, to make themselves vulnerable, if we are not willing to do the same ourselves?
Leading the worship is an honour and a privilege, and one of the most stressful yet most enjoyable parts of my job. I never quite know what I’m going to do next, I just pray that the insertion keeps coming to me, so that I can attempt to inspire those in front of me.