Worship Leader Chronicles: Six Outrageous things I did in church!

I suspect that many of my worship leader and creative arts leaders have programmed some memorable and even outrageous moments. Now, these are not super-edgy, but at the time some felt these to be out-of-the-box.

  •  I love beach balls, and for a service I decided that dropping several hundred from the catwalks with strobes would do. Each ball represented a decision made to follow Jesus from various mission trips, inner city outreaches and back yard Bible clubs of four sister churches working together.
  • Dueling drummers are cool! Ever play a set with two full kits? How about doing this all in a worship service. For my final service as worship pastor at a church I served, the two drummers were very close to me and I had to have them BOTH play. It rocked, but the 113 dB sound pressure level emptied a few seats during the Saturday service. Ouch!
  • Wearing a hat in church is fine, unless you are the actual worship leader. I only did a couple times, but wow! It started at a Christmas Eve service where the fedora fit my outfit. One Sunday my alarm failed to wake me so I covered the bedhead and led worship.
  •  My son was born on a Saturday, and I slept in the hospital. Of course, being a young worship leader I thought I should still lead worship the next morning. Being near my new son and in the hospital room with him and my wife meant I did not sleep a wink. So, the next morning was a bit rough.
  • My very first–and last timepreaching at a former church of mine was when I asked the church members to pull out their cell phones and sign up for Twitter! We then did a poll and made the service interactive. I confess, that I plugged my blog–of course after plugging the lead pastor’s blog, too.
  • We had a Saturday night where the unthinkable happened: no drummer was available. This only has happened once to me in nearly two decades, by the way. I grabbed every candle in the building, at home, and what texting and phone calls could muster. We did an acoustic set and the service went off great. As we launched the services I said, “We took every precaution, so the fire marshall should be proud of me.” Well, he was in the congregation that night and not smiling. Oops!

Any outrageous stories of things you did as a worship leader or speaker in church? Please, share your story!

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

20 comments

  1. This made me laugh, man. I must admit I made a couple people here in this starbucks look over at me and wonder what I’m reading. I think it’s so funny because I am very aware of some of the church politics (and personalities) in at least one of the churches you are referring to. So, I completely understand the outrageousness of a few of these things. I could add to this list myself. 
    1. Leading worship barefoot. You’d think I forgot to wear pants.
    2. Reading from a bible and then tossing it on the ground after quoting it. (FYI: if dropped from an elevation higher than 2 feet, it’s considered blasphemous. If below 2 feet, you’re fine.)
    3. Wearing a white dress shirt in front of a dark maroon background curtain (self-centered, and attention seeking. Oh the contrast of the colors!)
    4. Leading worship from my knees for a instrumental portion of a song. (That is so uncomfortable for people who don’t want to feel pressured to have to express their worship in a similar way.)
    5. I’ll stop there.

    It’s crazy the things that can be considered “outrageous.” 
    My two cents? Try the fedora hat again sometime. You just need to find a church that cares more about the heart of worship than whatever it is that got stuck up their-james

    1. The things on my list were for the most part very effective–except for the hat. I was happy to not wear it on stage since it was such an easy thing to change! And, I do love hats.
      Honestly, seeing you lead on your knees would freak me out if I was there. 😉 Barefoot is cool! My next list should be the “FOOLISH” things. It might be a bit more embarrassing than what I shared but worth it. Thanks James!
      RK

    2. Leading worship on ypur knees is powerful and spirit led.

  2. This made me laugh, man. I must admit I made a couple people here in this starbucks look over at me and wonder what I’m reading. I think it’s so funny because I am very aware of some of the church politics (and personalities) in at least one of the churches you are referring to. So, I completely understand the outrageousness of a few of these things. I could add to this list myself. 
    1. Leading worship barefoot. You’d think I forgot to wear pants.
    2. Reading from a bible and then tossing it on the ground after quoting it. (FYI: if dropped from an elevation higher than 2 feet, it’s considered blasphemous. If below 2 feet, you’re fine.)
    3. Wearing a white dress shirt in front of a dark maroon background curtain (self-centered, and attention seeking. Oh the contrast of the colors!)
    4. Leading worship from my knees for a instrumental portion of a song. (That is so uncomfortable for people who don’t want to feel pressured to have to express their worship in a similar way.)
    5. I’ll stop there.
    It’s crazy the things that can be considered “outrageous.” 
    My two cents? Try the fedora hat again sometime. You just need to find a church that cares more about the heart of worship than whatever it is that got stuck up their-james

    1. The things on my list were for the most part very effective–except for the hat. I was happy to not wear it on stage since it was such an easy thing to change! And, I do love hats.
      Honestly, seeing you lead on your knees would freak me out if I was there. 😉 Barefoot is cool! My next list should be the “FOOLISH” things. It might be a bit more embarrassing than what I shared but worth it. Thanks James!
      RK

    2. Leading worship on ypur knees is powerful and spirit led.

  3. This made me laugh, man. I must admit I made a couple people here in this starbucks look over at me and wonder what I’m reading. I think it’s so funny because I am very aware of some of the church politics (and personalities) in at least one of the churches you are referring to. So, I completely understand the outrageousness of a few of these things. I could add to this list myself. 
    1. Leading worship barefoot. You’d think I forgot to wear pants.
    2. Reading from a bible and then tossing it on the ground after quoting it. (FYI: if dropped from an elevation higher than 2 feet, it’s considered blasphemous. If below 2 feet, you’re fine.)
    3. Wearing a white dress shirt in front of a dark maroon background curtain (self-centered, and attention seeking. Oh the contrast of the colors!)
    4. Leading worship from my knees for a instrumental portion of a song. (That is so uncomfortable for people who don’t want to feel pressured to have to express their worship in a similar way.)
    5. I’ll stop there.

    It’s crazy the things that can be considered “outrageous.” 
    My two cents? Try the fedora hat again sometime. You just need to find a church that cares more about the heart of worship than whatever it is that got stuck up their-james

    1. The things on my list were for the most part very effective–except for the hat. I was happy to not wear it on stage since it was such an easy thing to change! And, I do love hats.
      Honestly, seeing you lead on your knees would freak me out if I was there. 😉 Barefoot is cool! My next list should be the “FOOLISH” things. It might be a bit more embarrassing than what I shared but worth it. Thanks James!
      RK

    2. Leading worship on ypur knees is powerful and spirit led.

  4. This made me laugh, man. I must admit I made a couple people here in this starbucks look over at me and wonder what I’m reading. I think it’s so funny because I am very aware of some of the church politics (and personalities) in at least one of the churches you are referring to. So, I completely understand the outrageousness of a few of these things. I could add to this list myself. 
    1. Leading worship barefoot. You’d think I forgot to wear pants.
    2. Reading from a bible and then tossing it on the ground after quoting it. (FYI: if dropped from an elevation higher than 2 feet, it’s considered blasphemous. If below 2 feet, you’re fine.)
    3. Wearing a white dress shirt in front of a dark maroon background curtain (self-centered, and attention seeking. Oh the contrast of the colors!)
    4. Leading worship from my knees for a instrumental portion of a song. (That is so uncomfortable for people who don’t want to feel pressured to have to express their worship in a similar way.)
    5. I’ll stop there.

    It’s crazy the things that can be considered “outrageous.” 
    My two cents? Try the fedora hat again sometime. You just need to find a church that cares more about the heart of worship than whatever it is that got stuck up their-james

    1. The things on my list were for the most part very effective–except for the hat. I was happy to not wear it on stage since it was such an easy thing to change! And, I do love hats.
      Honestly, seeing you lead on your knees would freak me out if I was there. 😉 Barefoot is cool! My next list should be the “FOOLISH” things. It might be a bit more embarrassing than what I shared but worth it. Thanks James!
      RK

    2. Leading worship on ypur knees is powerful and spirit led.

  5. This made me laugh, man. I must admit I made a couple people here in this starbucks look over at me and wonder what I’m reading. I think it’s so funny because I am very aware of some of the church politics (and personalities) in at least one of the churches you are referring to. So, I completely understand the outrageousness of a few of these things. I could add to this list myself. 
    1. Leading worship barefoot. You’d think I forgot to wear pants.
    2. Reading from a bible and then tossing it on the ground after quoting it. (FYI: if dropped from an elevation higher than 2 feet, it’s considered blasphemous. If below 2 feet, you’re fine.)
    3. Wearing a white dress shirt in front of a dark maroon background curtain (self-centered, and attention seeking. Oh the contrast of the colors!)
    4. Leading worship from my knees for a instrumental portion of a song. (That is so uncomfortable for people who don’t want to feel pressured to have to express their worship in a similar way.)
    5. I’ll stop there.

    It’s crazy the things that can be considered “outrageous.” 
    My two cents? Try the fedora hat again sometime. You just need to find a church that cares more about the heart of worship than whatever it is that got stuck up their-james

    1. The things on my list were for the most part very effective–except for the hat. I was happy to not wear it on stage since it was such an easy thing to change! And, I do love hats.
      Honestly, seeing you lead on your knees would freak me out if I was there. 😉 Barefoot is cool! My next list should be the “FOOLISH” things. It might be a bit more embarrassing than what I shared but worth it. Thanks James!
      RK

    2. Leading worship on ypur knees is powerful and spirit led.

  6. Loved reading these! I think more teachers should use Twitter during a message. Church can be a time for teaching and engaging not just lecturing. I’ve told people many times about you doing that.

  7. Loved reading these! I think more teachers should use Twitter during a message. Church can be a time for teaching and engaging not just lecturing. I’ve told people many times about you doing that.

  8. Loved reading these! I think more teachers should use Twitter during a message. Church can be a time for teaching and engaging not just lecturing. I’ve told people many times about you doing that.

  9. Loved reading these! I think more teachers should use Twitter during a message. Church can be a time for teaching and engaging not just lecturing. I’ve told people many times about you doing that.

  10. Loved reading these! I think more teachers should use Twitter during a message. Church can be a time for teaching and engaging not just lecturing. I’ve told people many times about you doing that.

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