Switched on?

As a young fledgling worship leader I took my first tentative steps into the world of broadcasting by accepting the invitation to lead, along with others from my youth group, the evening service for transmission at my local hospital. The chapel where the service was broadcast was a small prefabricated building with a tin roof in the grounds of the brick-built Victorian hospital where the patients were convalescing.

Weeks of preparation went into this event where we practised our worship songs (can you do that?) and weaved together a seamless 30 minute programme designed to uplift and encourage the listening patients. Nervously, we entered the small, deserted chapel on the day of the broadcast and unpacked our instruments.

Just before we were about to start a staff member came through and handed me a note. I duly folded it, put it in my back pocket and commenced with the job in hand. 30 minutes later we had finished. We'd played and sung well; all our expectations were achieved. The chapel was still deserted and we began to vacate the building.

As I was about to switch the main lights off I reached for the folded note in my back pocket. It contained this message:

IMPORTANT!! Please switch on the microphones before the start of the transmission,

We'd gone through the whole thing and been oblivious to the fact that no-one could hear us. It sounded great to us, but of course it wasn't for us that we were playing.

I wonder, I just wonder, how much our creative endeavours within the modern Christian church are produced, metaphorically, with the microphone switched off, resulting in us inadvertently missing the audience for which it was intended.