When you read a few (hundred) articles or comments about church services a recurring theme is the need to present as well as we can.
That’s okay, as long as your goal is excellence and not perfection.
Excellence (for the point of this exercise) is doing the best you can, with what you’ve got, conscious that God receives as worship as acceptable only because of the merit of Christ.
Perfection (again for the point of this exercise) seems to dwell on some idea that the more proficient we are, the closer to God we are.
Friends, if we need professional quality musicians in order to worship God (or to make our worship of God better, or more meaningful, or happier, or anything), then what do we really think the Lord Jesus accomplished on the cross?
More than that, as I read somewhere once, God is perfect. He has perfect pitch. He knows when we’re off key, too slow, too fast, mispronounce the lyrics or forget the tune. He knows it even when we don’t. He’s not David and Margaret sitting in review. (I give it three-and-a-half stars this week, shame that the vocalists mistimed their re-entry from the bridge in the third song.) We should all be thankful that God is not as casually critical of our worship as we are.
The reason our worship delights Him is not our perfection, or even our excellence, it’s because of the perfect obedience of Christ.
That should liberate our hearts to overflowing, fill us with joy, freedom, even abandon as we sing our praise, lift up our prayers, hear God’s Word, meditate on its truth and receive the sacraments.
I don’t mind it when our congregation has a hard time negotiating a new hymn. It helps them remember that because of Christ’s perfection we are able to give the best we have at any point in time.
And it’s the reason that the following piece of video is excellent, not perfect.
HT: see Justin Taylor for the background of the video, along with another video that actually has the full lyrics of what was sung.