I lead worship again today, and for the first time I came away feeling really pleased with how it went.
Now before you all think my head is swollen, let me put things straight. When I lead, because I don't sing well I tend to take a back seat as much as possible. Rather than being the driver of a finely tuned racing car, I'm much more a shepherd, just applying a little gentle guidance here and there. The worship that happens is what arises by the Spirit in people's hearts - it IS NOT inspired by me. The less I say the better. All I want to do is provide a platform upon which His praises can be built.
But it was great. People sang in the spirit, we had a couple of prophetic songs and various people got prayed for. There was a real sense of peace and gentleness. Musically it was like playing up a green field. Jez, our man on keyboard (who's really a drummer) brought some great sounds out, and was able to move out on his own with much more confidence than usual, so I wasn't having to carry it single handed, and that was fantastic. Songs flowed, hearts opened, the Spirit touched. Hard to ask for more. Other than another dose :-)
God has also given me insight into some practical issues too. Modifying my amplifier cab has made the sound much more open (it's really a high gain rock amp, designed to punch through, which it did all too well before), and laying the piano amp on it's back also cut out the swamping effect from that. Ben was on the desk balancing up the sound using his sensitive young ears. I know the kit shouldn't matter, but setting things up properly helps so much. It's great when it works with you, rather than having to fight it all the time.
Makes all the effort worthwhile.