Worship Leader. Choir Master or Mistress. Choir Director. Worship Pastor. Worship Minister. Church Worker. All these are titles used to describe the one who leads a team of singers in the church. In many American churches this group is called the ‘Praise Team’. In Nigeria, we call them ‘The Choir’.’
Let’s not go into the theological debate of whether Singer ≠ Worship Leader or Worship Leader = Pastor and so on. For the sake of this post, the worship leader is the one described in the first paragraph.
Then there is the ultimate requirement of the Worship Leader: to foster an atmosphere of spiritual intimacy…by slaying everyone in the Holy Spirit with every note, clash of cymbals, and string instrument the band is equipped with. Of course, this isn’t exactly how it happens. But the congregation is pregnant with expectation. And our worship culture? Totally unforgiving of anyone lacking the skill set to bring the house down.
“Mehn, church was sweet today. I gbadun (enjoyed) the keyboard player” says guy A with a gleeful smile. He was as stoic as the statue of liberty during service. I know because I can see everyone’s faces.
“I know, right? Did you hear the runs sister Maggie did when she was leading worship?! In fact, her voice sent me into the spirit” gushed lady B. Her? She only managed to mouth a few ‘Amens’ while pastor was preaching…her mouth was hanging open half the time!
Usually I’m unaware that these conversation take place but I can read dissatisfaction and boredom on faces. And sometimes, I’m affected. I mean, I wanna do well.
Alas my channel is up and running. This is surreal! Muahahahaha! Behold thy next Oprah Winfrey! *insert thunder and lightning*
Few adjustments need to be made though:
1) Filming an introductory video. The one above doesn’t count, does it? I need to reveal myself; ratchet hair, baggy clothes and all!
2) Hiring a camera man and a video editor. I spent 5+ hours on the above video. I’m surprised none of you have complained of dizziness and vomiting yet. Can’t do a talk show without a producer now, can you? lol
3) Purchasing lovely equipment and video editing software in case my job applicants reject this lovely job offer.
Please do me a favor and subscribe to this lovely channel. I’m stoked, and can’t wait to start putting out creepy hilarious videos up for you.
Livelytwist wrote a fabulous piece on Fire, Passion and Desire a couple of weeks ago. My dear Ese Walter got married a few days ago and was all smiles in the released photos. Save for some haters who were confident that their opinion mattered. Somewhere in Nigeria, on February 14th, engagements and proposals were announced as different pictures of ring fingers assaulted my Facebook news feed.
Oh — my brother gave and received chocolates as well. How ridiculous!
As for me, I am in no rush to get hitched.
Last week, I sat in front of my computer with my palms glued to my cheeks. Whatever happens as the world celebrates chocolate day is none of my business, I mumbled as I buried my senses into my favorite Korean dramas. My room was a sweet mess. Good Lord, my ratchet hair was messier! My nails? They looked like jagged, squiggly lines, plotted by my 10th graders on graphing paper.
These days my omma (Korean for mom) and I have been having throw back days- days where we reminisce about the past and our responses to different situations. Tonight, we sat in the living room enjoying the all too familiar buzz of the standing fan, while simultaneously fanning ourselves with magazines and crisp African head ties. It was around 9:30pm, and the house was awfully silent. My younger sister had retired for the night, my dad…God knows where he went, and my omma was busy doing something. As usual.
Seeing how quiet the house had become, I thought it the perfect time to cuddle up with my computer and treat myself to some Korean drama goodness. Tonight was special; one of my favorite Korean shows was going to air two episodes for the week and I was thrilled.
UEE, member of girl group After School
Unfortunately, my drama was upstaged by omma’s constant voice, asking when her hair would be braided. I mumbled something along the lines of “I’d do it later…,” trying desperately to keep up with the dialogue in the Korean show. Realizing that I would have to give some sort of explanation if I were to enjoy my drama, I turned to her: Continue reading →
“Pull up a chair and chat with me for 5 minutes, would you? I would like to talk with you about this man named Jesus and what it means to be saved.”
At the mention of Jesus, I hear grumbling and silent displeasure, see hidden disgust behind the smile on those beautiful faces, and pick up clues that rings the alarm that the conversation is over. Well, there it is again: I’ve been rejected. I wasn’t really hurt by the fact that my topic of discussion wasn’t cool enough to enthrall my audience, rather, I was dejected that I just failed to introduce the coolest, oldest, and the most powerful person that ever lived on earth!
If at the college level you can’t do a 5 –minute presentation on someone you love without losing your audience you start to worry. In addition to wanting to be perceived as cool or intelligent, the pressure to react like everyone else is real and the ability to walk away from a sinful lifestyle becomes flighty. It becomes even more challenging as a young Christian, knowing that your knowledge of the scripture is limited.
This was 6 years ago. It was a time when a throng of females swaying behind me felt cooler than having to answer biblical questions; a time when the thought of having potlucks and getting dinner invitations rang more than “Iron sharpens Iron” or “Do not be unequally yoked.”
So I ran away. I ran from verses about association and sought refuge in words of love, acceptance, and forgiveness. Yet I couldn’t run away from God’s will; I wasn’t called to walk in the counsel of the ungodly neither was I called to sit in the seat of the scornful. I soon felt out of place. Although I was happy I had company, I never felt connected with them…never felt content, always felt empty.
I’m sure I started this year with a bang. I had smart goals, planned meticulously and placed strategic self-assessment books and items around the house for my 30-day fitness challenge. I bought lots of water bottles- water is known to accelerate weight loss and reduce bloating; lots of green tea packets – again it’s slimming properties have been widely celebrated by experts and housewives; and experimented with green smoothies.
If you’ve have lived outside Nigeria- particularly the Western world- for a while, you might relate to the post more than the average Nigerian because you’ve had the best of both worlds. You’ve enjoyed the wonders of drive-thru fast foods, 3-minute banking transactions, paperless forms, and have escaped the horror of crowded Lagos markets thanks to Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart, and other online retailers.
There is always a sparkly cheerleader inside of me holding pompoms and leaping with sheer delight each time the thought of good customer service and reliable internet connection collides with structure and professional ethics. In fact, any non-American way of doing business slaps me senseless! I urge you to read Good Naija Girl’s tips on managing long distance relationships to know what I’m talking about.
However, of all the aforementioned ‘good stuff,’ nothing inspires or reminds me of doing business the American way like these things:
I must go to the coffee shop everyday to write my blog posts!
I’m not a huge coffee drinker but I like to assume that behind every successful Corporate American company is a batch of employees who are faithful to their Espressos,Americanos, Lattes, and what not. The recipe for that shimmering creative idea lies in a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee, and I dare not skip this morning ritual. Even movies have come to realize the importance of drinking coffee. Not only do you snag million dollar deals while holding a mug of coffee, your date finds you irresistible she wants a second date…at the coffee shop from across the office. Continue reading →
This post is dedicated to the memory of Adam (not real name). I heard you passed away a few days ago and my life hasn’t been the same. The last time I saw you was at the store, where we joked about egusi soup and cassava leaf, portion sizes, fufu and pounded yam. You also promised to cater to our tastes when we come visit you. Three months went by and I thought the rigors of graduate school had swallowed you whole.
Of course, it’s no excuse for failing to reach out to you to encourage your spirit. In my fashion it would’ve gone like this:
“Life is freaking tough, deal with it.”
“Make love to your bible and eat the Word daily.”
“Let’s Hang out. Need a ride?”
A lil rough around the edges but you understood me quite well. You would respond in the most African way possible which belied your All-American upbringing:
I remember telling you about my fitness challenge in November (or was it December?), where I asked for prayers in getting off to a successful start this year. Ha! As I get older, my metabolism has slowed and my weight isn’t melting off as easily as it used to.
Well, #JantoFit is here and I hope you are eager to read my blog posts on my journey to fitness!
Also, I expressed my desire to post ‘Before and After’ pictures of myself on this blog? Well, sometime last week, I became hesitant when I was presented with an ugly reflection of my gut in the mirror. I thought to myself: “This has to be the worst I have ever looked in a picture!”
But a promise is a promise – nevertheless, a virtual one . The pictures you are about to see are untouched and I am not responsible for any changes in heart rates and rhythms they might cause. Get ready, for what you’re about to see might cause uncontrollable outbursts of laughter. Or in extreme cases, tears.
Happy New Year to you all. I was fortunate to have spent the New Year with my family and I hope you had a wonderful time. 2013 has come and gone, and it’s time to figure out the game plan for this year.
Like every other Christian, we heralded the New Year amidst deafening roars of Jesus!! Holy Ghost Fire!! Make a Way!! We stomped our feet and smashed the heads of our enemies to make sure they don’t follow us into 2014.
Alas, the First week of 2014 has come and gone and I have some news for you. You will be seeing new content on Worship and Swag and it’s only right that I inform you of these developments.
My fears were confirmed. Unfortunately, I was unable to migrate my followers from wordpress.com to my self-hosted account.
In one of my previous posts where I dropped the hint of my move, I alluded to the reasoning that “money was calling me.” Although a candid expression of the truth, it didn’t explain my feelings as a blogger. My burgeoning desire to be a writer/author, not just a blogger and promote businesses was the impetus that led to my move from a free blogging platform to self-host my blog. Continue reading →