I led a Newsboys song at the close of the service this past Sunday. The hardest part was getting the accent right.
No, I’m kidding. Although the first few times I sang it, I kind of mimicked the accent a little bit without even thinking about it. I had to work on it quite a bit to make it my own.
I noticed the trap in pulpit ministry before I saw it in music ministry. Young preachers imitating older or better known preachers. Cadence, vocal pitch, even attempting to mimic the humor or jokes, and sometimes just outright stealing stories and analogies employed by the preacher they obviously admired.
The same thing is true in music ministries and if you’ve been around long enough you’ve probably seen it yourself. Churches whose bands play note for note everything exactly like it was off the record. The singer who is obviously trying to be Kim Walker-Smith or the worship leader who is shouting things because he heard Matt Redman do it.
The Imitation Trap is seeing the success of someone else, and assuming that this is the way that you have to do it. To judge your success not on what God has called you to do, but on how others live out their callings.
Adam lists four reasons that it’s pointless to try to lead worship like you’re someone else. Be who God called you to be.