Children in sports: the whole point is that everyone can play. Is it not? The point isn't that they have to win. In that case, only the best players get to play because the whole point is to win the game. I get the feeling many of our services are a lot like that. We want to win. One of the things that I became aware of pretty early in the ministry was how natural it was to try to create an effect during the services, to achieve a certain goal. It seems to be generally assumed as acceptable these days that we try to get people to feel a certain way, that they leave the building somehow affected. I was talking yesterday about this with one of our worship leaders. We have several worship leaders... I think 7 or 8! Plus many musicians. The temptation is to pick the best one who constantly gets the best results. Pick the best band. We like the results they achieve. No one else can play. We keep the kids away from the noise-makers that we have lying around the front. We keep the teens away from their new guitars and drum-kits. Why? Because they pollute the pure sound of the excellent worship leader and band. Some Sundays we have "worship unplugged"... which means anybody can bring anything and we all just get in a clump and sing. It's a riot... like kitchen parties. They're memorable. The kids never forget it. Everyone played. Every Sunday should be like that. Except for very specific reasons... which is another post. For me, it is more important that everybody gets to play rather than that we win the game. In fact, everybody playing is winning the game. It's just a different game. And a better one. This chickadee painting I did a couple of years ago has nothing to do with this post.