Those of you who know me know that I pour myself into worship and
preaching. Worship truly does get at my emotions, from the way I
deliver my sermon to the enthusiastic (and quite audible) "Awesome!" that
came out of my mouth after the bell choir played Sunday morning, to the awe I experience at declaring, "the body of Christ is given for you." For better or for worse my passion, personality, and energy come out in my preaching and worship leadership (I wrote questioningly on this topic about a year ago in this post: Wearin’ My Madonna Microphone).
Well, there’s a problem to pouring myself into the tasks of worship leadership and preaching. Every time I preach and lead worship at two morning services, inevitably I am "on" for the first service but am a bit flat and faded at the second service. I’m talking here about how I hold myself, about my affect. I simply put so much of myself into the first service that the well is a bit drier by 11am.
At the first service the cadence and timing of my sermon is usually good, my voice is strong and crisp, I hit the notes on the kyrie, and I am attentive to the various worship assistants – lay reader, communion servers, acolyte. However, at the second service about 90 minutes later, fatigue has set in. My face and speech are less crisp, my cadence and timing has slowed, I invariably flub part of the (rather easy and routine) kyrie, and I am less attentive to cuing the worship assistants, if necessary. I’m not a train wreck at the second service, but compared to the first service I am a bit more labored and less spirited.
None of this has to do with the content of worship, with those decisions that are made prior to Sunday morning – the manuscript of the sermon, the arrangement of the liturgy, the announcements to be made, the prayers to be said, etc. etc.. The "stuff" of these two services is the same, but my delivery and demeanor are quite distinct at each service.
Does this happen to you? What do you do? What should I do (apart from seek a first call that has only one service)?