From Whence Our Hymns
By: Lawrence E. Allen
The importance of coordination, or cooperation in the worship service is as important as in any other venture.
There is a story, legend, or myth of the lack of such coordination in which the song leader and the pastor in a little country church had little or no communication and planning (or lapse thereof) in which the pastor was preaching very forcefully against the evils of the use of strong drink. In earlier days, especially in many smaller churches, the published order of worship services was not used, but the selection of music to be used was entirely at the choice of the song leader. In the pastor's sermon, he strongly recommended that all users of such beverage be severely scolded, reprimanded, and punished, and the source of sinful action be destroyed, poured out, and taken to the river and dumped therein.
At ending, the pastor admonished the congregation to think on his words and take them to heart as we sing our next song. By now the attention of the song leader had somewhat waned and as he arose to take his place of responsibility, he announced that the next song would be “As We Gather At The River.”
Did this happen? Maybe not. Could this have happened? Maybe so! And reference to the past or present worshipful experience is purely coincidental and unintended toward a person, place, or time. In any case this illustrates that at a time of a worship service, there should be a unified exercise in which the focus of the worshipper, penitent, participant should be upon God's message of the day to the exclusion of interference by extraneous thoughts and meditations which are transient to the mind, heart, and soul of the worshiper.
May God unceasingly have control in the focus of our thoughts and actions especially at times of worshipful service.