Some of us on the worship team and in the church leadership are starting to make fun of it. It’s called “The Nod.” It happens when it’s time for someone to start up the steps toward the stage to read scripture, pray, preach, etc. I ask the person who will be coming up to make themselves easy to spot near the front row. Then, as the song before they need to be on stage is winding down, I catch their eye and give them a nod at just the right time (usually) for them to walk up the stairs and begin speaking as the last chord fades.
It’s a small thing, but it really helps. Before I began this practice, things could get awkward. Our pastor would come up during the last line of a song, only to stand there smiling (sometimes laughing and looking back at me) at the podium while we finished a long instrumental outro. Or, I would finish a song – my heart beating faster and faster – desperately trying to locate the person who was supposed to read scripture next – ready to whip out my Bible and do it myself – only to finally spy them beginning to walk from the back half of the chapel as the music ends. Insert long, pregnant pause.
I’m not a stuffy, or at least I try not to be. I appreciate the natural, human comedy that can occur around these kinds of mishaps. However, such moments can have the affect of making the congregation wonder about something they don’t need to be wondering about. Anything I can do to keep their eyes and ears focused on Jesus is a good thing. This is one of those things. If you don’t already have a fail-safe system for getting people to their place at the right time, I highly recommend “The Nod.”