Discover Worship

How Y'all Doing!

Jan 26th, 2015 by Vince Wilcox

Recently, I watched a very talented and well-meaning worship leader greet the congregation with the tried and true “How y’all doing this morning?” When the response was tepid, he shot back with “Are y’all there?” hoping to get a more enthusiastic reaction.  I believe he meant well, and this approach probably works for a concert or youth event. But honestly, his questions stuck in my craw for the rest of the service.

“How y’all doing?”

Well, some of us aren’t doing well at all.

Our faith is wavering.
Our parents are in failing health.
Our kids are making decisions that break our hearts.
Our friends have addictions that are destroying them.
Our jobs are on the line.
There is more month than money.

“Are y’all there?”

Well, yes we are.
But we aren’t there for you.
We didn’t come for the cheerleading or the multi-media or an arena-rock experience.

We came for mercy.
We came for grace.
We came because we needed to be inspired and refreshed, not criticized because we didn’t response enthusiastically to an inane question.

So here’s my suggestion for anyone addressing people in the pews: don’t ask us questions unless you really want us to answer…and don’t criticize us when the answer isn’t what you want.

Because we’re not here for you. 

And when we stop acting like we are, then maybe we can begin to experience what God really called us here for.

Posted in: Articles, Music Trends

Vince Wilcox

Vince Wilcox

General Manager

Vince Wilcox is the general manager of the Discover Worship team. As GM, he brings his varied experiences as attorney, marketer, entrepreneur, musician and product creator to help worship leaders acquire resources to glorify God and transform lives.


larry george posted on Jan 28th, 2015

Your article makes a good point.As a church soloist one can get caught up in the music and critiquing one's performance as if the congregation was your audience that you look to for approval.We tend to forget that church music is a gift that is given away without needing one's ego boosted. larry

Vince Wilcox posted on Jan 28th, 2015

Thanks for all your feedback. Again, I'm not trying to discourage those of us on the platform from engaging the people in the pews; rather, I am encouraging us to be there for THEM rather than acting as if they're there for US. Our welcome should be warm and genuine and not routine or gratuitous. We can encourage them with scripture and joy--appreciating their presence while acknowledging our collective need for God's grace and mercy. As Rick Warren reminds us at the very beginning of "The Purpose Driven Life": "It's not about you."

Michael Mays posted on Jan 27th, 2015

Thanks, Vince. While I don't think I've ever started a service off asking the audience, "How ya'll doing," I do routinely begin with a "Good morning," or "Good evening." Now, of course, those aren't necessarily statements of supposed fact (as in, "It's a good morning, isn't it?" when it very well may not be, for the same reasons you've enumerated above); generally it's meant to communicate, "A good morning to you."

But this has me thinking that, for the very same reasons you've mentioned, that some people in our churches may not need to have a "good morning" wished upon them. I get that congregations generally tune this kind of filler noise out, but your words certainly have me thinking more about what words (if any) I can and should use to not waste the moment or distract from both what we're really there for, and what my brothers and sisters might need in that moment.

Dane Hodges posted on Jan 27th, 2015


“If we’ll resist the “culture of complaint” and use our words to for inspiration and ingenuity, this just might be the year we’ll see reindeer fly.”

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