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How Worship is Like Busking

Snap Boogie, Christchurch 2018

It’s throwback-Thursday because in my city is the 25th year of the World Buskers Festival. Busking provides helpful reflection for worship – especially for worship leaders.

Last year, I reflected on busking becoming more “established”. If that interests you, look back to that post.

I recently attended a stage musical, and also a Shakespeare play at the Pop-Up Globe theatre. In both events, there was more engagement with the audience (than say at a film). Busking principles were in evidence. They were breaking the fourth wall. If there is a fourth wall to be broken in worship, it is the “wall” between congregation and community-beyond-the-congregation.

More Buskers
Sharon Mahoney, Christchurch 2018

I want to remind people of the dynamics of busking:

  • Gather a crowd – from individuals and small groups to a united audience (and get it to grow)
  • Get the crowd to participate (clapping; call and response – there are standard ways of doing this that regular busking crowds know, and those who are new soon pick up from the regulars)
  • Go through your fixed routine, adapting it to the context, and to the reaction of the people
  • Send the people away satisfied and transformed (oh yes – get some of their money)

If you want to explore this model further, here are some previous posts:
Buskers – a model for leading worship
Busking & Liturgy
Buskers Lead Worship

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