How to Surrender in Worship | with Pat Barrett

How to Surrender in Worship | with Pat Barrett

“I have a hard time worshiping.”

Pat Barrett had such a powerful conversation with Nick from the Morning Show about worship that we had to share it with you. Pat is a worship leader at a church called Grace Midtown in Atlanta, GA. You likely know him for his hugely popular songs, “Build My Life” or “Good Good Father.”

Nick mentioned to Pat that he has a hard time worshiping. Maybe you can relate?

“What do I do with my hands?”

Have you ever felt like you weren’t sure what you were supposed to do with your hands during worship? “Do I put them in my pocket? Do I raise them above my head? Do I make a goal post formation with my arms? Does God even care what I do with my hands!?”

Or do you ever think about what you sound like, and how the people around you can hear you singing? “Am I even on key? Oh, they sound way better than me.”

If you have ever had any of these thoughts while sitting in church, you are not alone! In fact, believe it or not, Pat Barrett even tells us that as a worship leader he finds himself falling into that as well. Take a listen to the conversation between Nick and Pat as Pat talks about what helps him completely surrender in worship.

This might change the way you experience worship on Sunday mornings and even your personal worship every other day of the week.



View this video with Pat Barrett, and other interviews with JOY FM artists videos on the JOY FM YouTube Channel.


Transcription:

Nick:
This is something I’m a little embarrassed to admit and ask about, but I think you are just the guy to help me on this. It’s Friday, like a lot of people, going to be going to church on Sunday. I have a hard time worshiping.

Pat Barrett:
What do you mean?

Nick:
I love the Lord, right? I love Jesus. I like being in church. It’s hard for me to get into this mindset of just surrendering. I worry about how I sound.

Pat Barrett:
Yeah, right.

Nick:
I worry about what do I do with my hands? All the things. And I’m just being honest. It’s a game I play and I’m not saying that it never happens. Sometimes I can get there, but it’s really challenging for me. As a worship leader, I just need some help. I know I’m not alone, there’s other people, but that are listening right now that’re like, “I understand the concept of worship, but it’s just difficult.”

Pat Barrett:
No, well, you know what’s funny? I was the worship pastor for 10 years at our church and I feel the same thing at times.

Nick:
Do you really?

Pat Barrett:
Yeah, because, well, one of the most unnatural things I think is to herd a bunch of people into a room at 9:00 AM and we’re all singing?! Some people I don’t even wake up till 10:45 in my head. I’m here, but I’m not here yet.

So I think there’s some natural things to that but what I love about those moments is you’re in a room with people that number one, you would not be around all the time and everyone’s going through something different.

There are very few unifying moments in life where you get people all going through their various lives, in one place with their attention on one thing. Music and worship for me has been one of those things where it’s not just, okay, worship time, click it on. It’s helped give me perspective really, for moments outside of that.

I don’t know, I take a little bit of pressure off you to feel like you have to flip some switch. I think the most important thing is honesty and sincerity. Sometimes the most powerful worship is, “God, I don’t feel like singing right now.” I think He can handle that.

At times when I felt that and I read the Psalms, I think that David wrote like that a lot and it encourages me that I don’t have to put on some show for God.

I don’t have to go through some motions or ritual. I can actually come as I am and say yes to God afresh today. Sometimes singing under your breath is all you have because of what you’re going through and I think that’s okay.

Nick:
Man, thank you. That is truly helpful. And such freedom because there are those times you’re like, “Boy, I see the words here-“

Pat Barrett:
Yeah, yeah.

Nick:
… “and I want to sing along, but I’m not seeing this in my life” or “Where is this healing or where are the answered prayers?” It’s difficult.

Pat Barrett:
Yeah, and I think one of the most powerful parts about the scriptures is that there’s not a lot of easy answers in there. For every Bible verse we can put on a bumper sticker and tell it, there are circumstances where we realize that that’s actually where faith shines. It’s not when we always have certainty and we know what’s going to happen next, it’s actually the opposite.

You have no idea what’s going to happen next. You don’t know what to do with what you’re feeling right now. You’re grieving someone you lost, you just lost your job, you just moved cities, your family’s going through something really intense. Those are actually the moments where faith shines the brightest.

Even though they’re not the most glamorous, that’s where it’s real. I think for me, that’s one of the reasons why for Meg and I and our family, it’s why Jesus is more real to us now than he was before, because slowly and slowly, we’re unlearning that instinct to put on a show for God, put on the Sunday face, and sing the Sunday songs when really faith, it shines brighter probably on Monday morning than it does on Sunday.

Nick:
Man, thank you for that. Seriously, what great answer and you saved me like $100 on the counseling copay.

Pat Barrett:
Oh, I’m going to bill you! I’m just kidding.


Nick:
I want to talk to you about your song that you wrote, “Good, Good Father,” because that song was just so huge. I much like the Summer Nights concert you were part of last night, we do a similar concert series in February and there was a period where every week, one of the artists did that song.

Pat Barrett:
Really?

Nick:
It was like, “This week’s ‘Good, Good Father’ performance is brought to you by so and so.” I’d like to hear your perspective on that song. When you wrote it, did you realize right away there’s something special here or when it took off, just your reaction?



Pat Barrett:
You know what’s funny, I’ve been writing songs since I was 15 or before that, and I had no idea that the song would ever leave my living room.

But what I did know is that when I sang the song, it felt like it was just connecting me to God in a way that was really important and needed for that season of my life. I had just become a dad and usually that word father is just the way that Jesus told us to relate to God, it’s a relational word and usually that word has an adjective in front of it. In our own experience with our own families influence the way that we see God and it was just one of those songs that for me, was healing in ways that were unexpected. But then I’d have stories when I’d play it at church and people would come up to me who had different experiences with their dad growing up and still felt like the song was connecting with them in ways that were different than my own personal experience. Those stories never got old for me. It was so encouraging that anything that you could help seek out in a way that was healing and right but that the song ever left that room is just wild to me.

Nick:
Then it’s recorded by multiple artists and there’s a kids’ book based on the song. It just has to be surreal as it’s all unfolding.

Pat Barrett:
It is surreal. Sometimes I just have to pinch myself because I know, I still sing it every night before bed to the kids. We’ll do our prayers, we’ll tuck them in, and then that song is one of the ones that we still sing. It’s still very much a part of our family life back home.

Nick:
That brings me to a question. When you have to sing a song like that, I say have to, you get to, right? It’s an opportunity, but how do you keep it meaningful to you and not just going through the motions? Does that make sense?

Pat Barrett:
Oh, gosh. Yeah. Oh, it totally makes sense. I think obviously when you’ve sung a song 400 times there’s a routine to it.

Nick:
Right.

Pat Barrett:
But I think anything else, what changes a routine is your perspective. Sometimes a reminder of a fresh perspective can make an old message new again. That’s why you can read scripture and see a verse you’ve read all your life but for whatever reason, this time you’re reading it because of what’s going on in your family or what’s going on in your job or some of the things you’ve experienced and you’ve been thinking about, it has new, fresh light, even though these words have been here for a long time.

Pat Barrett:
For me, it’s kind of like that where I’m like, “Wow, needing God in 2022, it feels completely different than needing him back in 2018 or in 2015 or …”

Some different things going on in your life. I think for me, I always have to remind myself of that. Sometimes singing a new song to the Lord is new words. Sometimes singing a new song to the Lord is the same words you sung before with a fresh perspective and a willingness to experience them in a new way with the same words again.

Nick:
Yeah. We’re going to play Chris Tomlin’s version of “Good, Good Father.”

Pat Barrett:
I love Chris Tomlin’s version.



Nick:
I understand you were just on tour with Chris. Is there anything that you could tell us that would surprise us about Chris Tomlin? We’ve had him in a lot. He seems to be fairly serious.

Pat Barrett:
Well, he’s hilarious. Number one.

Nick:
Okay.

Pat Barrett:
Chris is one of those people the closer you get to him, the more and more your respect level just goes through the roof.

Nick:
Yeah. I could see that.

Pat Barrett:
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel within the past few years and he never just ceases to amaze me, the way he can connect with people with sincerity. I’ve been around his family, his wife and kids. I’ve traveled with him on a tour bus, I’ve seen him lead night after night after night, and he just does it with such a consistent and faithful heart to God. To have him in my corner and for him to be able to be a guiding voice in my life is just such a honor and privilege.

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