expressive worship

All Because I Wanted Their Picture

I remember the feeling. Too amazing for words really.

Our band was invited to play in Sao Paulo, Brazil at a huge festival. The driver threaded his way from our hotel past scores of buses that lined the streets for miles leading up to and around the soccer stadium.

People had come from all across Brazil for this 2-day event. Arriving near the venue, we were then led through what seemed liked miles of underground rooms and tunnels. Finally we climbed a stairway that opened up to the bright lights of the huge stadium.

In front of us were 110,000 people. Word was that there were another 10,000 not able to get inside. My heart raced – half adrenaline, half fear. How was I going to get through this? Your mind tells you that you just have to go out there and do what you always do.

The band got set and the emcee gave us an introduction. The guys kicked into the intro and I walked on stage. Do or die. Fight or flight. I slipped the mic out of the stand and proceeded to fumble and almost drop it. But once I recovered and started singing, I knew I’d be alright.

The sea of faces turned into individuals. Just people. People already thinking we were ‘somebody’ because they’d heard us on the radio, and who were enamored with a ‘band from America.’

After a couple of songs I grabbed my camera, ran to the left side of the stage and held it up to the crowd. “Say sheeze!,” I yelled. (Close Portuguese interpretation, huh?) Arms went up and they smiled and cheered. I turned to the right side of the stage and repeated the request to smile for the camera. A louder cheer went up as I got the shot.

I had them. All because I wanted their picture. That act said to them that they mattered and we became friends. I don’t have to tell you that those are two of my most treasured photos.

So, put your ‘self’ aside, with all its fears and insecurities, and love your audience. They can tell if you care that they are there. And, they can tell if it’s just another gig to you. Had I only been consumed with what those thousands of people thought of me that night, I would have blown it. When I focused on them, my self-consciousness went away and we all had a great time.

By the way, that concert was far from perfect. All that adrenaline contributed to a few speedy tempos and some shaky vocals. But, we made a connection with the people. We loved them and they loved us back.

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Amy Wolter

Amy has vast and varied experience in music, from keyboardist to lead singer, from songwriter to producer. She fronted a nationally touring Christian rock band that garnered some top 10 CCM hits. Playing in a variety of venues and churches gave her a real understanding of what audiences and congregations connect with. As a member of her church’s worship team, Amy understands the challenges that come with this, and enjoys helping Christian artists and Worship Teams create freedom in the room to truly express their worship.

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