Why We Should Be Careful How Much Importance We Place On Runs And Riffs

I was up early one morning scheduling posts for my fan page when I suddenly started thinking about this particular topic out of nowhere. I felt like God was impressing on me to share it on the page that day, so I opened up my fan page and started to type out what He was giving me. But then I suddenly felt like He was telling me to shoot a video instead. So I grabbed my phone, aimed it at my face and started talking. Here’s what came out.

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8 Responses to Why We Should Be Careful How Much Importance We Place On Runs And Riffs

  1. Leon W. says:

    Thought I’d leave this comment that a friend a mine shared in a worship-focused FB page. I shared also, that Coach’s experience may be different from ours.

    “Hmmm. While I understand his point, I am inclined to believe that there can also be anointing in a particular gifting a musician has. I think as long as we “do all unto the Lord”. We do not have insight into the musician’s heart and therefore cannot emphatically judge them as being prideful in bringing their gifting. When we are under the anointing we want to bring our best and I feel that if that happens to include a particular run then so be it. As far as how we respond to a run, I feel that we can respond in celebrating what the Lord has done in and through that particular musician. Is it bringing glory to God? Does it make me want to bring glory to God? It all depends on the condition of the heart.”

    • Ron Cross says:

      Hi Leon,

      Thanks for sharing. I appreciate your friend’s response. The truth is, many people are very passionate about this subject, and as such they tend to miss the intent and the message of the video. I’m definitely not judging people who do runs! In fact, if you watch the video I was very clear about the fact that not only do I love runs, I do them myself. The main intent of the video, as I stated several times, is to admonish people do be careful that they examine their hearts and motives for using runs. If we’re being honest, many (not all) singers do in fact use runs to illicit a certain response from the audience. Let’s be honest, if you’re good at them you know you are- and you know people love it.

      But not only do I admonish singers to be careful in this regard, but I also admonish the listener. All too often we as people who simply love singing-especially runs- will, as I said in the video, react to a run as if we’ve just experienced a spiritual encounter from hearing it. It’s definitely perfectly fine to love doing them and to love hearing them. The purpose of the video is not to condemn either, but to simply encourage us all to be careful that we aren’t glorifying runs instead of glorifying God. I hope that makes sense.


  2. R. Mace says:

    You’re totally correct!!! Skill vs anointing is not a match to be played out in the presence of God or His people.

    • R. Mace says:

      In addition, less skilled, yet anointed singers shy away from ministering because they aren’t accepted or seen as being holy, used by God or gifted. We end up losing truly anointed singers to the applause of men….

  3. Alyce says:

    All the previous posts expressed my sentiments, so no need to repeat. Just to say, I agree, hallelujah and Amen!

  4. Angel Austin says:

    Thank you for this. It’s been a constant battle for me. I have so many friends and loved ones steeped in the gospel traditions of performance and I cringe when I perceive that a person highly respected in gospel circles tends to feed off of the accolades received during or because of their performances. For example, I love it when any of the Clark Sisters minister, but I become really troubled when Karen starts doing her “echo” technique. I want to like it. I want to go crazy like everyone else. I’m not being judgemental at all. I’m honestly stating what I experience when I watch shows like “Sunday Best” and other “performance-based” gospel outlets. I love and support everyone and at least “Jesus is being preached”, but I think our music should affect change in the life of the artists and all who hear them, not just create “buzz” and excitement. Plus, Lucifer WAS music and I sincerely feel like anytime he is able to subconsciously persuade an artist that their ministry is about them, they’re acting just as he did when he was cast down from Heaven. It’s his will to distract us from what God wants to do in us for this time, and in many ways, he’s been very successful.

  5. Bob says:

    Interesting comments to a tough question- sort like the chicken or egg question.
    For the singer, God’s anionting is the ability to sing well which riffs/runs may be evidence of this anointing. A good song prepares the minister to deliver the word and the worshiper to receive it.
    Yes, the temptation may be that singer takes the accolades as praising the performance but then that is the minister of music job to discourage self-praise.
    If the music / choir outshines the message then that is a good show rather a good worship experience. IOW, You need to find a church that worships over entertainment value.
    Great “churches” are blessed to have both and often hard to find.

  6. Demetria says:

    Great post, Ron. I have seen singers who are anointed shy away from leading songs because of their inability to do runs. Then you have those singers that are great at “vocal acrobats” but have absolutely no anointing and the message has gotten lost in all the runs. The motive of the people I have seen that are able to do a lot of runs is self-glorification and to receive pats on the back. As worshippers, I believe we should disappear so that we can point others to Christ. I have often been told the best way to do this is to keep it simple and to judge my own motives for being a part of the praise team. Thanks for another great post.

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