EDMOND, OK—The monologues young Worship Leader Donny Ratcliff delivers as song introductions during Sunday morning services at Fellowship Christian Church have become increasingly elaborate, deep, and time consuming, to the point where, according to sources at the church, they’re really starting to step on Pastor Joe Barrington’s toes.
“It’s not unusual for him to cover two of my three sermon points during opening worship,” complained Pastor Joe, noting that while he stopped telling Ratcliff the main ideas of his sermons months ago, the Worship Leader still manages to hit them due to the sheer volume of material he covers while introducing the church’s 3 to 4 pre-sermon worship songs. “The kid just gets on an emotional wave, and nothing can stop him. He talks for twenty or thirty minutes between songs, eyes closed, in his own little world, softly playing his guitar for effect.”
Ratcliff considers it his responsibility as the church’s Worship Leader, saying his monologues set to quiet background music are more like “spoken word pieces.” “Before I lead God’s people into his presence, I want to help them prepare their hearts with a lengthy, prophetic, Spirit-filled discourse on the day’s topic. Just sharing from my heart as the Spirit leads. I don’t even prepare these mini-sermons—they just come to me as I lead the flock in worship,” he told sources.
Asked what he does if there’s ever a time between songs where he doesn’t have much pressing on his heart to share with the congregation, he replied, “Then I just slowly strum my guitar . . . and we wait.”