I had a new experience today in chapel. We sang one of those songs where the guys and girls split, singing completely different lyrics and melodies, for much of the song. Neither part is really the lead--we just take turns with who sings what. I have always sung that song either led by no one, or led by a man who naturally sings the guys' part, leaving the women in the congregation to band together from our seats and hope we come in at the right time and can hear each other well enough to carry the tune correctly. This morning, however, the worship leader was a woman. And for the first time in my life on a song that split like that, I sang with the worship leader the entire time and sang the girls' part the entire time.
There are other songs where the women's part leads and the men echo, and I've usually seen the male song leader sing the female part along with the women. Which kind of makes sense but also sounds a little weird.
Now, I have nothing against men or male worship leaders. But my experience this morning in chapel was refreshing--and kind of validating! This once, I wasn't just singing the extra part that wasn't important enough to have a worship leader, and I wasn't singing the women's part that still had to be led by a man so the song wouldn't fall apart.