Archive | August, 2012

Engaging Through Repetition

28 Aug

As human beings, any action that we do repeatedly for a long enough period of time will become routine.  It will become habit, and as a habit, it will require very little thought or creativity to carry it out.  As worship leaders, we are creatures of repetition.  We lead with the same chords, the same songs, and at the same time every week.  This repetition can be a breeding ground for complacency and emptiness if we are not intentional about guarding ourselves.

So practically, what are things that we can do to intentionally engage in worship to our God in the midst of the repetition of our ministry?

1. Focus on the people. You might be sick of some of the songs that you lead, but the people whom you are serving are engaging in worship to God through the music that you lead.  This is the point! This is the goal!  If reaching this goal requires you to sing songs that I don’t particularly care for, so be it!

2. Focus on one specific aspect of God’s character during each of your worship sets.  This will keep your worship fresh and focussed.  Fortunately, you will run out of breath before you will scratch the surface of richness and depths of God’s character, and at that point you will be able to worship him face to face and this issue will no longer exist.

3. If the only time that you are engaging in worship is on the stage as you lead through repetition, I believe you are engaging in empty worship.  In other words, the weekly time of corporate worship is NOT meant to replace your daily, fresh, and intimate walk with Christ.  We say this often, but worship is not a “part time gig.”  Instead, worship is a full-time lifestyle.  The dangers of repetition in you worship will be avoided if you are walking in a daily fresh relationship with the Lord.




22 Aug

I want to take a few moments today to reflect on our mission statement.

“To inspire and develop leaders who are committed to a lifestyle of God-worship.”

When I think about these words I am reminded of the story of Samuel and a particular confrontation he had with King Saul in 1 Samuel 15. Saul did not have God-worship in his heart. He had something that looked kind of like it, but it was not. He returned from a battle in which the Lord told him clearly to destroy everything and with him he had brought the very best spoils that city had to offer. Feeling good about himself, he marched triumphantly home and even built an alter to himself along the way.You could sense that he was thinking, “God is surely going to be pleased with all this stuff I brought for Him.” The problem was that God didn’t care about all that stuff. He didn’t need the sacrifices. He wasn’t hungry (Psalm 51). All he wanted was Saul’s obedience and ultimately Saul’s heart. Samuel spoke the word of the Lord over Saul that day saying, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” (1 Sam. 15:22)

These words ring out in my head so often. In our search for significance, success, excellence, what have you, we cannot forget that obedience is always significant in the eyes of God. It is the truest form of worship.


You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

17 Aug


Over the past few months I have made a new personal commitment to increase the amount of personal rehearsal time that I put in before every weekend. The reason? I have cultivated a bad habit of just assuming that I can get by on my talent alone. The assumption that I make when I don’t practice is that I can just figure it out quickly as we go. And it has worked for years, but there are two, nay three problems:

1. The bar is rising so we have to keep personally improving.

2. You don’t know how much you don’t know until you rehearse.

3. You can’t lead what you haven’t already learned.

If any of us were just random musicians, the old way of operating would work, but we are not. We are all leaders. We all have to come prepared to lead, not just to play.

So, prepare like you’re going to lead and you will be in the best place possible to serve the team and the congregation well.



The Impossibility of Invisibility

1 Aug
From my experience, the most common concern for worship leaders in regard to leading from the stage is the concern that they will be a distraction, or that they will “get in the way” as they lead. As a result, they don’t want to move too much, sway too much, or do anything that will draw the attention to themselves. But often, the person attempting to be invisible is the most visible person on the stage.  The reality is that no one can be passive or invisible on the stage. Our people need to be led, and how can they be led by a leader who’s greatest goal is to be invisible? It is impossible to get out of the way!  You are visible!  My prayer is that we will realize the impossibility of invisibility, and that we will embrace our visibility as we lead our people.