There’s a quote going around on social media and I love it so much.
Worship leaders often spend so much time on stage that we can become used to living in the limelight. Sometimes it feels easier to do that than at other times.
Because we’re often subject to public critique, our life can become all about building our skills, our respect, our “thang." But I’ve been taught the hard way at times that it’s not all about me.
This simple saying has refocused me to think over first, what it means to be "successful" and secondly about what it is to be a good friend that champions other women into their “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14) moments of influence in the church and beyond.
Sometimes you get so used to hanging out with the guys that it doesn’t even seem like you’re missing anything. But I think that if the church is to become all it’s supposed to be, its women leaders need to get good at truly “friending” each other - in a deeper sense than just adding someone on Facebook. We need to help keep each other focused upon Jesus as we lead the church’s musical worship.
So, what does it really mean to “have a woman’s back”? I’ve been in the book of Proverbs recently, and here are some of my thoughts. Please add yours as well below!
- The Bible doesn’t suggest faking it.
Proverbs 29:5 “A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet”
In fact, there are some pretty direct statements about being “fake nice” or using your words so other people will like you. The Bible wants us to love each other deeply for who we actually are, not our false projections.
- It’s being willing to give your sister a “heads up” when she needs one.
Proverbs 27:5 “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted.”
In fact, directly opposite to its comments about flattery, the Bible applauds truth-telling as an act of love. Sometimes the words “you’ll do better next week” can be sweet balm to a worship leader’s soul. Nobody wants to be continually cut down by their friends. But the point is, we want (and need) strong medicinal doses of the truth if we’re going to be all God wants us to be.
- When gossip comes up, let’s refuse to keep fueling the fire.
“Without wood a fire goes out, without a gossip a quarrel dies down” - Proverbs 26:16.
I recently watched one worship leader friend lean forward over a café table and say so kindly to another, “I can hear your pain while you’re telling me your story, but I know her, and she’s just not like that. I think it’s a weird misunderstanding”. I really liked how that felt. And I thought so much more highly of her. “Well played my friend” I thought. A slam-dunk for peace. In the social media age we’re often misunderstanding each other, and things even get competitive. What type of church are we building if worship leaders see each other as competition?!
- Don’t ever stop fighting the green-eyed monster of envy.
Proverbs 14: 30 “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
Some of my friends have been given the most incredible opportunities by God. Like Ashley Beckford - a great example who recently founded ProjectWOW. Or Nikki Lerner who is pressing her new CD. I have come to realize that because they are being propelled into their greatness doesn’t mean I won’t get to continue to step forward. Success is not comparative, because we run our own race. I’m not saying envy doesn’t happen (often when you least expect it) but when someone hosts envy in their heart, it hurts them. Wrestle the monster down!
- Not just friends on good days.
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a [sister] is born for a time of adversity”.
The church is the spiritual home to thousands of musicians, poets, lyricists, artists and visionary girls. Not all are having their best hair day ever. In fact, many creative women would describe themselves as struggling. But struggle is a key part of the creative process. It’s like breaking out of an egg, which is a hard process for little baby bird. But did you know that if you end the struggle, chicks often die? The struggle builds their core so they have the strength to live, and fly. We can lose patience with people who just don’t seem to be making progress. But a friend doesn’t turn away from pain, sorrow or obscurity. A friend loves at all times. When you’ve made the cut onto the team, and when you haven’t made it this time. The friend standing next to you in your worst moment is usually the first person you call to celebrate your greatest win.
I’m challenged by these Proverbs to become a better friend. How about you? Which verses speak to you?