As a Worship Pastor in the same church for over 15 years, other worship leaders often ask how to become a better worshipper and how to get their church to engage more. I love that people want to improve their ability of giving God praise. That’s awesome! And yet I sometimes feel like they are asking me for bullet points on how to improve their skills and abilities in order to get people to respond in their services a certain way. Honing ones craft and bringing excellence and passion to the House of God are great things, I will even write about those things, and more, in the near future. But if someone truly wants to be a better worshipper, it MUST start in the heart.
I almost always answer this question with a question… WHY?
Why do you want to be a better worship leader? And what’s your definition of a great worship leader? Who are some great worship leaders that you know and why do you think they're great? These questions give me a small glimpse into people’s motives because “what we say flows from what’s in our hearts.” (Luke 6:45)
Whether they are seeking a formula or a quick fix for perceived issues in either their teams and/or church services or they are hungry and thirsty for more of God’s presence and power in their lives and their churches, I encourage them to continue to pursue and seek God and He WILL come. I remind them that God draws near as we draw near. Psalm 84:11 tells us that He withholds no good thing from those whose walk is blameless. If we want more of Him and His Spirit, He will give it to us: more of His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness and self-control. These are signs that God is at work in our lives. This is worship... that our lives reflect who He is.
According to Jeremiah 29:13, if we seek Him with our whole heart, we will find Him. As we reach out to God, He speaks and orders our steps. He gives us “assignments” (people) to love on and minister to. This is worship.
He gently talks to us about areas of our lives that need tweaking or (for some of us) complete overhauls… the pride, the vanity, the anger and unforgiveness. He lovingly puts His finger on these things. And we yield our wills and our way to Him. This is worship.
Authenticity and vulnerability in our surrender to Jesus is a MUST. Asking God to search us and know our hearts and show us what needs changing and allowing the work to begin until completion is how we become better, more effective worshippers and worship leaders.
It is in our seeking that God gives us a glimpse of His plan and purpose for our lives. He frees us and releases us from bondage, doubt, sickness , lack and whatever else the enemy, Satan, brings to kill, steal and destroy us. He instead gives us an abundant life. He makes us new, gives us a hope and a future. As we worship God, we start to experience heaven here on earth! God is looking for those who will worship in Spirit and truth.
I recently heard a message by Darlene Zschech who describes Worship leaders rather as Releasers of Worship. I LOVE THAT!! We should be able to honestly say “Come and give praise and honor to the King of kings and Lord of lords like me."
But it’s impossible to release what you aren’t able to genuinely release. Again, what’s in your heart?
My prayer for you and me is that we would ascribe to God the praise due Him and hold nothing back. My prayer is that our hearts would be pure and free, not bound by our past hurts, present distractions or future ambitions. Rather, may JESUS (our audience of One) be the only reason why we usher people into the presence of God in our churches. May we remember the grace by which we were saved and set free, redeemed and made whole. I pray that we live surrendered, God-honoring lives both on and off our platforms so that God gets all glory and honor and power.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9