"Don't go through the motions. Don't just wear the mask. Be authentic. Be real."
We've heard all of these axioms, haven't we? We know worship is a lifestyle, and we need to live it before we sing it. These things are easy to preach, fun to write articles about.
It's easy to toss these statements around to your team. Why? Because you're a leader. You have to have something to say. You need to lead, have a plan, be in charge.
But many of us are sleepwalking leaders. Our eyes are open but we're far from awake.
This might not be want you wanted to hear today. What I want to challenge you with isn't easy. It's time to step into the fullness of God this year. That's what I'm doing. What about you?
It's time to live a faith that costs you.
Believe what you sing, sure. But don't stop at belief. Lay hold of the promises of God. Believe in the miraculous. Approach worship with childlike wonder.
Live the kind of life that says,
This worship service is going to cost me because I'm going to give everything. Not just everything in this heightened, emotional moment with my favorite songs. I'm going to stop sinning, repent of my lazy spirituality, and do something that will change a life this week.
I mean, think about it. What happens to us? Why do we stop praying? Why do we stop worshiping in secret? Why do we stop reading our Bibles?
It's because we're more concerned with what people see than what God sees. We've prostituted ourselves on the opinions of man and don't care what God thinks of us. As long as our talent, wisdom and influence are seen by the world, we don't care about anything else.
The most important disciplines can't be seen: prayer, Scripture meditation, fasting, worship.
But a life that is built on being seen will soon see the end. Not just the end of influence, but the end of being a disciple of Jesus.
I have felt the drift myself. It's a strong pull to ease up—to not be too radical. We've exchanged radical faith for something that is not faith. It is doubt masked as maturity. Playing it safe. But this isn't the life God has called us to. This isn't the faith Jesus died to develop in us.
What the Best Leaders Do
We can't just write songs and teach and preach and feed others. To be leaders, we need to first be followers. In order to make disciples, we need to be disciples of Jesus.
The best leaders are committed followers. Eyes on the master. Heart in His hands. Feet willing go. Ready to risk everything for the cause of Christ.
What did Jesus' disciples do?
The went where He went. They did what He did. They gave up everything. They stepped out in faith, looked like fools, messed up and learned. But they also stepped out in faith and did the greater works that Jesus did.
Of course, you can't just be a lone ranger, following Jesus. The time comes where you must step up and lead. But without eyes fixed on Jesus and a heart committed to discipleship, you won't be leading anybody anywhere.
Maybe you're not seeing momentum in your ministry because you're not following anymore. Maybe in 2018, God wants to blow your mind. He doesn't just want you to manage your faith. He wants to see you live the adventure of following Jesus.
David Santistevan is a worship pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
This article originally appeared at davidsantistevan.com.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.
Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. Enroll in the FREE Mini-Course to experience Dr. Rutland's training for yourself and then enroll for the full training that will change your life and ministry.
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.
NICL Training offered in FL, TX and GA - Learn everything you wish someone had taught you about business and ministry before you finished seminary. Gain the knowledge that will help propel your life and ministry to the next level as you implement practical lessons from Dr. Rutland's training. Training Dates and Details.
The NICL Online is a brand new option for those church and ministry leaders who cannot attend the in-person training. Now, you can receive all 60-hours of Dr. Rutland's training from the comfort of your home or ministry for a full year. Learn more about NICL Online.