Keep This Truth in Mind Sunday When Staring at an Empty Sanctuary

Your audience of one is worthy of all of your worship. (Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)

For the majority of worship leaders at local churches and houses of prayer for the foreseeable future, this is your reality:

—You won't see anyone engaging with you during your set.

—You won't hear anyone singing with you.

—You won't see people raising their hands.

—You won't see anyone standing in agreement.

God alone will be present at your worship times. You will have no choice but to actually minister before an audience of one.

That one alone is worthy of all of your worship.

Worship has always been all about Him. Although it's incredible to join together with the body to sing our adoration, you as the worship leader now have an amazing opportunity to recalibrate and refocus your heart to allow your worship to truly be all about ministering before an audience of one.

When it's only Him watching, will you still show up to lead with strength? When it's only Him listening, will you still lift your voice and sing with passion?

Let this time reset your heart. Let this time reset your focus on why you do what you do. Let us never forget that we're leading worship for God first, and people second.

People must always be second.

There is nothing more holy or spiritual about worshipping in an empty room versus a room full of people. But when the room is empty, and it's just you and God, it's a lot easier to get in touch with the true state of your heart.

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This is a gift of God to us in this time. When the people, the lights, and everything that could distract you or give you a false sense of being filled is stripped away and it's just you and your guitar, are you still filled with wonder when you sing?

Whether you're a worship leader, a student taking online classes, a businessman or a mom at home with her kids, an empty room is a place ripe for encounter. No room is ever truly empty because of the one who fills all in all.

An empty room might feel awkward to us, but consider that one of the deep desires of God has always been to meet with us alone. "But you, when you pray, enter your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly" (Matt. 6:6).

I pray that in this season, our hearts would echo the cry of our father David, who said, "One thing I have asked from the Lord, that will I seek after—for me to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to see the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple" (Ps. 27:4). Let us seize this opportunity to embrace a unique expression of worship with passion and wonder in our hearts, for He is truly worthy.

Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Justin Rizzo developed a passion and love for music at an early age. He began playing a variety of instruments and started leading worship at age 12. He has released five albums and been featured on multiple compilation projects, along with writing and producing three full-length musicals. In addition, he travels extensively to lead worship and speak at events around the world. Justin is currently based in Kansas City, Missouri, where he serves as a worship leader, songwriter, blogger and composer. Visit his website at

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