Wouldn't you say it's time for the real thing? To dig deep?
I don't know about you, but I'm ready to live in the fullness of God's plan. To be captivated and captured by who He is and what He's doing in the world.
It's time for we who lead others in worship to be more than singers, musicians, performers and cheerleaders. It's time to carry more than just passion.
It's because passion isn't enough. We need prophets—those who will live the life. Those who will love truth, speak truth and embody truth.
Passion is tied to personality. You can be passionate for God but not know Him. You can dance around on stage, write the greatest songs, preach with boldness, and sing your heart out but be far from God.
Prophetic worship is rooted in a closeness with Christ. Passion can be faked. Depth with God is built over time—day by day, moment by moment.
And it's time for worship leaders to rise up who are willing to go deeper.
The Blessing of Broken Wrists
No, it's not really a blessing, per se.
But behind every setback is an opportunity, depending on your outlook. A few weeks ago I broke my wrist. I wish I could say it happened because I was rescuing puppies from a burning animal shelter. Or because I was practicing my scales with the intensity of a Beethoven symphony.
Honestly, I fell down the stairs. I'm not whining. Compared to other broken bones and debilitating diseases, a broken wrist is a minor setback. But for a musician, it's a big deal. It's tough to strum your guitar when you can't move your arm. So I've been forced to lead worship without an instrument. Just me, a microphone, and a room full of people. That experience has shed a new light on being a worship leader. I feel more vulnerable. I see differently.
It's helped me re-evaluate the act of leading worship. There needs to be more than just great performance techniques.
It needs to move beyond passion into something deeper. Here are a few tips:
1. Internalize Scripture. It's not enough to sing songs. When Scripture is within you, it comes out within songs, between songs, and gives context to songs. You start to prophesy over the room rather than entertain them. You see the connection between worship and lifestyle, head and heart, song and story.
2. Guide hearts. As I've been leading recently, I've felt less like a performer and more like a tour guide. I'm choosing songs, crafting transitions and planning sets in order to display the glories of God. All my hard work is working to magnify the beauty of Jesus. If the church doesn't see Jesus clearly, I've failed. If the church is mesmerized by our performance as a team, we've failed. We are tour guides, laboring to spotlight Jesus.
3. Love people. Ask God to give you a heart for the people you lead. His heart. It's not something you can force. Ask for supernatural love and compassion for people. To have the heart Jesus had. He lived with such compassion for the people He saw. He felt their pain. He looked in their eyes. He listened to their stories. Ultimately, He carried their sin and died their death. Let's not allow Sunday to be anything less than brokenhearted service for others.
4. Do kingdom work. Don't just do what's good for you or makes you look good. Invest your life into the kingdom. Prioritize what Jesus prioritizes. Do the things that Jesus does. Seek first the kingdom. If you're not living a current, today faith, it's not the time to lead worship. You don't need to be perfect to lead worship, but you need to be "pressing toward the goal," the prize of knowing Jesus.
5. Stop leading songs. My friend Dustin Smith once told me that songs aren't the goal. Songs are simply tools. A master craftsman doesn't just love his tools. He uses tools to build. Worship Leader, don't just pick songs and call it worship. Use songs to prophesy over people. Use songs to lead the room in declaring truth. Use songs for a purpose.
Organize your setlist around what God is doing, not just the popular songs you can execute better than the radio. Don't just sing. Lead.
Let's talk it out. How are you pressing into something real? How are you rooting your ministry in more than just passion?
David Santistevan is a worship pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For the original article, visit davidsantistevan.com.
For the original article, visit davidsantistevan.com.
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