Don't stifle your creativity, but you also shouldn't chase after everything that is "new."
Don't stifle your creativity, but you also shouldn't chase after everything that is "new." (Facebook )

It's the start of a new year. "New" is on everyone's minds.

  • What changes do I need to make?
  • What disciplines do I need to start?
  • What new ideas should I implement?
  • What's the new hit song?

Let me just say this. I'm a big fan of new ideas. They can revive what is stagnant. They can breathe life where momentum has been lacking. But worship leaders, you need to know something.

The value of what you bring to your local church isn't constantly chasing what is new and novel. The latest and greatest isn't always what it's cracked up to be.

Your effectiveness is drawing attention to Him who was and is and is to come. An obsession with the new can leave people obsessed with new songs, new videos, new stages, wowed by new creativity, but no real hunger and thirst for the Savior. We can end up drawing attention to anything but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

It's an interesting dynamic. Because bland and boring isn't the answer either. It's not as if draining creative expression from our churches will draw more attention to Jesus. Forms work when hearts are in the right place. Simple works when our hearts burn for the Savior. If our hearts are far away, any form is a distraction.

Here's my challenge: Allow yourself to be mesmerized by the glories of the Savior. Allow your heart to be moved by His grace again. Allow your eyes to behold the wonders of His presence. If that happens, you can guarantee that your creative choices will be marked by an eternal perspective. They will have the kiss of heaven.

Chasing "new" with a disconnected heart is dangerous. Our fascination with the new can't outrun our fascination with the Savior. At the center of our faith is an old rugged cross. At the core of our confession is a Savior who "has no form or majesty that we should look upon him nor appearance that we should desire him" (Is. 53:2).

So know your tendency. Do you tend to chase the new at the expense of cherishing the old? Are you stuck in old patterns that are failing to capture the imagination of those you lead? Maybe you need to revive some old songs and hymns. Maybe you need to write some new songs. Maybe you need to pull something from the new Young & Free album.

There's no singular way for every church and every worship team. You need to know your weakness and progress from there.

Here's to an amazing 2017 of falling more in love with the Savior and helping others do the same.

What are your greatest challenges facing your team this year? What new plans do you have? Let's talk about it in the comments.

David Santistevan is a worship pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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