Not My Concert

piano-349928__180I have many different passions in my life, but one of my greatest passions is worship. I love to worship God and throughout my life thus far, I have been blessed to either have been part of a worship team, or lead a worship team. I love it. I love singing and playing my keyboard and passionately pursuing God.

One struggle I have though, is when I feel like somebody is seeing me as a concert rather than a vessel to help carry them into the throne room of God. When I began to play and sing, I’m not looking for you to only listen to me, I’m looking for you to participate with me. Of course I want you to believe I sound good and see that I am gifted, but I would much rather you feel God’s anointing on me. When I am worshiping God with all that I have, I don’t want to look up and see you watching me. I want to see you enveloped in God’s presence and so focused on Him that you barely notice me. My job is not to perform for you, my job is to help you worship.

I don’t want you to think I’m being critical, because I am truly not trying to be. I am concerned that there are those out there leading worship to promote themselves and not solely God. This isn’t a platform to promote yourself. I love worship albums and I have my favorite worship leaders I like to listen to. There is nothing wrong with that, especially when we are looking to worship in our homes and don’t feel like we are ready to begin to sing out on our own. I know we worship God with our lives and in many different ways, but I am talking about this particular kind of worship.

I also love to hear feedback; good or bad. Well, maybe I don’t love to hear the bad feedback, but it helps me understand what you need to help you worship. I kind of dig it when you say you like my voice, or how I did a certain song, and that is fine to do. I love to encourage the teacher or preacher or the worship leader if I can. The greatest compliment I ever received was one person who told me that when he worships with me, he goes places [in worship] that he’s never been. That is so amazing to me. That is so humbling to think that God is allowing me to do this thing that I love. I love it and I want you to love it with me.

microphone-1128106__180I also understand that not everybody worships the same way. I don’t expect everybody to be leaping and dancing in ways they can’t. I wish I could dance like I see some people dance. My way of dancing for Him is pretty much jumping up and down. Not joking! I want you to begin to tune out your flesh. I want you to imagine it is only you and Jesus and you want to worship Him in your own way. My voice is my worship. My fingers are my worship. Raising my hands is my worship. Sometimes shuffling my feet back and forth is my worship. Sometimes I cannot do anything but lay flat on the ground and worship Him.

My point is this, worship God and allow your worship leader to help you do it. Yes, you can enjoy what you are hearing, but allow yourself to let it take you to the place you have never been before.

“How you worship is truly between you and the Lord, but I pray that if you have ever worshiped with me, you stepped out of your comfort zone because you felt God’s presence so strong that you just had to worship like you never have before.”

Thanks for reading this and if I missed anything, or if you have anything to add, please just add it to the comments! Love you!

Leading Worship

I have many loves in my life, but one of my great passions is worship. I love to worship and to lead worship. I’m not talking about singing a couple of songs and being done. I am talking about singing and playing a worship song that I am passionate about and using that passion as a launching pad to take His people into the inner courts of heaven. You see, when the veil was torn in two in the New Testament, that means that we can boldly come before the throne of God. He wants us to have a deep and personal relationship and experience with Him.

Too many people see God as this far off being that is angry all the time and punishes people all the time. While God is a just God, He is the very definition of Love. God is Love and when we show love to others, we show them who God really is. When I worship, I begin to move away from my wants and desires and move into a place where it is all about God and nothing about me. When we worship God, we are giving Him what He is due; like tithing and following His commandments. All these things are showing worship to God, but in this moment, I am talking about that moment that you are worshiping Him with everything that you have, and you cross into His inner courts and it is just you and Yahweh. He is everything you need and you are all that He wants. He is jealous for us; for our attention.

When you lead a church into worship, I don’t believe it is a simple 3 praise songs and 2 worship songs, then the end. It’s about taking God’s people to a place where they can worship God like never before. There are so many times in worship, even when it is just me at my keyboard in my own room, that God reveals even more of Himself to me and I get so emotional. There is nothing wrong with becoming emotional when you are in the presence of God as long as your emotion isn’t taking the focus off of God and placing in on you. I can’t help but want to praise and worship a God who loves me as much as Jesus does. I don’t think we can even fathom what His love truly is until we are in that place of truly worshiping Him. His love is exquisite, perfect, magnificent, and overwhelming.

As a worship leader, you can’t just move immediately into deeper worship; at least in most cases. There are times where the people of God are more than ready to truly worship Him. There have been times where I just want to jump right into the river of God and flow right into His throne room and lay at His feet and worship Him, but as a worship leader, I get the opportunity to bring as many people as I can into His presence. I truly do not want anybody left behind. Sadly, it seems there are too often those that cannot take their focus off themselves long enough to follow, but there are so many who are able.

While I am no Kim Walker-Smith, Jenn Johnson, or Darlene Zschech, I am who God made me to be and I believe that we are to use what God gives us. I love to worship and I have gotten so many confirming prophetic words about leading worship and singing songs of heaven, that I know I am on track. I know that I know that this is what I am called to do. I have been a worship leader before for several years. I know that one day, in God’s perfect timing, that He will raise me up to lead worship once again. Until He does, I am called to lead worship in my own life and my home. That is always our first ministry. I will obediently worship Him as I am called to do, whether in my bedroom alone, or in a church, or on a stage in a whole new setting.

I’m Leaving!!!

Imagine your kids, or someone else’s kids for that matter, stamping their feet, yelling and running to their rooms; slamming their doors. We roll our eyes. We discipline our kids when they throw tantrums. We sometimes ignore them to teach them that there are other ways to get attention. We assume that those children that aren’t ours, must never get disciplined. 

What do we do when this happens in the church? When people get mad or offended, they do the equivalent. They stamp their feet and they say they’re leaving because of this reason or that reason. The people leave hurt and the people left in the church are hurt. The Pastor/Head Elder is hurt because that is their child; their sheep. The church has lost a family member. Whatever happened to, “God sent me to this church and I’m not leaving, no matter what happens, until I wholly believe God and my leaders in agreement, send me elsewhere? 

When our children throw tantrums, it is out of rebellion and manipulation. In essence, what many people do in the church is the very same thing. Sure, we may not be slamming doors and stomping our feet, but we are acting in rebellion and manipulatively. We didn’t get our way, so we run to the door. That will teach them! If God wants us somewhere and we leave, we are acting in rebellion. Suppose I feel like I am going to get that Worship Leading position, and suddenly, the leaders of the church put somebody else in that position. How I react to this turn of events is going to show my maturity or lack thereof. If you don’t deal with your issues, you will keep following this cycle of immature reactions and keep hurting others as well as yourself. 

We need to be truly honest with ourselves and our issues. We need to understand our place in a church. If you think you deserve a position or something else in a church, then you don’t understand God’s word. If we got what we deserved, we would all be burning in hell. Good behavior and loyalty does not get you a position in a church. We, as Christians, have callings and giftings that God gave each of us. You may have a gift of worship and music on your life, but that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed that Worship Leader position. Perhaps you need to take your instrument or voice to the streets and be a Worship Leader there. 

We need to trust God and trust the leaders, as Fathers and Mothers, that He placed in our lives. We need to check our hearts and motives when we feel that little voice inside telling us we deserved something that we didn’t get in the church. If we leave churches because we always get mad, or don’t agree, we will soon become unteachable if we aren’t already there; and that is a very concerning place to be as a follower of Christ!