I once went to a business conference where all of us were Christian people worshiping the Lord. I found myself with about 10 or more other men down the front lifting my hands singing to God with tears flowing down my face…time seemed to stand still and I lost track of what was happening around me…it was just me and Him…worshiping…totally free, not worrying about what other people thought. Towards the end I turned around and found almost everyone else doing the same thing. It will be something I will never forget.
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24)
One of the most sensitive issues in the Kingdom is worship. How do we worship? What word describes our worship? Intimate? Loud? Quiet? Rowdy? Passionate? Worship is all these things and more because God is all these things and more.
Worship is the act of freely giving love to God. This forms and informs every activity of the Christian’s life. Worship can also be defined as a physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual expression of awe, submission, and respect toward God. Worship is important because we have been created to worship. We are “wired for worship.” Worship is in our genetic code. Therefore, we will worship God or we will worship something else.
This may seem like a ridiculous question, but it is one that I honestly believe a lot of people do not know the answer to. How do I know this? – Because for years I did not know the answer to this (or even bothered to ask the question.) I had worship at the beginning of a service because “it’s what you do!” I thought that radical worship was worship that was cool, or sounded like the most fashionable bands of the day, or worship that attracted people into the church because they liked the music.
The position of a worship leader is first and foremost as a servant. The worship leader serves the people into the presence of God.
What does it mean to serve people? To genuinely serve people, your focus should not be the people, but God. There is a very subtle trap in ministry, which says that to serve people; you have to listen to their desires, concerns, and so on. True ministry does not work this way. True ministry is completely God focused, because it is only when you are focused upon Him will you have true perspective. To truly serve people is to give them what God has for them, and to lead them to the point where they can hear and operate in God for themselves.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23)
True worship is born out of the Spirit of God. If worship is not born from the Spirit of God, it cannot, by definition, be worship.
Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. (Psalm 98:1)
Did you ever notice that God doesn’t waste a thing? I’ve found that He will use anyone, any situation, any and all circumstances (be they good or bad) to burn off the impurities in our character. This process is known as refining or purification (Malachi 3:3). Let me assure you that it isn’t always a pleasant experience. It rarely is and I do have a few impurities. Let me give you a for instance.
I have lots of struggles. Woe is me. Nothing like a good pity party is there? This is how it goes with a few of them. As a worship leader/song writer/worship team member I’ve often found myself making comparisons. You know, I compare my voice, musical ability, song writing skills and leadership style to others. I don’t make it easy on myself either. It’s always Matt Redman, Brian Doerksen, Chris Tomlin, Paul Baloche, etc. The “biggies” of course. And you know what? I never seem to measure up.