Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Their Emotional Response: A Worship Leader's Idol

We are emotional beings.  God created us that way because emotions are powerful and can launch us in to action.  But, worship leaders, did you know that an emotional response from your church does not equal success?

I have worshipped in many different settings with various types of congregations.  Some have been seemingly excited and passionate in their worship, but then turned out to be dried up and only emoting a response from the song they were singing at the time, or acting as the worship leader directed.  I've been with congregations that seemed dry and uninterested in participating in worship but then ended up having an incredible touch from God because they were invested in what was happening.  The difference?  One is only skin deep while the other was all in, emotions and heart.

Right now is a very busy season for my family and I.  We've been in the midst of moving and I'm working at World Vision full time, teaching voice lessons, and leading worship for a youth group near here every Wednesday.  So yeah, its a little cray cray to say the least.  The youth group I am leading for right now is awesome and I have genuinely fallen in love with these kids.  I must admit though, when I first arrived and was asked to step in and start helping I got a bit frustrated with them.  I couldn't get them to respond to anything, and then I remembered something... "I" am not responsible for their response.  Once I readjusted my focus, realizing that all I need to worry about is worshiping God with MY heart, a shade was pulled back and I saw something happen.  I started to see these kids for who they are and who God designed them to be.  This charged my batteries and all I had to do was sit back and watch as the Holy Spirit began reaching in to start transformation.  Hearts were, and are, being struck by the incredible love and presence of God!

There is a shell that is being chipped away here and I cant accurately measure that with emotional response.  I believe this is the same for every church service really.  We cannot continue to see success as just another excited shout, hand clap, or raised hand, though they may manifest themselves in those ways.  Our success is in our worship of the Lord.  We succeed when our heart is fully invested in worshiping Him.

1 Chronicles 16 tells us to sing our praises to the Lord daily, proclaiming His deeds among all people.  It also says that "all the gods of the nations are idols".  I think we can label that success meter as an idol in our lives.  We can become so absorbed with squeezing that response from the people in front of us that we lose sight of the true reason we're there.

We are worship leaders, and so our responsibility is to lead with our worship.
I want to suggest you pick up a book called "The Invisible Worshiper", by David Binion.  The book dives in to the meat of this concept and is, in truth, where I pulled the idea.

What do you guys think?  Share some of your thoughts on this subject in the comments section!