“Golden Nugget” of Worship Leading#2
Worship is God’s idea! I think we forget that, sometimes. We have an unhealthy tendency of making worship more about us than about God. We are constantly tempted to make worship more about our preferences, our thoughts, and our feelings than it is about God’s preferences, thoughts, and feelings. We have to resist that temptation at every step. Worship is God’s idea. He has a LOT to say about the subject, and we would do well to obey the instruction He has given.
The fact that worship is God’s idea is the first Golden Nugget of Worship Leading, and it is the cornerstone for the second: Remember your primary purpose.
This one is likely going to hurt, but it needs to be said. Leading worship is NOT your primary purpose. It’s not. Yes, worship is God’s idea. Yes, it is a high calling. Yes, it is important. No, it is NOT your primary purpose. Your primary purpose is to make disciples.
After creating the world, being born of a virgin, living a sinless life, dying on the cross for our sins, and rising from the grave, Jesus clearly revealed the primary purpose for anyone who would claim to follow Him:
…“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:18–20, ESV)
This is the only time throughout the gospels that Jesus uses the phrase, “all authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.” Why would he use that phrase here? I believe that he is helping us to see the magnitude of his next statement! The Great Commission is not the Great Suggestion! The boss of heaven and earth has given his followers a non-negotiable assignment. Our primary purpose is not to make music, it is to make disciples!
Does this mean that leading worship is unimportant? No! Leading a congregation in musical worship is awesome! It is a God-ordained calling. In fact, it is the one thing that God said we should do skillfully (see Psalm 33:3). Leading worship is not unimportant, but it is secondary. Our primary purpose is to make disciples.
Practically speaking, you could devote your entire life to leading congregational worship and be incredibly gifted to do so.You could lead thousands upon thousands of worshipers into an awareness of the presence and glory of God by skillfully using your musical gifts, but if you failed to make disciples along the way, then you failed at what matters most.
Imagine a father telling his child to clean their room while he runs to town. Upon his return, the father notices that his child did not finish the clearly communicated task. Of course the father would ask his child, “Why didn’t you do what I told you to do?” Now imagine the child responding by saying, “Well, I may not have cleaned my room like you asked me to, dad, but I did sing a lot of songs about you while you were gone! In fact, I even wrote a few of my own! Also, my siblings came by, so I led them in singing the songs, as well. We’ve been singing about you the whole time you were gone!”
I am a father, myself. I can honestly say that I would not be impressed by this response. Neither will God the Father be impressed by our disregard of making the Great Commission our first priority and recognizing it as our primary purpose! Worship is God’s idea, but He is not impressed when we attempt to worship instead of obey. Obedience is God’s love language! He desires for us to worship and obey! The two are not mutually exclusive! The truth is that by being intentional, you can fulfill your primary purpose of making disciples while you are engaged in any secondary purpose, including leading worship. In fact, this is what true worship is really all about.
* This #ThursdayWorshipThoughts article is part 2 (of 5) of a larger series, “Golden Nuggets of Worship Leading”. Be sure to check out the other articles in the series, as well! For a printable version of this article, click here.
Artwork provided by my good friend, Brooke Gehman, an authentic and wonderful man of God, devoted follower of Christ, and an amazing husband and father. Brooke is a gifted Worship Leader, an incredible artist, and a Potter by trade (check out his website)