“Golden Nugget” of Worship Leading #4
Imagine that I nominated you to be Team Captain for a neighborhood pick-up basketball game. As you are choosing your teammates, you notice one potential player standing on the sidelines with the latest, greatest gear. He has the name brand headband, wristbands, jersey, and shorts. He is laced up in this year’s NBA All-Star’s signature shoes. He is dribbling an authentic NBA basketball. You also notice a second potential player standing next to the first. This person looks to be wearing hand-me-down clothes that are a couple of sizes too big. His shoes are decent, but showing wear. He has no ball. He just came to play. As the designated Team Captain, which player would you choose for your team?
The correct answer should be: I don’t know. How could you possibly know? The reality is that you simply do not have enough information to make a wise decision. Yes, we can look at the situation at face value, and we can assume that the guy with the better gear is a better baller, but the quality of the gear does not actually determine the quality of the player, does it?
This leads us to our fourth “Golden Nugget” of Worship Leading: Equipping People is Greater than Buying Equipment.
I have personally worked with way too many churches who think the answer to their Worship Team woes is to simply invest more money. Ironically, these churches will not hesitate to invest tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars into the latest, greatest sound system, but they will not build hundreds of dollars worth of lessons and training into their annual budget. These churches struggle to understand that equipping people is greater than buying equipment.
In reality, a truly great guitar player can make a cheap guitar sound amazing! At the same time, an unskilled guitar player can make an incredible guitar sound really bad!
I will be the first to admit that, all things considered, good equipment will always sound better than bad equipment (good equipment also tends to cost a lot more than bad equipment). Still, high quality equipment will only ever be optimized by skillful people. Better equipment may come, in time, but it is always better to focus on simply becoming a better player.
One who is faithful in very little is also faithful in much… (Luke 16:10, ESV)
Don’t make the mistake of falling into the negative (and often wrong) way of thinking that says you would sound better if you just had better equipment. That may be true, but the bigger question is: Are you being faithful with what you have? Are you investing wisely? I’m not just talking about financial investments, but also time investments. When we short-circuit the growth process by just buying better equipment, we fail to grow and maximize our current skill level, and we will fail to optimize the better, more expensive equipment that is meant for someone way above our current skill level.
Do you remember the parable of the talents, or of the minas? Invest well what you have been given, and God will cause the growth. He will provide what we need when we need it.
Along these lines, there is another way that far too many churches solve their Worship Team woes, and it needs to be addressed. When an NBA team is wanting to be competitive and beat the other teams in the league, they go out and hire the best players available. They don’t really care who they take the players from. They need the player, so they offer them more money than the other team was offering. Personally, I don’t like this in the NBA, but I hate it in the church. Rather than going out and competing for the latest, greatest Worship Leaders and Musicians, what if we did what Jesus did and raised people up from within? How do we do that? We do it by equipping people better -not by simply buying better equipment!
* This #ThursdayWorshipThoughts article is part 4 (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)