Posted by Andy Park on 4 December 2013

Three tips that might help the worship leader interested in becoming a little more servant-minded...

DELIVER THE MAIL  

It comes into clear perspective when we 'use whatever gifts we have received’. It's like being a postman. I pick up the packages at the post office and simply deliver them to the people. I can be careful in my delivery, but I can't determine what's inside the packages. I'm simply giving away whatever I get from God. He determines the gift's size and contents. On that 'mail route', I encounter rain, sleet, snow — even the occasional angry, barking dog! But as they used to say in the days of the wild west, 'The mail must go through!' 

In small group meetings, I've experienced interruptions during worship - phones ringing, kids running around, latecomers disturbing the worship time. In larger settings, I've experienced conflicts with other worship leaders and pastors. During those times I'm reminded worship is about God not me. I'm not there so people will marvel at my musical gifts. I'm there to serve God and the people. 

SEEK TO SERVE  

God never promised worship would always be an ecstatic experience. Feeling his presence is a wonderful by-product, but it's not something we can control. We exalt him. He decides how much of his Spirit he will pour out. I've learned to resist judging the value of a worship set on the basis of what I feel. 

I used to agonise over my `mistakes'. Then I realised the motivation for that critical analysis was just a great concern over how good I looked - rather than a jealousy for God's glory to be present. So I stopped navel-gazing. 

In the past 20 years, I've attended and led worship in six different churches. Some of those have been new church plants. Some have been large established churches. I've worked with all kinds of musicians in all kinds of church meetings, conferences and retreats. Each situation calls for a different approach. But all require the attitude of a servant. 

I also see worship leading as feeding the sheep with nutritious foods that suit their needs. Different flocks feed on different food. They all have the same basic diet, but they also have their favourite dishes. My challenge is to serve an enjoyable meal while trying to get as much direction as I can from the Head Chef. Feeding them their favourite dish at every meal isn't wise. God has a long term diet plan that includes all kinds of food - celebration, consecration, repentance and intimate love songs. It's good to introduce something new. But it may take people a while to get used to it. So their response isn't always overwhelming. On the other hand, I try to give them some favourite songs at every 'meal'. If I don't, I end up with a flock of unhappy sheep staring at me. 

HEAR THE BOSS  

Worship leading is a balancing act between the pastoral and prophetic. I'm called to tenderly care for the clock, leading them patiently as they grow in their knowledge of God. If there's a lack of responsiveness in the people, I accept them right where they are and do my best to take them one step further. But I also have the responsibility of giving expression to whatever God is saying. As worship leaders, we must call the people to commitment and consecration. For example, some of the songs we sing point out the gap between God's calling to us and our present level of obedience. If I do my best to see with the gifts and strength God provides, he will be praised. As a servant I must continue to do all I can to 'administer God's grace'. The results are up to him. 

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