The Lord Looks at the Heart

I love the first chapter of Samuel for many reasons.

- the story of Hannah begging the Lord for a child
- the story of Eli and his lack of parenting skills
- the story of Samuel and his heart after the Lord
- the story of Saul
- the story of David
- the story of Jonathan
- the story of Goliath

…all interwoven together throughout Samuel, chapter 1.

In Chapter 16, Samuel is grieving over Saul’s rejection as King. The Lord sent Samuel to appoint a new King. As Samuel is going to Bethlehem to find David, the Lord says, “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (vs 7).

The people you lead see your appearance, your preparation, your music, your leadership…. everything you do as you lead. Only God knows your heart.

Be sure that your lyrics line up with your heart, not just your worship set.
Take time this week to seek JESUS with ALL your heart.

Read I Samuel. (all 31 chapters)

Clothe Yourself with Humility

I Peter 5:5 says, “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

This week, walk with humility toward each individual on your team.

Serve them.
Encourage them.
Love them.
Care for them.

Seek to walk with a heart of humility all week long, then approach the stage with the same heart as you lead the congregation in worship.

 

 

Follow Your Passion But Don’t Give Up Your Gifting

Recently I had the opportunity to spend some time with a dear friend who sings, leads worship, writes songs and has a heart for shepherding the local church. He has developed a passion for teaching God’s word and now has opportunities to both lead his band AND to teach.

As God has given him new passions for teaching, I encouraged him to move in that direction, but to not give up his gifts in music and leading worship.

It reminded me that we are all created with unique gifts. God is opening the door for my friend to be able to teach at times and to lead worship at times. Someday he may have to choose which one will receive the most of his time, but for now, it is great to do them both as God opens the door.

Take a moment and think about your gifts. As you get older, try new things. Lead in a different way. It does not always have to be music. You may be gifted in media, or writing, or songwriting, or shepherding. Allow God to work in your life and lead your steps to new things.

Seek HIM first in everything and keep your heart focused on him. That should ALWAYS be your number one passion.

 

 

Pray Colossians 1 for Your Worship Team

If you are responsible for leading the congregation in worship, you are also responsible for leading your team of vocalists, instrumentalists and media technicians.

Commit some time each week to pray for your team. Use Paul’s pray in Colossians 1 as an example.

1:9 “…we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” ESV

Pray this for your team:

- that they may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding

- that they would walk in a manner worthy of the Lord

- that they would be fully pleasing to the Lord

- that they would bear fruit in every good work

- that they would increase in their knowledge of God

God will be honored as you lift your team up in prayer to him.

 

 

Lead When Leading?

When you lead worship, consider yourself a shepherd, caring for the people and leading them somewhere. There may be individuals who do not know the song you are leading, who are attending for the first time, or who are uncomfortable singing.

As the leader, constantly observe those who are singing. Encourage them and bring them into your worship experience.

Use words or phrases during the songs such as:

“sing with me”
“everyone sing”
“a little louder”
“put your hands together”

ENGAGE THE PEOPLE!

A little encouragement will go a long way in helping the congregation feel more comfortable in joining you as you sing and as they sing.

Plan ahead.
Be intentional.
Lead your people.

 

Take Responsibility

If you realize you made a mistake that caused pain and heartache for your congregation or worship team, it is easy to pass the blame to someone else or just ignore it.

Those under your authority already know that you were responsible. However, in many difficult situations, leaders simply pass the blame on to another person or event instead of themselves.

If you want to grow as a leader, take responsibility not only for things that go well, but also for the rehearsals or events or relationships that fall apart because of your decisions and leadership. It is part of the high price of leading, but those under your authority will learn from you in how to handle difficult times.

Ask God to teach you to be a stronger leader in the seasons of both good and difficult times.

TO DO: Read all of Philippians at one time. Ask God to show you how to have the “mind of Christ” as you lead your team.

 

 

Healthy or Unhealty?

Have you ever been to the doctor for a physical? The doctor checks vital signs, blood work, family history, etc. and asks a lot of questions. He or she wants to help you be as healthy as possible. However, YOU must choose to first go to the doctor, and second, YOU must do what the doctor recommends.

What about the areas of your life the doctor does not check? Ask yourself these CHECK-UP questions?

How is my…

time in prayer?
time in Bible study?
time alone with the Lord?
time with family?
time with staff?
time leading volunteers?
time studying?
time preparing?
time being honest?

Take time to be intentional about moving unhealthy parts of your life to healthy. Start NOW!

 

Keeping Your Band Spiritually Accountable

Many times worship leaders have the pastor or someone else on staff to help keep them accountable spiritually. But what about the members of the band?

If you are the worship leader in your church and you have instrumentalists and vocalists who are helping lead worship, consider encouraging them on a regular basis to be in God’s word. Help them to spend time in prayer. Help them to understand the songs being sung in worship.

They will appreciate your time and your investment.

Lead Out of Your Team’s Strengths

Each person on your team has strengths and weaknesses in musicianship and in worship leadership. Both vocalists and instrumentalists many times do not want to admit or discuss their own weaknesses. Instead, they quickly say they can handle the situation or musical challenge. Therefore, if you are the leader, you MUST be able to see where each of your team struggles, even when they won’t tell you. At the same time, look for their strength not only individually, but look for how their strength gives strength to the entire vocal / instrumental team.

As you select others to lead worship with you, consider…

vocal strength
vocal range
ability to harmonize
ability to blend
ability to lead out on a solo or teaching a song to the congregation
ability to play piano and sing at the same time
ability to play guitar and sing at the same time
ability to lead worship while playing lead guitar
ability to speak while playing the guitar
ability to get along with the team
ability to plan worship
servant heart
ability to memorize
helps bring unity to the team
ability to transpose

As you plan worship, consider…
1) your leadership style (your strengths when you lead);
2) your team’s strengths when they sing, play and lead;
3) your church’s worship style.

Apply this filter each time you select songs and every time you plan the order of service. Use YOUR gifts of leadership and music to truly LEAD your team to be stronger each week than the week before.

 

 

 

burnout or balance

Wikipedia says: “Burnout is a psychological term for the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest.”

Those in the ministry, including worship pastors, are not exempt from burning out?

We try to be everything to everyone.
We are pulled in all directions.
We plan.
We organize.
We counsel.
We rehearse.
We learn new music.
We practice our skill.
We prepare to lead every week.
We prepare a team to lead each week.

The list goes on and on.

When you feel that life is getting out of balance, stop and evaluate. Tell trusted friends. Let them help you see how to find balance in your busy world.

Balance in life (at home with family and at your work place) will allow you to minister to others over the long haul.

Be aware of burn out, then do everything you can do to avoid it.

 

 

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