I’ve been listening to a couple of worship songs today and its been so refreshing for me. There’s nothing more peaceful and sweet than being able to offer praises to God that you know He accepts, and letting the deep mysteries and truths of the gospel of Christ sink into your heart, through the use of worship songs by the Spirit of God.
I admire quite a number of worship leaders. Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe, Hillsong United, Jeremy Camp, Natalie Grant and many others. They are countless. However, as i was listening to some worship songs today, i came across a song by Jesus Culture titled ‘Rooftops’.
I don’t know any of the other names of the members of Jesus Culture except Kim Walker. I listened to this song ‘Rooftops’ today after almost a year of hearing it for the first time on TV at home. And i remember what my first reaction to it was, even when i wasn’t as spiritually mature then as i am now. I was excited and i was full of joy. The song stuck to my heart after it was played and i wanted to hear it over and over again. It wasn’t because i thought the tune or the beat was nice. It wasn’t because Kim Walker sang well. Looking back now, i’m realising that it was the lyrics of the song, and the fact that the song was anointed by God to minister to people. I remember looking at Kim Walker on the video, and thinking, ‘There has to be something different about her’.
Funny enough, i looked up her name on wikipedia today and she was described as ‘the worship leader for Jesus Culture’, and ‘the worship pastor for Bethel Church’. Then i’m thinking to myself, ‘What is the difference between a worship leader and a worship pastor’.
From my little experience of leading worship in the past and present, i guess there are a lot of misconceptions on my path. I remember leading the worship at the youth class at my church in Nigeria. For me, i was there to impress people. They had to hear MY good voice. They had to know i could do runs and riffs. It was all about ME. I remember leading the worship once and immediately after, someone said ‘Wow do you go to a music school or what?’… Smiling and raising my shoulders high in the air i replied, ‘No i don’t’. My point had been proven. My ego had been satisfied. They knew i could lead the worship. What Pride! It’s things like this i remember everyday and i tell God: Lord i don’t deserve to be alive. I deserve all your wrath and punishment. But then you sent Jesus in my place, to take all the punishment i deserved, to drink from the cup of Your wrath on the Cross. The Omnipotent God died; not just death of any kind, but the worst kind of death on a Cross. The kind of death reserved for the worst of sinners. His mercies are forever.
I remember another time when i was in a christian boarding school, i led worship a few times in the mornings. It didn’t go as good as it went at church, but as usual, it was all about me. Another misconception i’ve always had until recently was if i didn’t sing many worship or praise songs when i was leading, then i didn’t lead well. Well, that misconception is not just with me but with many churches in Nigeria. I guess you might say it is the cultural difference as nigerians like to dance and sing very fast songs which is understandable. I’ve come to realise that even if it is just 1 worship song sang by the church for 30 minutes, as long as it pleases God, and the presence of God is made manifest, then why not.
I’ve been seeking God on how He wants me to worship Him. The last thing i remember Him saying is ‘with all that you are’. When i say worship here, i refer quite strictly to praising God, as we know that worship is not just about singing some songs on a sunday and going around the rest of the week living your life as though you haven’t been purchased by the precious blood of Jesus. The broad meaning of worship, is how we dedicate our lives to the service of God. The Bible says the primary purpose for the creation of man was to worship God. I believe that means more than praising Him with singing or words, but extends to letting our lives glorify Him, and letting people look at us, and on seeing the risen Christ in us, even unbelievers would glorify our Father in heaven. But in this post, i’m referring mainly to the corporate worship with other believers in your local church. I’m talking of what David did continually all the days of His life.
God wants people to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. God hasn’t given me a revelation on this yet but i believe we can learn a lot from the book of psalms. I believe that all worship leaders should always seek God before choosing any worship songs prior to the service. That would be my advice but i understand God can lead them during the service at various times to sing certain songs. We must always remember it is not about the music, or the song, or the worship leader, but about God. Therefore God must be actively involved in the song choices, and the appointment of a worship leader in a church. The song should not be chosen because it sounds ‘nice’ or the worship leader because they’ve got the best voice, but the Holy Spirit must motivate any choices made. The heart of worship is coming into the presence of God with thanksgiving in your heart and entering His courts with praise. The heart of worship is nothing to do with us, but everything to do with God. Its all about Him. Not how you look to other people in your church, or how good you sound when you’re singing, but if your praise is acceptable to God. Remember this tomorrow when you’re worshipping at your church; It is nothing about you. It is everything about Him.