There’s something that has been on my heart so strong this past year that I would love to briefly share with you. I’m gonna get straight to the point for the sake of making this as short as possible!:)
In most cases, if you are a worship leader, musician, singer, artist, pastor…there are people looking up to you. I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise! Today I want to speak specifically from a worship leader or worship musician’s stand point, but any leader could fit this to their ministry as well! This shouldn’t be the first time that you have heard that you are held to a higher standard as a worship leader. The stage that you are given isn’t place to make a mark for your “rockstar status”. It isn’t a place to become famous by earthly standards. It isn’t a place for you to “one up” the other worship team down the street and gloat over how much more talent and exposure you have. And it definitely isn’t a place that exempts you from off-stage ministry, love, and service. I don’t mean this to sound tough at all, because I believe this is something that we all have to fight at some point in our lives, and it gets harder and harder as innocent people are constantly putting you on a pedestal…even unknowingly. The truth is, it isn’t such a bad thing that people look up to you in such a way, because we can’t escape that…BUT we (through the Spirit) decide what people will see when they do look at us. Do they see an arrogant, better-than-you, rockstar of a musician? Or do they see someone who is real, loving, kind, and in the trenches serving with their brothers and sisters in Christ? In everything we do, we should have the souls of people in our hearts and minds, and if we find in our hearts and minds anything else when we take that stage, we need to step back and revaluate why we are doing what we are doing. There’s a verse that I’ve heard and read many times that has recently lodged itself in my mind in a new and fresh way.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
New King James Version (NKJV)
19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law,[a] that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God,[b] but under law toward Christ[c]), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as[d] weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
My heart is going WILD with this scripture! I don’t even know how to start to explain the complexity of it in my mind because it is really just so simple at the same time! For some reason, popularity and fame has crept it’s way into the church as a whole, and leaders look forward to the “action on the stage” before they look forward to heart of the sweet people who need someone to be real enough with them on a floor level that they can touch and feel and know He is tangible! This can get so personal, so again, I don’t want to sound like I’m talking to any particular person or group of people, I remind myself of this all the time because what we hear from the world is so corrupt, I want no part of it! I love that this scripture starts off saying “though I am free from all men, I have MADE MYSELF a servant to all, that I might win the more;”. Basically, in my own words this is saying, “Even though I don’t have to do this, and no one can technically make me, I chose to not fit the typical mold that tries to be better than others, and I chose to be real, and humble, and my heart choses to serve everyone, so that more will be saved.” I want people to be SAVED and SET FREE, not just moved by my music, the tone of my guitar, or the sound of my voice. How lasting is that??? My guitar can fail, my voice can go out, but my testimony and life lives forever!
So here’s the question and challenge to us: Are we willing to get off the stage and serve in the places that no one else will go? Are we willing to become less famous so that Jesus can become more famous in the lives of others? Are we willing to care nothing about recognition so that Christ can be glorified in many? Are we willing to take off the glamour and beauty that makes us shine under the lights, so that we can get dirty with those who will never be invited to such a fancy show? Are we willing to become weak, and experience the pain and suffering that comes with weakness so that the weak can be saved?
Who do we really think we are? You know the enemy has used this striving for greatness and fame to sideline many who would otherwise be great in the advancement of the kingdom of God. And the enemy doesn’t receive any credit for this travesty! He can’t tempt anyone without God’s permission. And I believe that God allows this, and is giving the spoils of the enemy to the servants who will lead many to Himself. It’s not that God isn’t in control, and we know that His word will not return void…so even in the midst of our selfish motives and our failure, God’s Word still rings true and changes lives as we screw it up. There is none righteous, not one, so WE WILL FAIL. But He will win! I believe we are storing up treasures in heaven as His Word teaches us…and THAT is eternal.
Bottom line…would I rather hear “you are awesome!” from the mouths of men here, or hear the words “well done my good and faithful servant” from my Creator and humble God in eternity? I want the latter. This world will soon pass on, but we will reign forever and ever with Jesus. I choose reigning with Him forever over reigning with men for a little while ANY DAY.
Lord help us! Help us see ourselves as YOU see us! Strip us down, allow us to see the ugly truth of who we are without You so that we may stop trying to do things our own way! We need YOU…not fame. We need YOU to be famous through us, so that people don’t even see us…they see You. Break us apart Lord, humble Your people, draw us closer to Your heart so that we walk more by it, and live more like it. Thank you for entrusting us with such a love and responsibility of bringing Your Word to the masses. They belong to You..and we will be Your witnesses! Amen…
Be blessed today!