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CHURCH IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT

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This morning I was listening to a message by Thomas Schaller, pastor of the Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. He was speaking about humility and it’s place in our life. He said: “It’s one thing to learn the Bible. It’s another thing to submit to it.” In our worship time today in church the thought came back to me. It’s one thing to know our music and excel as musicians. It’s another thing to submit to the song.
I am not the senior pastor, don’t want to be. It’s not my call here now. The place where I am plugged in is the time in service dedicated to music + worship. My “job” as worship leader is to bring to bear, on the whole person (body, soul, and spirit) seated before me, the Mood of God. I am to use music, lyrics, space, silence, words, melodies, spontaneity, planning, all of my ability to communicate the Attitude of God to our congregation. I want to help create space, an atmosphere where people are free (from details or mental/emotional weights) to engage God. My goal as worship leader is to stir people through anything at my disposal to sing, meditate, listen, clap…worship.
But, try though I might, I cannot make anyone worship. Church is not a spectator sport. The service that one renders in a church service is humility. To get involved I need to humble myself. I submit to the Body of Christ and recognize that God prescribes church service because I need it. Next, I submit to the songs. I can’t stand singing one song after another after another with no focus, seemingly no purpose other than singing. I need a worship leader. Help me focus, remind me why we’re here, give me that facts on reality of God and life so pungently that I can’t help but let all else grow strangely dim in the light of His goodness and grace. Finally, I submit to the pulpit. It’s one thing to learn the Bible. I should learn my Bible in church. But, it’s another thing to submit to it. While I’m sitting listening to the message I need to (continue to) sit before the Lord. I wait, quietly (mind focused, body calmed, soul attentive) for God to minister to me with no expectations of what it will sound like from the pulpit. I’m there to submit to God’s Spirit.
As we approach our next band practice or church service, let’s ask ourselves these questions: “Am I in church to be taught or sung to only, or am I here to hear from my God? Can that happen at any moment this service if I’m humble enough to be there?”
JS



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