One of the most important things for a worship leader—all Worship Arts Team Ministry team members are worship leaders—to do is to love their church, to love their people. Everything, our ministry to the Father and to the people, will flow out from that.
We can love our church for so many reasons: you’ve been a member all your life, your best friends attend, educational Bible studies, mission trips, community outreach. Some love the church because it’s a good place to get coffee on Sunday mornings--you may laugh, but several years ago, a studied showed the three hallmarks for Gen Xers and early Millenials were good preaching, great children’s ministry, and good coffee on Sunday mornings.
Good coffee or not, the best way for us to love the church is to know, really know, that the church belongs to Jesus. If we truly love Jesus, then we will love His church.
So, what does that look like, practically speaking?
As musicians and vocalists, we interact with our congregation every time we step on the platform or every time we walk around the church or bump into a member of the congregation off campus. We are making a connection, for good or bad.
And whether or not they know it, the congregation is all about genuine connections. The congregation will know if that connection is contrived in any way, especially if they feel someone is on the platform for their own purposes. The congregation is also great at discerning whether or not someone wants the best for them, whether or not it’s actually a priority what’s best for them.
Here’s where it becomes real for us as worship leaders: the congregation will trust you if they can connect with you. If they trust you, they will follow you. If they cannot connect with you, they won’t trust you or follow you, which actually defeats the purpose of leading worship.
Erin is a great example for me. Erin is the wife to one of the guitar players in a church band that I was leading a few years ago. Erin and her husband invited me and my family over for dinner one night, and we were having what I considered to be a normal conversation in the midst of just hanging out and waiting for dinner.
Out of the blue Erin speaks up, “You are the same here in my house as you are at church”
I didn’t really understand what she was saying, so I asked, “What do you mean?”
She continued, “You don’t separate your life at the church from everyday life. You talk and act the same inside and outside of the walls at church.”
At that moment I realized that as leaders we are constantly being watched to see if we are genuine. That revelation pushed me to my knees.
People want leadership.
People come to church burdened by life, and they need our help to refocus. Perhaps they had a bad week or a bad month. Perhaps there is stress on the job or illness in the family. Or perhaps there is a conflict with a neighbor. Perhaps they just need a vacation. We can’t help with the vacation, but we can help connect people to Jesus. Our job is to say, “Turn your eyes to Jesus. He is the answer to everything, every challenge, every problem, every conflict. He has made a way for you. He has made provision for your every need. He will lift your burden. So turn to Him this morning.” And if the church sees us doing that, they will know that we want the best for them, they will trust us, and they will follow us to the foot of the Throne.
So the best way for us to love the church is to really know that the church belongs to Jesus. If we truly love Jesus, then we will love His church. Take a few moments this week to seek His heart for the people of the church and to prepare yourselves for our next encounter.