Have you watched concerts by popular artists like Israel Houghton or Hillsong? 'BIG' is written all over their stage, sound, band, music, and just about everything else, right? If you've ever asked yourself, "Man, how can my ministry be like that?", this post is for you.
Let's face it, the musical artistry of others can be intimidating at times. It may seem like they are possessing dollars and pounds while we have only pennies and cents in our hands.
Because we are focusing on the wrong stuff.
Other, more important things should be grabbing our attention. Things like loving the Lord, loving our neighbor, resisting sin, being grateful for knowing Christ...
Then, what about our artistry as worship leaders or musicians? Sure, while it has its place, it doesn't mean all of us need to be playing guitar like Lincoln Brewster.
Where God looks
The trick is in looking beyond ourselves, our need for attention and appreciation, and grasp what we're really called for. You see, worship ministry is not just about fulfilling the functional; it's more about cultivating the relational. Relationship with God, and with people.
Here's where detachment helps. Practicing detachment is a lifelong challenge and we should work at it. Detachment enables us to stay content and serve with what we have instead of resentfully yearning for what we don't.
And the good news is, God is not an audiophile demanding the best stage sound. The move of the Holy Spirit doesn't depend on multi-colored lighting, the most skillfully played music or the latest, expensive tech stuff. His eyes are always on our hearts. When He sees 'worship' written there, He is absolutely pleased!
5 Tips to Lead Worship With Pennies and Cents
1. Stop comparing
We are called to work on becoming the best that we can possibly be and offer our best to the Lord. Comparing ourselves with others can become unhealthy after a point; it invariably leads to envy, insecurity, and bitterness. So be your unique self, God is most happy when you are yourself, not when you mimic someone else!
2. Play within your skills
Play what you know to play, well. Set smaller musical goals every now and then. It could be something as simple as "I want train myself to talk/sing while playing my instrument." Stay true to who you are as an artist while working on improving musical/vocal skill gradually.
Work together with your team and think more like arrangers rather than individuals musicians. The little that each of us brings turns into something greater and more beautiful when put together in a spirit of servanthood and teamwork.
4. Keep it simple
In worship, most of the time, simple is most effective. It's really not a necessity to sound like the CD. Keep your arrangements unsophisticated and accessible to the congregation. Here, our limited musical skills can actually be an advantage, how about that!
Yes, this is so cliché, but it's most necessary to mention here! The core of everything that we do is to worship and to help others to worship the Lord. That's our real goal, everything else, including our artistry must take second place. A 'worshiping' worship team is the real deal, else we're just another music band.
"But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others." - Mark 12:42-43