In part one of this blog, I started to speak about the reasons why we are in relationship with Jesus, and everything that is involved and included in this...that Love is the principal thing. I then left you with a challenge...
Did you do it??? Did you read and meditate on Psalm 91? Isn’t it the most amazing piece of scripture? “He who dwells in the secret place of the most High...” and right down to :” With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation” Such love, such intimacy...
Why did I challenge you to read this psalm? You are a worship leader, whether at the front leading the singing, or at the back, keeping the beat, or somewhere in between, you are a worship leader. If you can get a revelation of what this psalm is saying, then you will find it much easier to communicate that love and intimacy to the church today.
Worship leading can be a real struggle. Why do I do it, especially week after week, and especially when the congregation seems so unresponsive, and unappreciative? The reason I keep coming back to this wonderful call is the title of this blog: Love is the Principal thing.
Response to rebellion
As a parent, I have experienced in my own children rebellion, un-appreciation, ignorance of my instruction, un-responsiveness... but never once did I stop loving them, never once did I give up reminding them, encouraging them, disciplining them, loving them. Now that they are older, and mostly independent, they have a much greater appreciation of what Tambrey and I did for them all those years ago. In doing what we did, we helped to build their character and personality, and we helped shape their sense of intimacy with Jesus.
Worship-leading is not that far different. You have an amazing opportunity to impart into this congregation principals of worship, grace, mercy and love. Even though it may seem to be falling on deaf ears, your job is not to reap the harvest, yours is to sow and to water and to nurture. Many is the time when I have walked away from the stage exhausted and drained, feeling that the worship had gone absolutely nowhere, and wondering if God was in the place at all. Then someone would come to me later and say: “Erick that worship really ministered to me today, thank you!” Wow! The challenge is: am I doing this for earthly reward or for a heavenly one?
The Principal Thing
Today I have been reading a book by English author Adrian Plass. It is called “Jesus: Safe, Tender, Extreme” He makes this statement which really brings home my point about the principal thing: “The sacred and mystical truth is that when we Christians touch each other, we are touching Jesus. When that touch is the touch of care and love, heaven smiles on us...”
John 15:12-17 says this (Words of Jesus, written in red): “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from the Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.”
How strong the instruction, how beautiful the promise, how pertinent the reminder. The very instruction Jesus starts with is the same as the one He concludes with: “That you love one another”. Bear in mind, dear worship leader, that this is a command. See, sometimes with your family, your worship team, your congregation, your Pastor, things aren’t going to go the way you planned or even wanted. The principal thing is love. Let love be your guide and your motivator. This week you have the opportunity to bring your congregation into “the secret place of the Most High”. Whether your worship experience is a fantastic time or it all goes pear shaped, remember: LOVE IS THE PRINCIPAL THING.
God bless you real good, and have a great week!