[These goals were shared in a talk I gave at a Worship Ministries Workshop on 9/15/07.] I’d like to close our time today by sharing my vision for worship ministries at Trinity Church. But first of all I want to take you on a journey with me. Up highway 395 . . . *Into the backcountry with God *Sing ‘Beautiful One’ *Worship ministry begins with worshipers who are growing in love with Jesus – who are investing their time, talents and energy to go into the backcountry with God. Have you gone there lately? Do you go there often? How can you use your artistic or technical area to go deeper with
God? Now for my vision for worship ministries.
There are three goals and they are as follows.
1. God is glorified – our worship leadership is leading from hearts that are totally devoted to Christ and continually being transformed into his image, for his glory alone.
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2Cor. 3:18, NIV) I’ve heard this prayer, “Lord we want to see your glory,” prayed often in a worship service context. What if we prayed instead, “Lord, transform us in your likeness with ever-increasing glory?” I think God would be pleased to reveal his glory in us this way. And as it happens in the worship leadership, so will it go with the congregation. Christ and life in his church is central or quickly moving to the center from the circumference. As we proclaim the truth of the Gospel, as we declare our love for our Lord, we are gaining greater confidence in the gospel, and a deeper hunger and thirst for God and the Holy Spirit’s work in and through our lives. We lead by modeling a response of worship that includes repentance, faith and obedience – perhaps these are the best indicators that transformation is in the works. The Lord is glorified as we are transformed into his likeness. Is there anything getting in the way of the Spirit’s transforming work in your life? Do you see evidence of it? Do you pray for this personally?
2. God’s church is edified – our worship teams and team members are truly serving the body, not themselves. Our goal is to put the spotlight on Him and not ourselves. And yet we do so with an excellence that he is worthy of – nothing but our best, and our best best be getting better. We humbly use our talents to minister to our church family. Let’s think about humility for a few moments. *Tell story of how someone observing one of our worship teams recently commented that for the first time he understood how playing a solo was worshiping God. Should an artist paint less than his very best because it’s going to be used in church for a worship service? -Humility is what balances out excellence to make the right combination to offer worship that is pleasing to God and accessible to the people we lead. It is especially essential for those who serve up front. Humility can be seen in the way a team interacts with one another, in the shared joy of serving, in the expressions of joy in celebration and reverence toward the Lord. Humble people boast in their weaknesses along with the Apostle Paul who said, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. “(2Cor. 12:9-10, NIV) Humility also says, “How can I serve you better?” We serve one another and our church with our artistic or technical talents. We’re always looking for opportunities to build each other up – in this way we love one another. Do you have a motto of serving or being served? Is it about you getting to do it your way, or are you willing to change your way or stretch your talent to benefit the team?
3. The lost are being saved – those who do not know Christ are finding salvation as they observe the worshipping church, and are invited to participate. God’s Spirit is undeniably present and overflowing through the lives of his people inside and outside the church worship service. They are discovering the joy and responsibility as his ambassadors to the lost, inviting them to be reconciled to God. We are fooling ourselves if we think that we are serving the Lord in a pleasing way if our heart doesn’t have compassion for the lost. This has been one of my greatest struggles and sins in life. It is so easy to consume ourselves completely in the church and in serving the church and forget that the church is about mission and that mission is Jesus’ mission. And Jesus declared his mission like this, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”(Luke 19:10, NIV) I want to encourage each of us to use our artistic or technical area to be ambassadors for Jesus. With it we can declare the gospel of Christ, and we can make friends with those who have never discovered the Creator of their talent. Does your heart break for the lost? Do you know people who are artists or technicians like yourself who don’t know Christ? Do you use your artistic or technical talent to creatively tell the gospel of Christ? In conclusion, God is most glorified when his people are being edified and the lost are being saved. This is his purpose for the church, and these are truly marks of a healthy and thriving church. These should be the marks of each of our ministries at Trinity Church. It’s a tall order, and it begins with prayer for God to do supernaturally through us what we could never do ourselves. And that’s how I want to end our time – praying together that we would be worship leaders who give glory to God, serve and build up our church, and reach the lost with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.