September 16, 2012
This is my outline for my charge to all Trinity worship teams for the 2012/13 ministry year. I shared this on Saturday, at the worship workshop. It was an awesome time of fellowship together, with a special concert/worship time with worship leader and recording artist Jadon Lavik. Following that was an hour and half of specific instruction in our breakout sessions for each musical, artistic and technical area. We ended with a great charge from our Senior Pastor, Gary Inrig and a prayer of commissioning.
Talk for Worship Workshop
I want to spend the next 10 minutes sharing from my heart about this theme: my soul, my life, my all. This last year has been a very difficult year for me. The last time I led worship and was able to sing freely was at this workshop last year. I still have not recovered and have faced moments of discouragement, often wondering if I’ll be able to sing freely again. I’ve learned a few things that I’d like to share with you.
1. A reminder that God’s grace is sufficient. Paul said that he would rather boast about weakness in order that God’s power would rest on him. God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. No matter how discouraged I have been, the spirit of our Sunday worship services has never been more encouraging, as has been the support and fellowship coming from you.
2. Closely related to that is the reminder that this is not about me. I have enjoyed the partnership with my worship band leaders who have helped me plan, rehearse and lead our worship sets. In a very real way right now, their voice is my voice. They are: John Owens, Sharon Strum, Tim Polen, Steve Carroll and David Finley. I trust their hearts and truly am inspired by their lives as they seek to offer the Lord their ALL.
3. Worship is so much more than singing. I knew that before, but now I get weekly reminders of it since I don’t sing so well now. Perhaps it is why this theme, my soul, my life, my all became so significant to me. I couldn’t go on autopilot this year, but had to focus more on the heart issues. I think of God’s criticism of his people when he said, “This people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Isaiah 29:13) I’m reminded that,“Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7) God knows where I’m holding back. He knows where you’re holding back. Worship reaches its purest expression when we truly give the Lord our all. This year has brought about a renewed passion to give the Lord my all, no holding back, complete surrender, complete consecration of everything that I am, everything that I have.
I can remember back to the time when I started to realize this truth and experience the joy that comes from living this way. I was in middle school when I first read Romans 12:1,2. I urge you therefore, brothers, to offer up your bodies as living and holy sacrifices. For this is your spiritual act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of the Lord is, that which is good, acceptable and pleasing. I realized then that being a worshiper of God was not just a Sunday thing, but a 24/7 way of life. I memorized this verse with my best friend Dave, and this became our mantra for living. My defining moment was the summer before I started high school. When I started straying from the straight and narrow, Dave called me on it. He basically said, “That’s not who you are, not who we are.” We held each other accountable to this then and continue even today. Ever since that defining moment, I’ve discovered that the joy experienced in this “all in” mindset is unparalleled. I sense this joy when I gather to rehearse with my teams and when we worship together with the church. Do you experience that joy in corporate worship? It is both the joy of a right relationship with God and the joy of true fellowship with each other, which comes from being like-minded, focused on exalting Christ as Lord and learning to walk in his ways.
I had an “ah ha” moment earlier this year when I noticed the phrase where Paul says, “Make my joy complete by being like-minded, sharing the same love, united in spirit and purpose.” (Phil 2:2) The word “joy” popped out and hit me like hadn’t before. It’s a joy that is only realized in community with like-minded Christ followers. The corporate worship times that we help facilitate are utterly important toward this end for each person that is there.
Ultimately Paul leads us to Christ as our example saying, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 2:5) If there is one thing I would charge us to this year, it is this. That we would excel in having the attitude of Christ Jesus. Ultimately, it was an attitude of humility. I guard that as one of the sweetest gifts we offer one another on this team – the opposite of egos & pride is humility that considers others as more important than ourselves. Christ laid down his rights, took on the form of a servant, became obedient to the point of death. Christ gave his all for us. Songwriter, Isaac Watts, captured this when he was contemplating the cross and wrote these well known lyrics, “love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” Dare we give God anything less than our all?
Trinity Church worshipers, let’s hold nothing back from the Lord when we worship on Sundays, but even moreso when we worship with our lives every day of the week! Let’s offer him all that we are, all that we have, all that we do. Let’s give him our best offering as we serve on the worship teams, crafting that talent by devoting ourselves to practicing, studying, becoming better at what we do. And as we bow before Christ and declare him as Lord, let us seek to have his attitude of humility in the way that we serve one another. I can’t imagine any greater joy than being like-minded, sharing the same love, united in spirit and purpose!