I have been leading worship now for over 8 years and what a privilege it is to do so. I get the opportunity to help people see, feel, and experience Jesus with my life. I have done this in many ways, but to be able to do this with music has been such a blessing. At this point in my life I have led thousands of worship services all over the United States. I’ve been in many different churches, denominations, and age groups. I have come to realize that many people’s opinion on what a worship leader is and isn’t varies drastically from person to person, generation to generation, church to church, and especially pastor to pastor. I believe God has given me a clear picture of what a worship leader is. I am just going to share briefly on the importance of a leader falling in love with the body of Christ. You may say: “What does this have to do with worship?” EVERYTHING! This simple revelation changed me as a worship leader and how I approach all ministry. It’s not just for worship leaders… it’s for everyone.
Falling in love with body of Christ is the same as falling in love with Jesus himself. Love the Lord your God with all you heart, soul, mind, strength and love your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:27 paraphrased) In other words, Love Jesus with everything you’ve got, and love others as much as you love yourself. (SIDENOTE: if you have a hard time giving love to your neighbor, it could be the root issue is that you haven’t learned to love yourself like you should. You can only give love away when you learn to love what the Lord created in you. We can all only love to the extent that we love ourselves.)
A couple years ago the Lord dropped a syllogism in my spirit that changed everything about how I led worship, did ministry, and lived life. A syllogism is a form of deductive reasoning used in the study of logic. I hadn’t even thought of syllogisms since taking logic in High School so I was surprised when the Lord chose to speak to me this way. This was the syllogism: “I am the Church, I don’t love the Church; therefore, I do not love myself.” When I heard this from the Lord I began to weep. I realized that the issues I had with the Body of Christ were issues that I had with loving myself. The more I fell in love with Him the more I began to love what he created in me. The more my love grew for myself and the way I was created, I began to be able to see the beauty in what Jesus created in other people. Every word from the mouth of God is eternal and will not return void. When he calls something good… He means it.
After I started receiving my healing in this process, I realized that I could not separate loving Him from loving His others in His body. Compassion for His body overcame me and still does to this day. Compassion and love started to become my genuine motive for being on a platform week in and week out. I wanted people to hear, taste, and see the Lord in all that I sang or said. My responsibility as a Levite and worship leader is to not just usher in His presence but to give people Jesus. To release a song that is more than words, but full of life, love, and compassion. I get the opportunity to help create a space for Jesus to reside in that moment, at that place, at that time. I also came to realize that this was impossible to do consistently without really learning to love people like Jesus does. The more my compassion grows for people, the more I long to give them Jesus. I can’t wait to worship every week because I long for everyone to meet Him! Loving the way Jesus loves changes everything about worship. When you love someone, you don’t leave them behind. I now desire for everyone come with me into his presence to meet Him because if they can just get a glimpse, it could change everything. So this has become my motivation in worship now: For people to see and hear Him above all else and all that He is… is Love.
The Lord doesn’t want us to worship stages. Stages come and go. Stages are for lights and actors. Platforms are something completely different to me from stages. A platform is a raised place so that everyone, even the people in the back, to see what and who is up there. To me, platforms are a raised place for people to see and hear JESUS better! I long for people to see Jesus in me! To hear Jesus in my songs! To see and hear Jesus in my worship teams! People need Jesus in our worship. People need Jesus in our churches. I love and appreciate the platform because I want everyone to see Jesus. Even that person in the back, who is the furthest away, and feels like they can’t get close to Jesus, I want them to see Him!
I see Jesus doing this Matthew 5:1-2: “Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.” A little history around what I see in these two short verses. At this time in Jesus’ ministry He was being followed by multitudes of people. We call this the “Sermon on the Mount” because, obliviously, it’s on a mountain. Let’s look at the literal definition of Mountain: “A landmass that projects conspicuously above its surroundings and is higher than a hill.” Jesus wanted his love, his compassion, and His Father to be conspicuous! He wasn’t trying to get away from the crowds in my opinion. He brought his trusted few close and up the mountain with him so that everyone who was there had the opportunity to hear and see him. He raised himself up not out of haughtiness but out of humility and compassion. Jesus raised himself up to a higher place not because he needed it, but because He loves His people! He raised himself up because he was overwhelmed with compassion for the people. This HAS to be our motivation for the platform. Here are 2 literal definitions of a platform: 1.) a raised level surface on which people or things can stand. 2.) a declaration of the principles on which a group of persons stands. Do you see the similarities there? Do you see why the Lord uses platforms? The platform exists to make Jesus conspicuous. The platform exists to make Jesus famous. The foundations of our platforms have to be built on love, compassion, humility, and grace. This is what we have to stand on when we are on any platform. This is not just for worship leaders. It’s for everyone! No matter what you do in ministry.
I long for more platforms now! Not out of the desire to further my career. Not because I want people to hear me but because this man Jesus has humbled me with His overwhelming compassion towards me. I have to give that away. People deserve that from me. They deserve my best every week! Every service! Whether it’s 5 or 5,000 people. Everyone needs to see, hear, and experience Jesus. That is why I am worship leader. That is why I love the platform. That is why I can bring something fresh every week. It’s because I’m learning to love like He does and his compassion is overtaking my will. His love is better than what I may feel like from week to week. (I can’t even write this without tearing up because I feel His love, compassion, and pleasure as I write it.)
This perspective makes a difference. Trust me. I have taught my worship teams this and I have seen the fruit. We DO NOT have bad worship services. They don’t exist. It’s not because we’re the best musicians or singers… It’s because our motivations have changed. Every service, every week, he does something brand new because of His everlasting compassion and mercy that is new every morning. If you’re a worship leader, musician, speaker, or anyone who has been given a position in front of people… DO THIS. It will change everything. Your fruit will exponentially multiply and so will your influence.