Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Leading with a Limp

Going through the motions doesn’t please you, 
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment
escape God’s notice.
– Psalm 51:16-17 (MSG)

I recall a question that I received via an email, years back, from a concerned observer of a particular Sunday morning worship service.  “Why don’t your singers smile more?” the person asked, “Are we victorious or aren’t we?”  Now THAT’S a good question.

Recently, a vocalist who serves on the Worship Team at Apostles had to miss Wednesday evening rehearsal due to a difficult family crisis.  The next day, she sent me an email, wanting to know if she could still serve that Sunday even though she’d missed the rehearsal.  She wrote: “It is up to you of course, but I would love to stand up with the team and sing ‘How Great Is Your Faithfulness’ in the midst of this latest storm.” Did I say yes?  You bet I did.  Glorious.

As a leader of corporate worship, as in many other settings, there is the temptation to come off as polished, put together, happy, skilled, charming, profound… the list goes on.  And why not?  I mean, people really dig that.  Who doesn’t like a good standing ovation at the end of the “special music”?  But what does God prefer – our smoking harmonies or our shattered pride?  Both have a fragrance, and no mistake, but which one is pleasing before God?

In my first ten, nearly eleven, months here at Apostles, something I have truly come to appreciate is that our leadership spends little energy attempting to hide their own humanity, their imperfections and struggles.  On the contrary, they lead from their brokenness and dependence on God.  This frees me, and my team, to lead in a similar fashion.  *sigh*

I’ve noticed this.  I believe God has too.  Amen.

- Jonathan Noël, Worship Director

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