Last May I attended a conference where Kim Walker was speaking. While at the conference (You can read about it HERE) Kim spoke one morning about how when she first arrived at Bethel God told her to not tell anyone she could sing. She said it was hard for her and she spent hours crying about it. She talked about how in that time God taught her to just love HIM…not worry about singing and using her gift but to just focus on her and Him. As she spoke I began to cry in my seat, terrified. What if God asked me to lay down my gift? What if He told me to not sing for a while? Could I handle it? After the session I had a chance to talk to Kim for about 5 minutes or so and she left me with some great wisdom and thoughts.I left that day and told God to do whatever He had to do, if I had to lay down my gift I was willing.
Literally a month later I (somehow) caught what seemed like whooping cough (though the doctors couldn’t figure out exactly what I had). I literally was coughing every 30 seconds for about a month. I tore up my vocal chords and couldn’t sing for about 2 months. Even after the 2 months I had trouble singing, would lose my voice after about 20 inutes and my voice just didn’t sound like it had before I got sick. It wasnt until about a month ago my voice has started sounding like me again.
At first I was a little mad, I was like, “FOR REAL! When I said You could do what You want, I didn’t think You actually would!” God challenged me to learn to just love Him from a seat on the main floor in the Church. So, I did. I showed up every Sunday and sat…worshipping God from my seat, not even being able to sing. Learning to Worship from the INSIDE. It was HARD let me tell you. I have been singing my entire life, so not being able to sing was hard. Here is what I learned in that time:
1. You don’t need your voice to Worship.
-Worship is a CONNECTION with you and God. Learn to Worship from the inside. Cultivate a Worshipful heart that doesn’t requre you to do anything but sit and be quiet.
2. Worship is not about You.
-We hear this ALL the time, but it is so true. Worship is not about …. Worship is all about God. Worship is not about the Leader, the Band, the Church, etc. Worship IS however all about giving HIM all Glory, Honor and Praise just for who HE is, not just what He does for us.
-I have learned to Worship God while sitting at my desk at work, riding in my car, or just going through my daily life stuff. Worship is a lifestyle, not just something you do on Sunday mornings. I always say, “Worship on Sunday should be an extension of your Worship throughout the week.”
-I personally LOVE listening to Worship music…Jason Upton and Misty Edwards really help me get lost in His presence, but I have learned to not NEED music to get lost in His presence. Its harder for me, because I love music and honestly music makes finding God easier for me.
-Learn to find God and Worship and Adore Him in the silence. You dont NEED someone to help you get there…it makes it easier when there is a Worship Leader/Band but learn to not need them.
4. Learn to just Be.
-When I wasn’t able to sing God really taught me to just love Him for who He is. Not for what I could do for Him.
As a Worship Leader its not about your connection with the “crowd” during worship, but your connection with God! You connect with God and bring them with you as you connect with God!
If we make it about the people then our focus if off, if we as Worship Leaders are focused on “me and God”first and foremost and our connection from Heaven to earth then that is what we are accountable for. I’m not accountable to God if the people just stand there and don’t respond to the Holy Spirit moving.I’m responsible to worship until the Presence and Glory of God show…That’s my job as a leader. Its not my job to try and force people to sing, dance, clap, etc. Its not my job to bring hype to a service and try and make it this emotional experience that is only an inch deep. I would rather have the Glory of God manifested and the Presence of the Holy Spirit present in such a way that we are in awe and adoration and going deep deep deep!!!
I desire to see the Church get to the place that there is no need for Hype! As a Worship Leader we shouldn’t have to hype the Church into Worship! We shouldn’t have to stand there and say, “Press in! Press in!” etc etc.
We should be living a lifestyle of Worship so that when we come in on Sunday mornings,we come in ready to worship as an extension of our worship througho…
I’m not saying Hype is bad. Sometimes some people need a jump start to get them going, but what I am saying is that if you are letting the emotion of the music, the vocals or who the band is define worship for you then you’re not worshiping the Creator, you’re worshiping an emotion that can be a counterfeit of the Holy Spirit. And that is easy! It happens to me! When Kim Walker was singing it was easy for me to “worship” but I had to ask myself, “is it the emotion of the room and the music that I am letting pull me in, or am I letting the Holy Spirit draw me?” That’s what it comes down to! CONNECTION WITH GOD NOT MAN!