As a worship leader, I've spent countless hours planning services, rehearsing music, and leading our congregation for the hour and fifteen on Sunday mornings. I can't even begin to explain to you the blessing that it is to have this opportunity to serve in the role I'm in.
But I have a confession to make...
Week in and week out, I'd find myself leaving our services frustrated and dissatisfied with my leading of the congregation. I would come home feeling defeated that I hadn't done enough to help lead my brothers and sisters to a real authentic heart change.
And that's where my problem was.
I AM NOTHING
There is a passage of scripture in the New Testament that has completely changed my heart, and my focus for what it means to lead worship.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3 starting in verse five:
"5What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.9 For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building."
After much conviction and prayer, the Holy Spirit revealed a whole new perspective to me for our worship. If I could sum it up into one sentence, it would be this.
I am called to Cultivate.
Before a farmer plants his seed, the first thing he must do is cultivate the ground. It may require a simple turning of the soil, or it may require an intense amount of work depending on the quality of the ground.
As worshipers I whole heartedly believe that cultivation has to take place in our lives if we want to encounter God.
If the ground (our heart) isn't ready, then Jesus can't take root. If the ground (our heart) isn't ready, then God can't nurture growth and reap a beautiful harvest of disciples.
HOW DO WE CULTIVATE HEARTS?
Here's what I believe.
- EACH PERSON IS DIFFERENT: The ground could be rich and basically ready to go. But it's all based on our spiritual walk with the Lord. Evaluate where you are. Be honest with yourself and don't judge others.
- CULTIVATION HAS TO START WITH US: If you're a worship leader, a teacher, a disciple-maker, etc, we can not lead anyone closer to God if we aren't working on our own hearts. Be in the word, get to know God better. Prayer and confession is what allows us to encounter His presence.
- GET OUT OF THE WAY: It's high time we stop trying to be God. He is the only way. He is the truth. He is the life. Let's embrace Jesus and let Him do what only He can. Let's lead our brothers and sisters to embrace Jesus and be changed BY HIM.
We as the Worship Ministry of Okolona Christian, we believe that this is our calling. We are going to seek to help cultivate hearts in preparation for Jesus. We are going to turn up the soil, no matter how hard it may be, to allow God to take root and change the world for His glory.
And that's why, WE WILL CULTIVATE!