Monday, May 17, 2010

Fixating, Part 3

Read Part 1 here.
Read Part 2 here.

For our third & final "fixating" post (the crowd erupts in applause), we'll look at one of our most common fixations within worship.


What It Looks Like: For many of us, standing in front of people leading worship is one of the most fun things we can imagine. (What's wrong with us?) This is certainly evidence of our calling, but it can become an unhealthy fascination. That "connection" that you and I feel when we're leading can, in fact, hurt our ministries.

What It Does: The negative effects of fixating on our connection with worship are pretty easy to spot. First off, it can cause you to ignore the signals your crowd is sending you. How many of us have been "lost" in a song only to look down and see that our crowd has disconnected from what we were doing? That's never fun, is it? Being hooked on this personal charge you get from worship can also build bitterness in you as a leader.

You walk off stage thinking:
"Why won't they get into it? Don't they know this song is AWESOME?"

Expecting a crowd to feel as good or as invested in a particular moment or aspect of worship rarely ever happens the way you want it.

What To Do: It's the oldest worship lesson in the book, but it's true: get your worship on before you ever even show up to church. I'm not suggesting that you don't worship on Sunday, but when you're on that stage, it's a different thing. It's now about you...and the 400 other people in the room. Showing up fulfilled rather than starved will kill a lot of those "connection fixation" tendencies. The other thing is to be honest with yourself...knowing that you have a proneness to get lost in the worship can really help you to approach it well. One great way to do that is to pray STRENGTH/WEAKNESS prayers. For example, let's say you're driving to worship on Wednesday night. A STRENGTH/WEAKNESS prayer would look like this:

(Strength) "God, thank you for giving me these gifts. You've given me this voice (or heart for the lost or whatever...) and I pray you'd bless that. Bless it and multiply the gifts You've given me!"

(Weakness) "Father, I know that I tend to get so distracted on Sundays. I end up spending way too much time on stuff that doesn't even matter. Be strong in my weakness...make me watchful and wise."

I believe that prayer works but I also think the Father uses moments like this to help steady us and make us humble. Making time to speak your own weakness reminds you to trust Him.
Leading worship is hard. The ways that leaders can get distracted are far too various to list out. You've got yours. I've got mine. Realizing it makes you even better because you realize that the work is the Lord's.