I get the opportunity to travel some for my job. I wrote this post sitting in the balcony of Calvary Baptist Church in Lancaster, PA. Just a heads up, the pronunciation for this city is closer to “Lancester”. I offended someone at a local pizza place.
This is probably one of my favorite conferences. They have three locations and I am at the first one for 2013. The topic of Worship holds a special place in my heart for a couple reasons.
- I’ve served as a Worship Leader
- I’ve served as a Worship pastor
- I’m a musician and love music
Needless to say, I love talking about and discussing all the various components of worship within the context of a local church.
My favorite topic, however, is that of theology. Our understanding of theology and the implication of how we read the Biblical text play’s out very practically in the songs that we write or chose to sing. While at the conference a pastor named Steve Berger spoke for a general session. While the overarching theme of the conference is worshiping in spirit and truth, pastor Berger made one statement that caught my attention. He asked everyone, “When we worship, do we see Jesus”?
In all honesty, I’ve found that many times leading worship I didn’t see Jesus. I thought about Jesus, I was focused on Jesus, I wanted other people to see Jesus. However, I did not make it a habit or practice to ask myself if I saw Jesus when I worshipped. There are some common issues, challenges, and fear’s that most worship leaders face. Possibly the most prominent or popular is pride. Worship leaders are always working towards humility, ensuring that they are not getting prideful, and working hard at being a humble servant. I wonder, if these things would be reconciled if we just saw Jesus when we worshiped. As I think about the implications of seeing Jesus when we worship, I think the following will occur.
- Our desire for approval will be satisfied – We are always looking for approval. Typically, this comes from the lead pastor, the church congregation, or our musicians and band. When we see Jesus when we worship, his approval of us is ultimately satisfying. The best part, is that his approval of us is not based on what we did, but what Jesus accomplished on the cross.
- Our songs become more theologically sound – When we look to Jesus and focus on him, our preparation for worship in song choices will reflect the personhood of who Christ is. Simply, the songs that we write and the ones that we choose become centered around Christ.
- We are able to lead more effectively – When we see Jesus during our worship, we are inevitably drawn to him. As we draw near to him, it becomes our goal and heart’s desire to point others to him. As we point others to him, we become satisfied in his exaltation.
I would also encourage that we expand the definition of worship beyond singing songs during a worship service. We worship God or have the capacity to worship him during every second, of every minute, of every hour. Our worship of God is a result of a heart that is postured to honor, exalt, and glorify God. So, do you see Jesus when you worship?