As a worship guitarist, I have two options when I play at a church service.
1. I can come prepared, play my parts well and finish the service.
2. I can come prepared, come full, hear from God and change the atmosphere in the room.
Both options are good but one is truly great.
But wait… shouldn’t I be changing the atmosphere merely by playing my parts? Is there really a difference between the two?
Coming prepared for a worship experience should be in the top category on our priority list as musicians. However, causing a shift in the atmosphere of a room takes a bit more attention.
If I show up and play all my parts with excellence, I am 100% doing my part. I add what I am responsible to add, and don’t step on other musician’s toes. That, in my opinion, is a successful Sunday. I’m not a distraction. I don’t stand out. I’m just a part of making the service what it should be. That’s what I desire from myself, and that’s what I desire from my team. Its not mediocre and its not lacking.
Actually, what it is…. is meeting the standard. It brings a short-term sense of accomplishment that feels great for a while, but gets old fast. Before I know it I’m leaving worship experiences feeling bored and a little defeated. There has to be more.
So what do I do?
Work harder. Get better. Play better parts. Write new parts. Week after week after week. I find myself striving for more and more. I work my hardest to bring the best me I can be. I strive harder every week to achieve greatness… but should greatness have a ceiling that I can reach without God?
The answer is no.
In order to be a vessel for God to change the atmosphere, I need to seek God during the week. I need to ask God to help me hear his voice. To help me see what he’s doing in the room. To break my heart for what breaks his heart. In doing this, I develop a better understanding for who he is. I gain a greater realization of what his song is. And I grow in my understanding of how to make it come to life through my hands and feet.
Without that time with God, we are just showing up and playing our part… and please don’t get me wrong. I think that’s great. But I think we can be giving more than what WE are capable of. We need to lean in to God and rely on him to bring more than what we can. Rely on God to play his song through us.
Meeting the standard ceases to be an option when we rely on God to sing his song through us.
Meeting the standard is possible in our own power.
Exceeding the standard is what we’re called to.
And we can’t do that without God.
This week, take 5 minutes to be still. Ask God to show you his heart. Then, when you go out on stage for your worship experience, pay attention to what God is doing in the room. He will help you not only to hear his song, but to play it.
I’d love to hear from you all on this…
Do you have any questions about this?
Have you experienced this in your own life?
If so, how?
Photo Credit Bonnie Cecil Photography