Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Appointed And Anointed - Don Moen

Many times I have felt unqualified to lead worship. As worship leaders, we can psych ourselves out, knowing that we're inadequate to accomplish the purposes of God. When I begin to think this way, I have to remind myself: God would not appoint me to do this without anointing me. After all, there must be a reason why God arranges for me to minister. I must depend on Him to give me the mind and the tools to do the job.
Over the years, the Lord has helped me deal with my feelings of inadequacy by teaching me the following tips:
1.Be content to operate within your gift. Many times we are tempted to try to be like someone else. Don't fall into that trap! You can only be who God made you to be. God has given many gifts to the body; don't be fooled into thinking you can be all of them wrapped into one person.
2.Don't be tempted to make something happen. This is a very serious trap to avoid at all costs - even if you believe the congregation isn't responding to your leadership. Amos 5:21-24 reminds us that many times in trying to make something happen our songs become noise.
We've all been in services where everything is great - the songs flow, the keys are perfect, the worship is deep. And the pastor's comments top it off: "That service was just right. Keep it up!" It's tempting to create a formula based on last Sunday's song list instead of depending on the Holy Spirit to guide us from week to week.
I know we're talking about job security here, folks. But the calling God has given you as a worship leader is a very high calling, indeed. There is no room for manipulation or phoniness. Worship is serious business. Think of it! God is trusting you to lead your congregation into his presence (Is. 62:10), clearing the road of obstacles and lifting up a standard for the people to follow. What a privilege!
3.Never underestimate the work of the Holy Spirit. Psalm 22:3 says God inhabits the praises of His people. Even though you may not "see" or "feel" God's presence during a time of worship, it does not mean He isn't with us. If we've offered up sincere praise and worship, the Holy Spirit is to be moving through the entire congregation, ministering to all who are willing to receive.
Be prepared to allow Him to move as He wishes, without getting in the way. There is a lot more happening than you think. Guard your heart. Keep it pure and God will do great and mighty works.
4.Be a worshiping leader. Some worship leaders are raised up by God and have wonderful musical gifts. But what if you are the senior pastor and don't have a worship leader - or much musical talent of your own to lead a congregation? I've had pastors call me, saying, "I'm not a musician," or "I can't sing that well. Can you help me find a worship leader?" I encourage them to lead the worship until God raises up someone to fill the gap. Why?
We all would like to have "perfect" worship services - you know, the songs are in the right key, they move at the right tempo, and everything seems to "flow." But it's interesting to note that most of the pastors who call me in search of a worship leader want something beyond a spectacular production on Sunday morning. They desire to move into deeper worship with their congregations.
To such pastors I say: You can lead people into the presence of God because God has entrusted you with the leadership of the church. A church could hire the greatest worship leader in the world, but if the pastor is not a worshiping pastor, the church will not be a worshiping church.
A worship leader's purpose is to direct a congregation's worship toward the Father. If you know you are appointed by God to lead His people into wholehearted worship - whether you're a trained worship leader or not - God's anointing will be there. Don't allow your own sense of inadequacy to keep you from stepping out in obedience and dependence upon the Lord.

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