Hear what we’re listening to, discover new Christian music, and have fun hearing this curated playlist of some of the best of Christian music.
This post was originally published here and has been republished with permission.
I’ve heard a common statement recently. It goes something like this, “That worship leader is too self-centered” or “That worship leader is doing nothing but putting on a show.”
I agree with the premise that we need to get the focus off of ourselves and onto God. However, I’m worried about the response this causes from pastors and the congregation.
A few requests I’ve heard are:
While there are helpful tools in all of these suggestions, they can become more like rules. These expectations have suffocated worship leaders inside of a little box and we wonder why it all feels generic. I’m more concerned about worship leaders falling in love with Jesus and learning how to lead people to worship Jesus than trying to fix their “pride” issues. I don’t know about you, but I’m done trying to gauge someone’s pride level based on how they look while leading worship. I’d rather focus on my issues of only being able to focus on Jesus when the mood is just right.
Here are my suggestions for pastors on how to treat your worship leaders/musicians:
Worship leaders, don’t be afraid to be yourself. God created you to worship Him. He doesn’t want everyone to worship Him like Chris Tomlin. He wants you to worship the way you worship. When you’re on stage, worship an audience of One. But don’t forget to lead the others to worship as well. Also, while I’m at it, leading in front of thousands of people isn’t a sin. If the Lord calls you to lead the nations in worship, don’t let anyone stop you. If you have a dream in the will of God, don’t let anyone stop you. That being said, not everyone is called to a big audience. Whether you lead a lot of people or a small congregation, keep your heart alive in God and in music and don’t quit.
Brandon and his wife Morgan live in Kansas City serving at the International House of Prayer. Brandon is a full time worship leader and electric guitar player. He has led worship for about 7 years and has played guitar for 9. He also travels to play guitar, lead worship, and equip musicians across the U.S. Brandon is from Tallahassee, Fl and moved to Kansas City in 2011 to join the prayer movement at IHOPKC.
The term “prophetic musician” simply describes a musician who, operating in the spirit of prophecy, testifies of Jesus. Because prophecy is simply the testimony of Jesus, it can be coupled with many different mediums. Preachers preach the testimony of Jesus; teachers teach it. Singers sing the testimony of Jesus; painters paint it. All these mediums can prophesy about who Jesus is and edify the Church.
“[T]he testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10)
The Bible has some amazing accounts of prophetic musicians who cast out demons and won military battles through melodies and songs.
"And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.” (1 Sam. 16:23)
Assicoate Director, Jared Olsen, joined the mission team from the Justice House of Prayer DC for an eight day mission trip to teach young adults in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Their time in Mexico was spent at the VenPronto Casa De Oraćion (Come Quickly House of Prayer), teaching a young adult internship of around 45 interns about the biblical topics of contending intercession, prayer, worship, and the Great Commission.
As a musician of 12 years, I know all of the temptations and pitfalls that one may go through as they serve on a worship team. Especially if you’re on a solid team that exhibits a lot of skill and sounds really good. Humility, meekness, and godly obedience have to be intentionally sought after in these scenarios or you might find yourself struggling with a big head, even if it’s under-the-radar thoughts about how good it sounds rather than how good God is.
So why is it more important to seek godly character than to seek skill or building your sound? And what can you do to develop your character as you grow in skill?
I grew up going to church. Every Sunday I would walk into church with my family, climb the stairs to the balcony, and sing a combination of worship songs with the congregation. Some of the congregation could sing, some couldn’t. But still, we sang our songs—waving our flags, clapping our hands (on and off-beat) and tapping our well-meaning, clumsy feet to the strums of the guitar and the beat of the drums. I loved it.
But did you ever wonder why we sing in church? Why do we attempt to reach those unattainable notes with our morning voices? Why do we repeat the words to well-known songs over and over again, week after week?
For the past 9 years, I’ve been blessed to be a part of missional communities of prayer, seeking to establish a culture of unceasing prayer and worship that extols the greatness and worth of the Godhead 24/7. Like David, we believe that “God is great and greatly to be praised” (Ps. 145:3) and that His promises are still alive and powerful and waiting to be fulfilled at the end of the age. These promises warrant the Church’s response of contending intercession, “reminding” God of His promises until He sends them like fire upon the earth (Is. 62:6-7).
Just as it was in the early church, many young adults today are committing themselves to serve God in prayer rooms across the earth. Primarily, they are committing to standing before the Lord in worship, to gazing upon His beauty and contending in intercession for the burdens of God’s heart, and to laying down their lives in simple obedience that Jesus would receive the reward of His suffering in all nations.
We just completed our second “Burn Weekend” of continuous worship and prayer for 24 hours — this first weekend in November. We feel the Lord is releasing a unifying work in our region as individuals from many other churches and congregations are participating in the “incense ministry” of continually exalting Jesus through worship, prayer, and works of justice. You can watch some of the archived sets here.
These weekends hold significant impact as night and day prayer actually shifts the spiritual climate and sends “speedy” justice to a region, as Jesus taught in Luke 18. At our first Burn Weekend two young adults got saved within the first 3 hours! As the Lord builds His house we are praying for an increase in the “water level” of the Spirit!
We just recently finished 24 hours of non-stop worship this weekend at the missions base. It was incredible. Nine different worship teams from local churches and ministries ministered to the Lord Friday and Saturday as we offered Jesus a 24-hour offering of adoration.
“‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up…”-Acts 15:16
In Rev. 4-5 we see a glimpse of what happens in Heaven. In the throne-room where God dwells, angels, creatures and elders sing incessantly, “holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty” forever.
Beyond the general affirmations of God’s desire to bring Heaven and earth together (Eph 1:10, Col 1:19, Matt 6:10, Luke 11:2-3), God makes it explicit that He desires earthly worship to mimic heavenly worship. In Exodus 24-25 God meets with Moses on Mount Sinai and commissions him to build a temple according to what he saw (Exodus 25:8-9). This as an earthly replica to a heavenly reality (I Chronicles 28:19).
The question what are we created for has stuck with man-kind since the beginning of time. Our obvious meaning for existence is to glorify God. The Westminster Shorter Catechism states it best: “What is the chief end of man?” And, in response, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” They understood that glorifying God and enjoying Him were one in the same. What if enjoying God was the greatest way to glorify Him?
In my own experience, I had previously viewed enjoying God as an added bonus to the true duty of a believer: rigorous obedience to Christian duties (eg. praying, evangelizing, serving), even if those duties are emotionless, loveless. But what does Jesus say? “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word” (Jn. 14:23). Love (delight) and obedience are directly related. Delight is not just a spin-off of obedience to God, but it is part of it. The strongest type of obedience is affection-based obedience.
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