a worship question
Kirsten and I have been talking about a question re. worship.
Should worship leaders lead out of an overflow in their own lives?
Historically, this has been my philosophical conviction.
At the current moment, however, when I come to participate in worship, I often feel as “needy” as anyone else in the room. I’m not necessarily looking to “lead” anyone–I just want to meet with God, to lay my questions and struggles at his feet, and declare something in faith. Ideally, I would think this would be the kind of “lead worshipper” that Matt Redman talks about in his (excellent) book, as opposed to a “leader.
More and more, I desire to be as honest with God as I think he wants us to be (which is totally). The same goes with my relationships with other people, both inside and outside of a church setting (and I use that word in the “two or more gathered” context). Sometimes, this doesn’t look like leading out of an “overflow” in my life, or equipping others…sometimes the only encouragement I can give others comes from my declaring something in faith that I need for myself just as much as the other people in the room, and not out of an overflow of conviction.
But I know from personal experience and observation that it can be very dangerous for people to “lead” from a place of need/discontent with God. I think it is extremely foolish to give people a blank check, as it were, to shrug off all sense of personal spiritual responsibility. What’s the difference?
I tend to think it’s a combination of factors, including whether you’re looking for that time to be your healing, and (again) your honesty. Am I trying to present a front to anyone (including God!), or am I trying to behave a certain why to usher in a certain atmosphere, a certain set of reactions?
I think there is scriptural evidence that we are supposed to prepare and to come with the overflow of our hearts. I think there is also evidence that we are supposed to simply come with our needs and hurts…
Most of all, I conclude, we’re supposed to simply come and be completely honest with the one who knows everything about us. And while I think there are movements that have greatly abused the idea of “speaking things into existence”/”declaring”/”creating spiritual reality,” I think there is truth to be winnowed from the idea. Maybe the answer is to do it in humility, and not from a place of spiritual pride? From complete recognition of our need, that isn’t fatalistic or dramatic, but simply Honest?
What do you think?