After Me: Getting Myself Right So I Can Lead Others In Worship
“In the modern Israeli army the following rule has been established. A commander does not say to his troops, “Advance!” He says, “After me!” The same applies to the army of the Lord.”
From Husbands And Fathers by Derek Prince
Great worship leaders are ones who pursuit God off stage 1000/1 as compared to on stage. They don’t use their time on stage as a “worship moment for themselves and God” because that pursuit has occurred off stage well in advance and at a much deeper level. Instead, a great worship leader says “after me into the throne room, let me show you around.”
The further you get into your Christian walk the more you realize that you and only you are responsible for caring for your own spiritual growth. It’s much like when a mother or father spoon feeds their infant. It is perfectly right to spoon feed an 11 month old. However if you’re still spoon feeding your 11 year old you’ve got a serious problem of stunted development. In the same way, when you first become a true follower of Christ you may eat up every word your pastor says. You may even have said: “Everything Pastor SoAndSo says was like it was just for me…how did he know?” As you mature those acute tingly feelings of God’s pressing in on your life may fade and you may begin to question the validity of your relationship with God. This is where real maturing comes in. Now is the time to tackle your faith like an adult tackles balancing the check book. You have to be intentional. In doing so, you will have a more complete and comprehensive walk with Jesus and you’ll be able to lead others along better. You’ll be able to say “After me” rather than needing to be ministered to all the time.
Here are a few ways that you can improve your maturity in the Lord. By no means is this exhaustive or is every thought meant specifically for you. These are simply starting points.
Make every effort to read the Bible systematically every day. No missing a day! You cannot give away what you don’t have, so make sure you can give away, from your heart, what the Bible says. From my perspective this is a nonnegotiable point.
You’ve got to become a master in prayer. You need to spend time at least 100/1 praying off stage as compared to on. Find someone who you think has a beautiful prayer life and an ability to pray relevant and authoritative prayers and ask them for a meeting. Their help and your persistence will turn your prayer life into something that is both powerful and effective.
You’ve got to be a connoisseur of worship. You should know the history of worship as a study. You should know what styles and decisions your congregation made throughout its existence. You should know what other churches similar to yours are doing and you should be seeking out what the future looks like. That all being said, you should be spending parts of your day personally worshiping Jesus. Many of us are equipped musically to lead ourselves with a piano or guitar into the throne room. Why not have been into the throne room of God so many times before your congregation arrives that you are familiar with the place and can give tours.
One of the easiest things to overlook is serving others when others are using their time to serve your vision. Since that is the case, you need to be extremely careful in how you spend your time when you’re with your team. No matter who they are treat them as a blessing from God. Ultimately those that serve alongside you should experience the blessing of you while they serve. That’s odd to think about but your pastor has put you in a place of authority therefore you hold a place of authority in the hearts and lives of those on your team. You may not feel that way but that is usually the case. The other side of the serving coin is that you want to take time to serve in initiatives that are unrelated to worship and make certain in your heart that you love people and not just music. Perhaps you could serve in a local soup kitchen. Easier still, make certain to be available in between worship services to talk to people when you’re not on stage. Serving is the ministry of Jesus. All throughout the gospels He simply served people.
Maturity comes in your attitude when you first realize that you can control it. Recently I’ve been reading the Gospel of Luke and the attitude that Jesus was able to control while knowing that he was headed towards the cross is one that we should use as example. No one wants to follow a grumpy or tired leader. Do your best to adjust your attitude before any meeting.
The last part of maturity that I propose in this article is gratitude. Being thankful before anything else will always lead toward a better outcome. Being gracious opens up a door for effective work. It is a step of maturity to be thankful even in the circumstances where it’s not apparent as to how to be so. Circumstances cannot dictate this but rather a heart condition dictates gratitude in a person seeking after maturity in the Lord.
As you pursue some of these devotions mentioned above you may become more like leadership material. You might have the right to say to a group of people “after me”. God is in the business of growing his people into pillars in his kingdom. He doesn’t do that with everyone. Only those who seek him with all of their heart. Those who desire his pruning.
How do you prepare yourself spiritually so that you are able to invite others on your team to imitate you? Do you have a spiritual regiment? Is it time to mature? Are there other things you’d add to the list above? Some you’d take away or expand upon? I would love to hear! Use our comments section below.