I ran into a Pastor recently. Knowing what I do and my passion about leading and teaching worship, they said to me in reference to their church, “…We just need a musician…!!!” This is a very common idea in ministry. If we only had a musician, if we only have a drummer, a bassist, If we only had a better musician… Well what if the musician never comes? Matt Redman said, “When the music fades…” What if there was no music in the first place?
As a musician, I have had opportunities to play at different churches. One of the coolest experiences I have had as a worshipping musician (and it hasn’t happened often) is when I am asked to play for a church that doesn’t have a musician, or hasn’t had one in a while; and when I play during their service, they are so not impressed by me. Not to say that I’m not a good musician or that I am, but the church was there to worship God, and be in the presence of God, and me being there was not why they were there, but an enhancement to why they were there.
With that, I have two questions?
1. Why should a ministry strive to be this kind of church?
Because our actions are always defining what worship is. If we tend to reference worship within the boundaries of music, it grows a false definition of worship. Even if we know better, we define worship as being the first 20 minutes of our service. It is defined as our response to God as we sing. Our goal as Christ followers is to have a life of worship and not just an experience. Because of this, our worship experience at church should not be the journey, but the beginning of our journey in worship whose destination does not stop until worshipping God travels through our entire life.
What’s the point of being the Matt Redman church (the church that has to shut some things down to get back to the heart of worship) if you don’t have to be? Be that church now with no musicians. Be the church now that understands the power of our praise and the richness of worship. Be the church now before the band grows that sees and expects intimacy, healing and wisdom within your worship.
I urge you to seek the Kingdom FIRST and all these things will be added. The musicians will be added. Know that the right musicians will be added when you as a body have made up your mind that you will be a worshipping church. When you’ve decided to be a church that is after God’s heart now, the wrong musician will bow out on their own; “Oh they are serious about this worship thing, I’m just trying to play keys. “ I’ve seen it happen.
Please understand that I am not devaluing the true purpose of music in our worship experience. I do want to make clear that worship music does not equate to a worship experience. Music is a help and a pathway to a worship experience.
2. How can your church be that church?
Now this is a question for you to answer.