Every time I lead worship, I feel more and more like it’s something I should continue to do as often as possible. I may not have the best voice in the world, or the trendiest clothes, but I do have a heart for helping people engage in worship. I long for God to reveal Himself to people, and I get to see that happen through worship.
I led an acoustic worship set for Blitz (our high school ministry at church) last night, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard students pour themselves out through song quite like that. I think worship leaders sometimes want to go over the top, using every instrument possible, making it as loud as comfortably possible, and really just perform some songs that they like rather than help people engage. There’s nothing wrong with these things, but none of them necessarily cause people to focus on their Creator in worship. None of these things are necessary for people to recognize the presence of The Holy Spirit in and around them.
Last night, we did a simple acoustic set of Glorified, Beautiful Jesus, and Overcome. There were no fancy guitar solos, glorious harmonies, or special songs that fit in with the message; just simple songs of worship. Other than the few seconds it took to teach Beautiful Jesus, all I had to do was start the songs and the students took over from there as I worshipped with them.
There have been times in the past where I have felt like I was pulling teeth trying to get people (especially students) to engage in worship. When I look back at those times, I realize that I hadn’t spent any time preparing myself. When leading anyone, whether it be in worship, teaching, or small group discussion, the most important part of preparation is spiritual. You can know all the chords, verses, and talking points, but if you are not in tune with God you will come away from it feeling like you’ve failed, or at the very least feeling like you weren’t as effective as you wanted to be. It’s not that God will not use you if you aren’t in tune with Him, but it will be a lot more difficult to see how He is using you.