I know a lot of people who have a genuine desire to be part of the worship ministry, and as a leader of a worship team, this excites and encourages me. When someone comes up to me and says they want to be part of the team, I usually spend a good while speaking to the person, to know them more if i don’t already, but mainly to get an idea of their motivation for wanting to be a part of this ministry. As I speak with many of these friends, I’ve come to realize one thing – being a part of the worship ministry is often perceived as only being a musician or singer who is part of a team on a Sunday morning. Although I think that this perception cannot be further from the truth, I do not blame people for harboring such a thought. As the church, we’ve sometimes glorified the stage to a rather unhealthy extent. We’ve been guilty of making it all and only about the musicianship, sound quality, lights, and stage decor. Let me clarify something here before there’s scope for you to misunderstand – I firmly believe that God is calling the church to a level of excellence that is far above the world’s standard. I encourage a pursuit of excellence. All I’m saying is that when achieving this excellence becomes the sole aim of a worship ministry, the fallout is what I mentioned earlier – we create an image that the worship ministry is only about your performance on a Sunday morning.
Here are some of my ideas about what it means to be part of the worship ministry. I believe the worship ministry comprises two very broad aspects: Lifestyle and Function. Allow me to expound.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Worship is a lifestyle”, but then what does this really mean? For me, it means that worship is your personality, it governs your choices and priorities, it is your natural response to any situation, and it makes its way into every facet of your life. It means that you are known as a worshiper, that there is an outward expression of worship in whatever you do. I hope this doesn’t sound overly spiritual. When I refer to an outward expression, I’m thinking about an attitude of thankfulness to God in everything, a diligence toward studying the word, and a passion to develop the skill necessary for your call. I don’t like putting such things down to proportion, but I’d say the lifestyle makes up 90% of this ministry.
The remainder makes up for your function in the ministry. I refer to function as the role you play in the music, tech, dance, arts, or media team at your church. It’s what you do on a Sunday morning to facilitate an encounter between your congregation and God.
The lifestyle is what empowers the function. Your lifestyle of studying the word and hearing from God will cause you to be an effective minister. Your lifestyle of practice for honing your skills will help take your ministry before kings. (Read Proverbs 22:29). The lifestyle ALWAYS comes before the function – not the other way around! Without the lifestyle, the function will quickly turn into a hollow performance.
With this background, let’s look at this – what will it actually cost you to take up the call of worship on your life? Considering both aspects of lifestyle and function, I’ve learned that this ministry will cost you your time, your money, your energy, your emotions, your sleep, your friends and relationships (the unhealthy ones), and your own plans and desires. It’ll break down your pride, require integrity, and demand dedication. To put that simply into one sentence – it’ll cost you everything! The question to ponder upon is this – are you willing to give up everything?