I have the coolest job in the world. I seriously do.
I have never been more a peace and full of joy in my life. I know without a doubt I am living what God has called me to do. But I will say this, it hasn’t come easily. There are also days where I wonder how effective I really am.
Recently, I have found myself so wrapped up in trying to be as good at what I do as I can. Which, by the way, I feel is a very good thing. But what is it that I do on a daily basis? Well… here are a few of my duties
1) I pick out songs for upcoming Sunday morning services.
2) I create click tracks and cues for the band. We play with a metronome to help us be more efficient.
3) I make sure that I am ready for Wednesday nights. My wife and I teach the Senior High ministry at The Refuge.
4) I schedule musicians for each week.
5) I clean the stage and set up for rehearsal on Monday night.
Well, there you have it… this is what I do at work. It’s plenty enough to stay busy with. One thing I have noticed in the last 5 months as a worship leader, is that it’s very easy to come in, check off my tasks, and then go home. Here recently, though, I’ve been slightly disgusted with that in my heart. I’m just a little bit disturbed that I have allowed myself to walk into the church, accomplish these tasks, and then just go home.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe these tasks are very important. I take a lot of pride in what I get to do. I love my job. And I love my church.
But I’ve come across a song lately that has rocked my world. It’s a little song called “Clear The Stage” by Jimmy Needham. The lyrics basically put to test everything I do. It tests my motive behind it all.
As a worship leader, I want to be sure that I am not just remembered as a guy that was good at singing, or a guy that is a talented guitar player. Those things will wither away. I don’t want to just be remembered as a cool youth leader that cracks silly jokes.
I want to be remembered as someone who loves Jesus. I want to be known as someone who walks, eats, and breathes Jesus.
The lyrics to this song are jarring. It puts to test your heart. Why do we do what we do? Is it truly out of a heart of worship? Or is it to please the crowds? Worship is so much more than a song and a cool light set.
I want to be known as a worship leader that leads people to a deeper understanding a Jesus. Songs are just my means of accomplishing that goal.
Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that’s the measure you must take to crush the idols
Jerk the pews and all the decorations, too
Until the congregation’s few, then have revival
Tell your friends that this is where the party ends
Until you’re broken for your sins, you can’t be social
Then seek the Lord and wait for what he has in store
And know that great is your reward so just be hopeful
‘Cause you can sing all you want to
Yes, you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
And still get it wrong; worship is more than a song
Take a break from all the plans that you have made
And sit at home alone and wait for god to whisper
Beg him please to open up his mouth and speak
And pray for real upon your knees until they blister
Shine the light on every corner of your life
Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open
Then read the word and put to test the things you’ve heard
Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken
We must not worship something that’s not even worth it
Clear the stage, make some space for the one who deserves it
Anything I put before my God is an idol
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol
Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol
Anything that I give all my all my love is an idol
Cause you can sing all you want to and still get it wrong
Worship is more than a song
I hope these lyrics do to you what they do to me. What are we worshiping? Jesus? Or what’s on stage?
Sound systems, lights, guitars, drums – these things are all very neat. They can be used to worship the Lord, but they cannot be idols in our hearts. Without them, how do we feel about Jesus? That is our true worship, and the only thing that will matter in the end is who Jesus is to you.