calling all leaders

This is for anyone who is serving the church. That means if you take part in leading anyone who is part of the body of Christ via encouraging them, speaking truth to them, doing a Bible study with them, worshiping with them or any of the sort you fall into this category. If you lead people who have yet to know God closer to Him you also fall into this category. Simply put, if you are a leader, want to be a leader, or don't exactly know what being a leader looks like, this is for you. Enjoy.

 I found myself recently in a really nerve-wracking situation: I had to speak to a bunch of people. Now I love leading people in worship and give me a microphone and I'll sing for as long as you want me to (and probably longer) without really thinking about it but speaking gave me the jitters like never before.

  I started thinking about why I was so nervous and I thought back to anytime I had gotten really anxious over some performance. I found that my normal nerves were, "I hope my voice doesn't crack," "I hope I don't mess up," "I hope people don't think I am stupid," "I hope I don't trip and fall on a rock solid table and split my head open and have to go to the hospital and will never be able to move again." My nerves were pretty self-centered. It was all about what if I did this and I don't want people to think this of me.

  And it's sad, but I never---in all my worship leading at churches or talks at Impact or Love United---remember getting nervous that I would do something to distract someone from having an encounter with God. I never felt the weight of the opportunity I had to show someone God in a new way. I never took seriously that opportunity and used it wisely. Those opportunities were truly all about me and getting ahead (and I represent the church. Pretty sad, eh?).

  I think it's really easy to forget, as leaders, why we are here. Why we do what we do and who we are doing it for. Ultimately, we are serving God. We are glorifying Him. We are using our talents to show off His greatness. But we are also called to lead people in seeing God, experiencing God and encountering God. That's frickin' cool. And it's also really serious.

  It's so important that we stop looking at our position of leadership as just something fun to do---sure, it's fun! But that's not what it is all about because guess what? In the future you are probably going to have a rotten day and you're not going to want to get over yourself and lead others to worship... BUT YOU ARE STILL CALLED TO. It's not about showing off how awesome you are. It's about making your God known and sharing Him. Letting others get a glimpse of the encounter you have had and making them thirsty for that same experience.

  We aren't just playing a set that just so happens to be worship music; we are setting people up to experience the almighty God through music. We aren't just clicking buttons and making the lights do their thing; we are making the experience so cool and professional that it leaves little distractions so God can do HIS thing in people's lives. We aren't simply waltzing up on stage and reading a script hoping to "change some hearts;" we are proclaiming the message and giving others a chance to let God do a number on their souls. We aren't just saying "Hey!" to each person coming into the experience you are offering; we are mending a gap and creating an atmosphere of comfort for someone who might otherwise feel an outcast.

  I could go on and on but here it is a nutshell: your leading is so much bigger than you not messing up, sounding good, or your hair looking nice. It is about doing what you are commissioned to do and creating an environment that says, "Hey, I know that you feel hopeless right now. But I know a God who is so much bigger than all of the crap we go through. Why not come experience Him here with me?"

And if you're still at a loss on what leading others is all about, take it from the mouth of Jesus Himself:

"I want those [God] gave me to be with me, right where I am,
so they can see my glory, the splendor You gave me,
having loved me long before there ever was a world.
Righteous Father, the world has never known You, but I have known You,
and these disciples know that You send me on this mission.
I have made Your very being known to them---who You are and what You do---
and continue to make it known, so that your love for me might be in them exactly as I am in them."

image: source 1     verse: John 17: 24-26 (emphasis added)