“And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you were able to talk to your past version of yourself? Or even just thought, “If I knew then what I know now…”? I’ve been leading worship for around 17 years now and I am happy with how I’ve turned out so far (I know there’s more!). But just for the sake of clarity and assurance in my earlier days, I’d want to say a few things. I think these things will help anyone in ministry...wherever they are in the journey.
Long story short, I was a heathen skateboarder kid who liked to party with his friends. Some traumatic things happened (2 of my best friends wanted to commit suicide, I got in a car accident on the freeway) so it shocked the trajectory of my life into seeking God.
I started going to church, gave my life to Jesus, and not long after the youth pastor comes up to me and essentially says, “Hey, you sing and play guitar? How would you like to be our new worship leader?” I was like...uhhhhmmmmm. But I said yes anyway.
I didn’t really know anything about anything so anything anybody told me was helpful.
That being said, I learned a lot by trial and error and watching another guy lead worship at a local college age ministry. Then I found out about Chris Tomlin and copied him for a while.
The point is I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t really have a worship leader mentor. So I just took initiative and did whatever I could to grow.
I’m sure I heard these things from leaders in my life along the journey, but if I were to have a conversation with my younger worship leader self, these are some of the things I’d say:
1. There’s nothing better than Jesus’ Presence
“You’re going to meet some really great people, lead worship on some really cool platforms, and do some powerful things in Jesus name...but honestly, there’s nothing better than Jesus.
Don’t fall into the trap that the “grass is greener on the other side” when in reality, it’s great, but it doesn’t last forever. The one thing that does last forever, is your relationship with God.
His Presence honestly satisfies far more than any of the great things you’ll do and places you’ll go.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s going to be some amazing things up ahead and you’ll thoroughly enjoy them and that’s totally good. It’s not bad. Just don’t put all your hope in that.
It’s obvious you spend time with Jesus. So just keep doing that.”
2. Value this season because it’s preparing you for your future
“I know it may seem like this season couldn’t go by any slower, but you’re getting something valuable from it that you can’t get anywhere else.
It’s making you fit for your future.
If you try to shortcut around it, it’ll come around to bite you in the future because you’ll be missing part of the fortitude you’ll need for where you’re headed.
God is forming something in you that makes you more like Him.
Here’s some good news: seasons have a beginning and an end. That means you’re not stuck where you are forever! So stick it out and get all you need from where you’re currently at!”
3. Stay low and trust God
“Truth is, you’re not the best thing since sliced bread. But you are awesome.
Be excellent, be eager to grow, and stay hungry for God.
Stay low. Humble yourself.
That’s the place of favor.
When you stay low and trust God, He will lift you up and do things for you that you could never do for yourself.”
4. Give yourself a break!
“Hey! Calm down.
In the kingdom, you get to be you.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Freedom to be you.
So if you’re not the best at what you do, that’s ok. You’re still giving your all to Jesus. He knows that and He loves that.
He loves you for you. Not for how well you lead worship. Don’t mix the two.
Relax and be you. And smile.”
5. You’re doing so well.
“You’ve got to know that you are actually doing really great!
When you lead worship, I can feel the pleasure of God! Yes, the Presence comes, but wow, His pleasure!
So just keep on doing what you’re doing and God will grow you.”
Ok...that was a powerful conversation I just had with myself.
I’m encouraged. I hope you are too.
Question: What would you add to this list? Or should I say, conversation?