Now, that we've spent time talking about "knowing your pastor," it's time to take a good long look in the mirror.
Yep. If you're going to have a great relationship with your senior pastor, you've got to know yourself! I'll be honest; some of these may sting, but you can rest in the fact that all of us worship leaders are at least a little messed up. Good thing God uses messed up people, huh?
I’ve been a fan of U2 since I was in high school. Like most guys my age, the delayed electric guitar and Bono’s preening swagger fascinated me. I bought albums and watched the music videos and talked about them incessantly. I became a U2-evangelist. They were bold and different and played as if they believed in something bigger than just rock-star status. Long-time fans will know that eventually, the band's desire to poke holes into the rock star identity eventually did them in. In short, they became what they wanted to despise.
The band emerged from that struggle - and a few bad albums - with more than just sincerity. They seemed to get more honest about themselves and all the effects celebrity can have on a person.
A few years ago, they released a massive book chronicling their career. Imagine my surprise when Bono - maybe the most confident, bold frontman to ever make records - confessed that there has to be something wrong with somebody who needs to stand in front of 10,000 people every night to feel normal. But it did more than surprise - it convicted me.
If this surprises you about yourself, it shouldn't. Put us in front of a few hundred (or thousand) people and we’re golden - we’re engaging, happy, funny and wise. But let one person find us after service and complain about a lyric and we come undone. We can explain God’s grace all day long ,but we instantly forget that He’s got the same grace for us.
This gets dangerous because an insecure worship leader is a selfish worship leader. If we're not careful, we'll let our own needs start dictating what songs we sing and how we order the service. And the modern church context makes it easy for that to happen - there’s very little chance a crowd will see our frailty when we’re lit by lumens and buttressed by decibels. But opting to ignore our insecurities creates a dangerous ministry context: one where we run the risk of leading worship to fulfill our own personal insecurities more than our calling.
But you can fight your own insecurities in two big ways: First, we go to God's Word and remind ourselves that He loves us and is working things to bring glory to Himself. That puts a whole new spin on the difficulties we face. Secondly, we put ourselves into situations where we get to know people on a personal level - and they get to know us. You can't just exist on stage. You gotta' have people who know the REAL you.
(For other posts in the series, check the ARCHIVE.)