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Why Community Isn't Optional for Your Worship Team

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Community isn't optional for the believer. 

It's highly critical. Without it, we're just lone wolves unable to experience nearly everything the Bible tells us to.

It's true that our salvation can be complete and secure in Jesus without interacting with another living person. But the fully, unleashed, fearless and abundant life of a Christian can never happen without our brothers and sisters. 

  • Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

  • I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. (1 Corinthians 1:10)

  • And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

We need each other to rub shoulders with.
We need each other to speak life and love and grace over our circumstances.
We need each other to experience apologies and forgiveness.
We need each other to experience grace and mercy. 
We need each other to accomplish anything worth something in the Kingdom of God. 

 

"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations." - Chuck Smith

 

So how can we foster a culture of community right where we are? 

Could it be taking someone out to coffee? Babysitting for a leader? Writing a note to that person in the band you've had on your heart for a week? Do it this week. Whatever you know the "it" is, do it and watch your culture begin to shift. 

 

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Dear Worship Leader, It's Not About Us

Dear Worship leader, I too am a worship leader. Actually, scratch that. I’m a redeemed child of God who He has called to lead worship.

I’m also queen of the hot mess express. I’m also a broken person. I’m also a warrior who doesn’t give up. I’m like a human cocktail of feelings and traits and characteristics, a walking contradiction some days.

But today, I’m convicted.

A lot of my life, the Lord has stepped out of the way to let me break and become empty. Every time it has unfolded into a beautiful testimony of drawing nearer to Him. Of Him winning, yet again, my love for Him.

I’ve been thinking and meditating on how God uses sometimes the most broken people to lead worship. But one night, I came to see it’s not just that He calls the broken to lead worship, but He requires those He has calls to lead worship to be broken before Him.

For a while thought, “I’m a messy broken person, here I am broken before you”. I almost cringe now at how wrong I was.

Being a broken person and being broken before Him are two totally different things.

He uses the broken because of grace. But as a worship leader especially, we cannot successfully, I believe, do our assignment without being broken before Him.

As worship leaders, we are called to create atmospheres. To call forth His presence. To lead the congregation into His presence so that the Holy Spirit can do the work that only He can do. And as mere flesh, we cannot bring that forth in pride.

We cannot lead His people where we are not and have not been. Thus, we cannot lead the congregation into His presence if we have prevented our own selves from being there.

Reading through Isaiah 57 and 66, the Lord gives us the direction to enter for this as worship leaders. That He dwells in the high and holy place and also with the one of a contrite and lowly spirit. That the one who He looks to is humble and contrite and trembles at His word. In order to be in His presence, we must be humble taking a step back to hide ourselves behind the cross. We must be contrite, being remorseful and deeply effected by our transgression.

This whole time here I had been caught up basking in the comfort of His grace so flippantly that I’d forgotten the weight of what He called me to do for His kingdom. I confused repentance with a brush off and walked back onto those platforms assuming I was good to go and it was all enough. I didn’t even see the pride or that by ignoring the gravity of my errors when I walked back onto those platforms, I was creating a possible stumbling block between the congregation and His presence.

"The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: "I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts."
Isaiah 57:15

Contrite is the key word here for me.
Did God love me and forgiven me in those moments? Absolutely. That never ever changes. Ever.

But by refusing myself to feel the remorse and coming in humility genuinely understanding I’ve done nothing to deserve what He has asked me to do, I prevented myself from being fully in His presence. And while I was there in lala land instead, I was leading these people God trusted me with nowhere.

I was broken, but not broken before Him. I didn’t understand that a contrite spirit isn’t an encouragement, but a beautiful requirement. And I thought, “What have I done…”.

Today I think of the draw towards repentance as a cross to bear for the worship leader.

I don't nail this 100%. I think we're all still growing and learning. This is why grace grows more beautiful the longer you walk with Jesus. Because it never runs out, no matter how much you use. 

If I could encourage you to do anything as a worship leader, just for a second, it would be to discover the gravity of the assignment He's given us and the gravity of its requirements.

As worship leaders, we lead worship. Therefore, personally understanding worship as an offering, and deeply experiencing that an offering, is a sacrifice.

Sacrificing ourselves, our ambitions, our aspirations, because it’s not about us, in even the smallest ways. It’s becoming so broken before Him, encountering His presence, so that our brothers and sisters, whom He loves so deeply, can follow us there.


 

Article Written by Whitley Degollado | Worship Resident

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Dear Worship Leader, God Sees Your Need

“Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by worrying can add one hour to [the length of] his life? And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies and wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing], yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive and green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!

Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; 

[But do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Matthew 6:25-34

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Unity is NOT Uniformity

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Unity is NOT Uniformity

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." - Mahatma Gandhi

Or as Jesus put it, "Father,...I pray...that they may be one, so that the world may believe that You have sent me." (John 17:11-23)

Unity in heart, mind, soul and mission is our goal. But we want to be super clear that "unity" is not the same as "uniformity." 

UNITY : the state of being united or joined as a whole

UNIFORMITY : the quality or state of being, remaining the same in all cases and at all times

Being the same person with the same talents, same characteristics, same ways of thinking, same passions and gifting accomplishes a very small piece of the mission Jesus gave us. 

The distinctive between unity and uniformity, according to the quote above is "unquenchable faith in their mission."

The distinctive according to Jesus is, "so that the world may believe that You have sent me." (John 17:21)

We have a mission. We have an ultimate leader we are all following: Jesus Christ. He did the hard work of determining the end goal we, as Christians, are aiming for: Love God and Love Others.  

In alignment with that mission (which is reassessed and adjusted all the time) are the methods; the HOW of what we do. But Jesus already gave us the WHY. That is unalterable. 

"I have personally come to believe that unity does not have to require uniformity, and I believe that there must be such a thing as healthy diversity in human society and in the Christian world church. I see the world church as the gathering together of a great symphony orchestra where we don't make every new person coming in play a violin in order to fit in with the rest. We invite the people to come in to play the same score—the Word of God—but to play their own instruments, and in this way there will issue forth a heavenly sound that will grow in the splendor and glory of God as each new instrument is added." - Ralph Winter

The other side of this coin is that we are fighting for diversity with the same tenacity we are fighting for unity. 

We are so thankful to have a team, a family, a clan, that brings such an excellent and wide variety of instruments (literally ;) to the orchestra of Shoreline Music. 

Shoreline Music exists to unveil God's love by creative atmosphere of worship for the local church. 

And we're so honored we get to do it with you. ~


MORE VERSES ON UNITY

Col. 3:13-14
1 Peter 3:8
John 13:35
Romans 15:5

Phil. 2:2
1 Cor. 1:10-11
Rom. 15:5
2 Cor. 13:11

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