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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Knowing God

My heart’s desire was to know God more,
So with prayer and in His Word I gave Him my heart, and I found God revealing Himself all around me.
I didn't understand that Christ was my Rock until everything around me was sinking,
I didn't know Him as Teacher until I understood my ignorance,
I didn't know Him as Friend until I was lonely and abandoned,
I didn't know Him as Refuge until I was in the storm,
I didn’t know Him as Protector until the danger came,
I didn’t know Him as Provider until I had nothing,
I didn’t know Him as Comforter until stricken with grief.
I had known His as Lord and Savior, Redeemer and King,
But I had but yet begun to plume the depths of Who He is.
When rejected, I realized that He had been despised and rejected, betrayed and crucified.
When sad, I realized that He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
When happy, I realized that He was joy unspeakable and full of glory.
The brooks and waterfalls echo His laughter,
     the storms and waves thunder His voice.
The whole of creation reflects His greatness,
    the vastness of the universe His eternal power and love.
God takes my fears and failures and reveals more of Himself;
O what grace and mercy!
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  AMEN!

Ed Steele
May 13, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Six Questions those that Lead Worship Must Ask

1. Am I prepared?
•    Spiritually prepared— confessed, forgiven, reconciled with others, in right standing with the Father, obedient to what He has commanded me to do?
•    Musically prepared— the service planned in tandem with the sermon, music rehearsed and ready, not just hastily thrown together or limited to personal favorites or ones that we don’t have to really work on to do.
•    Physically prepared— adequate rest, healthy diet, consistent exercise, so we can be at our best and not just be running on 2 cylinders or half asleep.
•    Mentally prepared— We must have a strong biblical understanding of what worship is and is not, and we must be constantly teaching and reminding each other what worship is.

2. Am I worshiping?
•    It is so easy to get wrapped up in the details of leading music, directing praise bands or small groups and choirs, checking microphones, monitors and lights, that we loose the goal of what and why we do what we do.

3. Am I leading?
•    If only a few people are really following, we must ask ourselves if we are really leading. If we are not taking the congregation along with us, we are walking alone. As “lead worshiper [better term than worship leader], we help facilitate congregational worship, not provide religious entertainment.

4. Am I growing or coasting?
•    Once we reach a certain level of “expertise” [for lack of a better term] in worship leading, it is easy to stop learning, stretching, and digging deeper. We fall back into lazy habits and some even come to the point where they think they have “arrived,” and just don’t need to study, practice, etc., since they are now “successful” in the ministry. This is a very dangerous attitude and one in which Satan loves to entice leaders.

5. Am I teachable?
•    Similar to the previous one, but relates more to attitude and response; typically shown through the inability to take advice, and the assuming that their way is the best.

6. Do I love people?
•    Some leaders are so wrapped up in the music or themselves they see people just as a means of getting what they want or want done. They fail to see the needs, relate to their hurts, and believe that being served is more important than serving others. People become a means to serve your own purposes, rather than the object of your ministry.

I realize there are probably many more, but this short list can go a long ways to help us lead as Christ as called us to lead for His honor and glory!