(In 2008 as a contributing blogger for firstnetchurch.com, I wrote a series of posts on worship. In just a short time, much has changed. I am no longer in full time ministry and firstnetchurch is no longer online. Until recently I thought my blogs were gone forever since I had not backed them up, but thanks to the miracle of internetarchive.org I have recovered them. I'm always hesitant to read something I wrote in the past because I am my own worst critic. It's very strange to read these because I was writing from a perspective of a worship leader and now 2 years have passed since leaving my post at Harmony Baptist Church. God has me on a journey and I don't know where it's taking me. Reading these have rekindled a desire that burned strong just a couple of years ago, and I hope they are of benefit to anyone else who might read them. Blessings, Rob)
Originally postedJanuary 14th, 2008
“I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Psalm 84:10
Months ago, I had the privilege to attend the National Worship Leader Conference sponsored by Worship Leader magazine in Austin, Texas. There, I was not only informed of new trends, technologies, and ideas, but I found myself spiritually refreshed most of all! One of the workshops I attended was led by experienced worship leader and author, David Edwards.
The title of this workshop was “5 Things Every Worship Leader Should Embrace”. I won’t cover those five areas in this post, but I would like to share the one point that greatly challenged me as a worship leader, and as a worshiper.
If we are going to lead people into the throne room of Christ, which should be our loftiest goal as worship leaders, then as Mr. Edwards instructs, “We must know the way in”.
I have chosen “doorkeeper” as my blog title, because that is the essence of our job description as worship leaders. Doorkeepers do not guard the entrance to the throne room like some kind of “bouncer”. Our responsibility is not to take measures to keep people out, but instead do anything in our power to show them the way in to the presence of Jesus! There is many practical ways that can assist us in doing this, and many blogging opportunities to explore them with. However, pragmatism is worthless when it comes to leading people to worship, if you haven’t worshiped the very One you are hoping to lead others to.
If leading people into the presence of Christ is our job description, then a true commitment of apprenticeship to Christ is the resume’ which speaks of our qualification to do so! For if we are not pursuing God in all of the aspects of life He has given us, then we find ourselves on the outside of His throne room desperately crying out to know what the inside is like!
In the Old Testament only the high priest could enter the room known as the “holiest of holies”, but because of the work of the ultimate High Priest, Jesus Christ, we have access to God and His Holiness! Furthermore, we are not limited to time and space when it comes to experiencing His presence! There are no limitations we must overcome but one. That one limitation is ourselves! As the first man Adam severed the relationship with His creator through self-reliance, so we also weaken our own relationship with Christ through our need to be in control.
We’re not in charge
The need to “control outcomes” is often a confining characteristic of a worship leader. We somehow get the idea that what we do in our own power is going to bring great revival to the hearts of sinners. We might think that a particular song, a certain spoken word, or a fashionable blazer will be the catalyst for true worship in the church. But true worship will only occur when the worshiper encounters Christ. It is only the presence of a Majestic King that causes the angels to “prostrate fall”!
You might not have voted for our president, and disagree with everything he’s done, but if you get the chance to meet him face to face, you will probably set aside your feelings to revel in the honor of meeting the President of the United States! Because in that moment, you recognize his position, power, and influence!
Much greater honor, fear, and awe we experience through a genuine encounter with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
As a worship leader, my desire for those who have been entrusted to me is that they will find their way into the throne room of Christ and see Him for who He is! If this desire is to be proven authentic, then certainly I will have found my way into His presence every waking moment of each day.