have a confession to make. I’m about to be transparent. The words I’m about to say will allow you to see right through me.
Sometimes I feel . . . invisible.
It seems no matter how many goals I achieve, no matter how much “success” I seem to attain, how much is in my bank account, how many people work for me, how big my church is, how many sing in my choir, how many songs I write . . . there are times I feel invisible.
For many years this feeling of “invisibility” made me do crazy things. It was the singular driving force in my life. I needed to be “seen.” It influenced the people I chose to be in relationship with, it determined what college I attended, it drove my career decisions . . . this need was everything to me.
Only, I didn’t know I felt invisible.
As I reflect back, I realize this feeling was safe. I liked this feeling, because it allowed me to expose only the parts of me I wanted seen. If you’re invisible and no one really “sees” you, you have the power to expose certain parts of yourself to those around you, and the power to hide other parts. Yes, there was safety in invisibility.
The only problem with this way of living is . . . it isn’t what God intended. Jesus didn’t die so I could hide from people around me. I wasn’t created to be invisible. God didn’t paint me with disappearing ink, and I wasn’t saved to build walls.
Funny. It turns out I was never really invisible at all. Many people around me saw more than I thought. And as cliché as it sounds . . . Jesus knew me, saw me, even loved me. Yet I was a worship pastor, leading people every week, and didn’t have a clue that Jesus actually saw me and chose to love me anyway.
My Bible says I am “fearfully, and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). My Bible says God has plans to “prosper and not harm” (Jeremiah 29:11). My Bible says God is for me, not against me (Romans 8:31). My Bible says I’m a child of the King, an heir to the Throne (Romans 8:17).
Worship Leader, you are not invisible, either. Don’t believe the lies Satan whispers in your ear. Your value is not determined by the size of your congregation. Your worth is not equal to the square footage of your home. Your success is not determined by number one hits. You are called, equipped, blessed, and worthy. You are a child of the King, an heir to the Throne.
As artists, many times we are all guilty of believing our “art” is who we are. For years I believed my worth as a person and worship leader was dependent on the product I produced.
Wrong. Not even close. I want to let you in on a secret. God, and our congregation, doesn’t really care about what we do on stage when they don’t know our hearts. Really know our hearts. Not the part we want them to see. Not the part we choose to expose. Our congregations and teams are looking for leaders who are transparent, not invisible. The world is looking for believers who “see” them, not their actions, words, or decisions. Our communities are seeking Christ followers who remember that Jesus “saw” the woman at the well, he didn’t allow her choices to define her. Those you lead in worship need to be reminded that Jesus had dinner with the invisible, he healed those the world didn’t see, and he died for “least of these.”
Want to hear something ironic? The more transparent I become with people, the less invisible I feel. The more I tear down the walls I’ve built around my heart, the more that space is filled with genuine relationship, acceptance, and love. I’m learning the people I lead in worship don’t need perfection. They don’t need a great lead line, smooth transition, or sick guitar solo. They need a transparent worship leader who is honest about his hurts, struggles, victories, and journey.
The people we lead in worship every week need to know we “see” them as well. Our teams need to know they are more than guitars, keyboards, and voices. Our church needs to know they are called, equipped, blessed, and worthy. Speak this truth over them on Sunday. Let them know they are not invisible men and women. They are children of the King.
Brent is the Worship Pastor at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, where he leads a multifaceted, multicultural ministry, including a 250 voice choir, bands, orchestra and more. He and his wife, Jill, have two children and love that God allows them to teach people about loving Jesus.