I had brain surgery February 28, 2018. The surgery was early in the morning and I felt a great sense of peace knowing God was in control of my future. I believed God was going to do a miracle, but I didn’t know what it was going to look like. I also felt confident God would take care of my wife and children if he was going to allow my life on earth to end sooner than we expected.

Ultimately, we have no control over our future, but we can choose to whom we will trust our future. That’s worship; faith expressed. As I was waking up from surgery, I remember seeing the surgeon, my wife and family. When my son, Jordan, came in with Pastor Rick Warren, Jordan told me the surgeon thought the surgery went very well and asked if I was going to be ok now.  I knew what Jordan meant but I didn’t want to mislead him. Instead of saying, “yes, I think I will be okay now”, which I had no guarantee would be the case, I said “every step is a step, and this was a good step.”

Throughout the day, and into the evening, I was pretty much out of it, but I remember having a great sense of peace. My thoughts were flooded with expressions of worship. I was remembering Scripture verses promising God’s faithfulness. In my mind, I was singing songs filled with the promises of God. Songs, I wrote many years before, were coming to my mind and filling heart with joy and hope. That night, in the middle of the night, I remembered the words I spoke to Jordan earlier: “every step is a step.” I thought to myself, “every step is a step” applies to expressing faith to God: Worship. I love hearing a church congregation connect to God through singing however, biblical worship is more than singing or going to church. Worship is expressing faith with our entire lives. Authentic worship requires taking steps expressing faith.

In the bible, Paul said it like this: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.” Romans 12:1-2 (Msg) At one point in the night, I called for the nurse and asked if he would write something down for me. He came to my bedside and wrote down these words: Surrender, Trust, Encouragement, and Perseverance. The next day, I added another S: Sacrifice. These S.T.E.P.S., five great themes of worship, are often talked about but they take spiritual muscles, fueled by the power of God, to make: self-discipline, obedience, genuine love and faith. Taking these S.T.E.P.S. begins with expressing faith, trusting God as much as we know how to. God does the rest. 
Taking these S.T.E.P.S. will fan our faith into flame. Note to worship leaders: our job is to help start the fire: not to be the fire. Every step is a step. Surrender begins the journey. Trust leads to obedience. Encouragement is both received and distributed. Perseverance is fueled by commitment, not circumstance. Sacrifice is love in action and a fruit of authentic worship.


I’m looking forward to being with you all at the upcoming National Worship Leader Conference. I leave you with this, A.W. Tozer said there are good things only suffering can bring. I’m experiencing first-hand how that is true. Thank you for your prayers and thank you for your generous support and love.

-Rick