Kevin King Personal Testimony – May Christ Be All
Growing up a musician, many churches will quickly throw you up on their stage. Starting to “lead” worship when I was in college, I admittedly had no idea what I was doing, but, like a good performer, I could pretend pretty well.
Going to grad school, I began to lead worship at a large budding church and got quickly caught up in the production of the worship event. I inadvertently learned that successful worship meant a successful “experience.” This way of worship leading produced a team of tired musicians and dry hearts.
I began attending conferences with the “coolest” artists and found my heart swept up in the temptation to be in the “in crowd” – to be known, noticed, and admired. By what these conferences seemed to preach (or what I ended up hearing) was that if I had the right team, the right lights, the right songs, and enough fervor, we would get there. I didn’t really know where the “there” was, but I knew I should be going there. My heart now pines to tell every 20 something beginning their worship leading career that this well quickly runs dry.
When worship leaders look for the “quick fix” or the “answer” to effective worship leading, we have forgotten our true calling: to simply be an arrow that points the hungry heart to the all-satisfying Christ. We are not first production designers, rock stars, artists, or icons. We are under-shepherds under the Great Shepherd. Our game is a long game, and our calling is a slow one. We don’t coerce experiences. We shepherd hearts by the deep well of the Living Word. We lean in to those who criticize us. We love them warts and all. We model the compassion of our God who all day long holds out his hands to an obstinate people (Isaiah 65). What is our greatest resource in Worship Leading? It is the true and better Worship Leader who delights to will and work in us for his good pleasure (Phil 2).
As Grace Worship has approached this project, it has been a relief to continually sing and pray “let your grace my pride relieve,” as I learn to trust that Christ’s work is infinitely more effective than my own. It is a cathartic joy to refocus the goal of my heart from performer to worshiper. I will frequently feel the weight of responsibility that whispers to me, “Without you, this would all fall apart.” Oh how deceiving a thought that plays on my need to be needed, while causing me to work myself into the ground. It is the Friend of Sinners, who leads me beside still waters and restores my soul, that reminds me that my greatest joy in life is to be an empty vessel filled with Christ. And so I pray again today that Jesus would mercifully strike down the first Adam within me to make way for the Second. May Christ be all, and I be nothing.
Learn more about Grace Worship by visiting their website: www.gracepres.org