By Steve Fee
Worship renewal. We long for it. We wait for it. And we pray for it knowing that it comes initially from an outpouring of the Spirit of God. We don’t manufacture it. But as leaders and teachers of worship, we play a role in the process of encouraging our people towards worship renewal.
Here are a few thoughts as I think about Leadership’s role in the process of worship renewal.
Begin with personal worship renewal.
I think it’s interesting when leaders pray and beg God to ignite a new, fresh, different, revolutionary worship atmosphere for their congregation or ministry; and after saying “amen” to that prayer, continue on in the same routine that has cultivated dryness and predictability for years. The idea is to ask God for a renewed sense of reverence and awe to ignite within you, and then lead others to that place. As leaders and teachers, we can definitely lead our own personal worship and response to God in a way that aligns our hearts with His and asks our God to take us to places within His heart where we have not been. Then, like someone who has just found a treasure, you become the tour guide to bring as many other people along as possible. You become the person standing before many as if you are saying, “I’ve just been with God, and I know the way there, follow me.”
We can lead through teaching people to worship God as a response to events unfolding around us in our local community.
This idea thrives in the context of the local church because often times, worship renewal follows seasons of major or unexpected circumstances that have unfolded within your church body or local community. Tragedy. Triumph. Terminal illness. Miraculous healing. There is a necessity for these events to enter in to the conversation with God that we call worship. There was a time recently when I was asked to lead worship for a church that had just gone through a terrible and publicized tragedy. A gunman took the life of their senior pastor during one of their Sunday morning services. Just five days later, we stood before a congregation who was understandably shocked and grieving. The worship that night centered around the promise that God is our only hope in every season of life. We sang and declared, “When everything falls apart, Your arms hold me together” and “sorrow may last for the night but Hope is rising.” A moment like that is only possible when the reality of what’s going on in local community is brought into the worship conversation.
We can lead through teaching people to worship God as a response to what’s happening on a worldwide scale.
The Idea here is to take things that happen globally and bring them into the worship conversation. For 7 years I helped lead a Tuesday night singles Bible study, called 722, in metro Atlanta with my friend Louie Giglio. I remember one Tuesday night in particular: Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The day we all refer to now as 9/11. That morning terrorists attacked our country and killed thousands. That evening, over 3,000 people were looking at us with stares that seemed to say, “So now what?” It was then our responsibility to bring a global perspective into the worship conversation. I remember saying, “God is still on the throne, He still has the whole world in His hands, and He still has your world in His hands.” I remember Louie saying “The only correct response to anything that happens in life is to worship God. And tonight, through our grief and uncertainty, we’re going to proclaim the greatness of our King.” It was memorable and powerful. And it sparked and a worship renewal.
Be passionate about your personal worship renewal with Christ and watch it spill over into your leadership and affect the people you’ve been entrusted to lead. And watch the ones you lead gain fresh and expanded views of God as you bring the unfolding journey of your local communities and the worldwide perspective into the worship conversation. Remember, “the only correct response to anything in life is to worship Jesus.”
Steve Fee has been involved in the worship scene for 13 years and continues to lead worship at the North Point Community Church in Atlanta, GA as well as the lead singer of the band, Fee. Look for their upcoming release, Hope Rising, this October. feeband.com