I remember a few years back seeing a youtube video that people were sharing. It was a quick little video that people thought was adorable and funny. It kinda troubled me. The youtube clip was of a little child swiping through a magazine app on an iPad. As she swiped through more and more pages of the magazine app, they took the iPad away and replaced it with a real magazine. The child didn’t realize there was an actual, real life, magazine in front of her. Instead of turning the pages, she continued to try to swipe with no success. What struck me about that was how she had the real thing in front of her and didn’t realize it.
It got me thinking of how much this video relates to where things are in the real world. With social media, virtual and augmented reality, and every new tech that comes out everyday, people are losing sight of what’s supposed to be right in front of them. People have thousands of friends on Facebook, and they feel more alone than ever. There has been a breakdown of authentic relationships. We have had a breakdown even in church where we have people who are hurting and are in need and yet they are overlooked.
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. - James 1:27 New Living Translation (NLT)
I believe one of the main things Worship Pastors/Leaders are missing is having a genuine concern for the people. That’s not to say that they don’t care about people, but as a Worship Leader we need to be seeing where our congregation is and help to get everyone on the same page during a worship service. One of the best ways to know where people are at is to invest time into authentic relationships. When I first began leading worship, many, many, years ago, I was concerned about how I looked, how I sounded, and what people thought about what I was doing. Years would go by before I would meet a guy named Dustin Smith, who was my worship pastor while I was in KC. He taught me many things that developed my character and challenged me, but one of the most impactful things I learned from him was to have a concern for the people I was leading. That right there changed my approach to leading worship. It became so much more than about just singing songs, it was about leading people somewhere, together, lifting up the name of Jesus. Being able to look people in the eyes and know their stories and their families and as a community worship our God.
If we could start to do this I believe churches would grow in strength and in influence. Jesus said that the world would know that we are his disciples by our love for one another. Having a genuine concern for the people in your community is a continuing effort. It takes time and effort. It takes investing into people’s lives and getting to truly know them. People who know that you’re for them will follow where you lead them.
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