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It's a Heart Thing

By Ben Abu Saada on June 28, 2010

Nowadays in the world of worship leading and ministry, it's almost a cliche'. If it's become that to you, let's steal it back from the land of cliche' as a priority. There is a great need for every worship leader to be in a state of "coming back to the heart of worship" as the Matt Redman song states.

It's a Heart Thing

Being a part of an effort to usher people into a meaningful, worshipful time with God each week can be exhilarating. There's a certain amount of time spent reviewing services and tweaking the technical side of things. At times it can feel as though this aspect of worship leading consumes all of your efforts, causing you to leave behind the most important aspect of worship leading...tuning your heart.

One thing I've learned in my experiences as a worship leader is this simple principle:

It doesn't matter how talented you may be (or think you may be). If you do not have a humble heart, a servant's heart, and have no interest in pursuing God's heart, you may find yourself becoming a cancer slowly destroying the very worship team you believe God has called you to be a part of.

At times we can become so concerned with the "sound" and "look" of our worship services. Too many "Martha tasks" and not enough "Mary sitting" at the feet of Christ can occur. While all of the technical aspects of worship services are "good things", the most important is connecting people to the heart of God and you as a leader making sure to consistently sit at the Father's feet. I believe the technical things need addressing and should be a part of the entire package. However, I'm not interested in those things if neglecting the heart of God, stomping on the hearts of co-laborers on a worship team and ignoring the needs of the people you lead each weekend becomes a regular occurrence. At times I've forgotten what is most important. God wants our hearts. He doesn't care about the "sound" if our hearts are not directed towards Him. He doesn't care about how things "look" if the "show" we put on excludes the importance of directing people to Christ. He doesn't delight in our songs if we don't live our lives in worship to Him. Worship is more than the music.

What does it mean to live a life of worship? It's taking it beyond the stage. In the conversations you have with people. In the interactions you have with others. Are you a person that people look to as a worship leader off the stage as well as on? Does that mean you have to be perfect? No. That's impossible. Pastors and worship leaders are all human. A humble heart is one that knows you don't have it all figured out. When a mistake is made, you acknowledge it and grow from it. People will always come before "the work". If you're a leader and think you need to fine tune your heart as a "servant leader", I highly recommend reading Ken Blanchard's book "The Servant Leader". Remember that people will always remember how you treat and interact with them...and this interaction has great impact on you being able to lead them from the stage.

Think of the things in your daily life that you don't talk to God about and start doing them. Here's a challenge for you: Write to God. A prayer, a song, a poem or a psalm. If you don't know how to start, just begin making a list of the things you've forgotten to thank Him for. You'll be surprised how much and how often God's hand was there and you didn't even know it!

36 Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth,

And they lied to Him with their tongue;

37 For their heart was not steadfast with Him,

Nor were they faithful in His covenant.

Psalm 78:36-37 (NKJV)

-Ben Abu Saada

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Ben Abu Saada

Ben Abu Saada

Ben has been a part of the All About Worship team since Fall of 2008. He serves as Worship Pastor at Grace Church in Overland Park, KS. Ben also serves as a part of his parents humanitarian organization to the West Bank called Seeds of Hope. He and his wife Addie live in Olathe, KS with their three daughters. Ben requests prayer for the teenage years quickly approaching.