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Worship Leading Lesson #1: It's Not Your Ministry

By Ben Abu Saada on September 02, 2010

Some of the best lessons I've learned in life are through trying, failing, trying, failing, failing, trying and succeeding every once in awhile. I'm not foolish enough to think I've got it all figured out, but I do have some things that I hope can be an encouragement to anyone willing to read. These are a few random worship leading lessons God continues to teach me.

Dumping of Gear = Dumping of Pride

In January, 1993 I received Christ as my savior at the age of 18 years old.  Leading up to that moment I found myself getting steeped in music. I had begun playing in bars surrounding myself with influences that would ultimately lead to a lifestyle that could be harmful to my health. Thankfully, God interceded and completely changed my heart.

It didn't happen overnight.  The salvation happened instantly...but the transformation of someone desiring to be a "rock star", center of attention....to one who knew he was a child of God didn't happen instantly.  It came over time.

Soon after I became a Christian, I realized my desires were shifting from pursuing music, to pursuing a relationship with God. I was convicted about where my affections were being drawn to and decided a radical change needed to happen.  I donated all of my electric guitar gear to my local church for a missions cause.  I believe in my walk with God, this was a huge moment of growth.

What I began to learn was nothing I did mattered if I didn't give it all to the Lord.  That meant my money, my talents, my abilities, my desires....everything.  After a year of not being involved with music, I was invited to be a part of the worship ministry in my College and Career Class I was a part of at the time.  This is where I began cutting my teeth on what it meant to do music for a completely different cause.

It's Not YOUR Ministry

I love being a part of ministry, especially being able to use the talent God has blessed me with. Every once in a while I need to be reminded that the ministry I'm a part of is not MINE...it's God's.  When I hear musicians use the term "my ministry", it makes me cringe. It's an indicator for me that communicates the heart of someone who is in it to bring their talent/skill to the team and may not give much care to the other team members or the church-wide vision.  Essentially every Christ follower needs to answer this one question:

Are you willing to give up what you love the most in order to let God make you a true worshiper?

In Psalm 51 we read the story of a repentant David who realizes it makes no difference what sacrifice he brings to the Lord, but that God is simply concerned with a broken heart.  For worship leaders and team members, you may feel that you're bringing the very best of what you have in your skill to the Lord, but if you don't have the heart of a true worshiper of God...it doesn't matter.

Many times we wrap our identities up in the things we do. Whether a job, a ministry we're a part of, a ministry we lead.  Eventually we begin to place our hope in our skills and in these roles we play. When those roles or that job is gone, we then become hopeless.  God wants our hope and strength to rest completely and solely on Jesus Christ.

So here's a challenge to you worship leaders and team members.  Redirect your focus. It's not about YOUR skill, it's not about YOUR talent. Are you truly worshiping Christ with your talent? Or are you deceiving yourself thinking your sacrifice has been acceptable to the Lord when all along, you've been carrying bitterness and a heart that is tainted by an attitude that this is YOUR ministry not God's?

16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;

You do not delight in burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:16-17 (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.