Sunday, January 27, 2013


Today I want to salute the average worship leader.
Why? If YouTube videos and conference worship bands are any indicator, we’re unintentionally (I trust) cultivating an understanding of musical worship and its leaders that draws more from rock concerts and Entertainment Tonight than biblical principles.
We can start thinking that the “best” corporate worship context is characterized by bright stage lights, a dimly lit congregation, Intelli-beams, fog, high end musical gear, multiple screens, moving graphics, and loud volumes. We can start to think the ideal leader is good-looking, sings tenor, plays a cool instrument (usually guitar), sports hip hair, and writes songs. And by the way, the band members and vocalists should be near studio quality, if not actual studio musicians, and look pretty good themselves.
To be clear, I thank God for godly, good-looking, musically gifted, well-known leaders who are simply seeking to be faithful and bring glory to Jesus. I know a number of them. And God is all for skill and excellence when we bring our musical offerings to him (Psalm 33:31 Chronicles 15:22). Technology isn't evil (although it inherently affects the message we’re communicating).
A Concern over emphasizing or consistently focusing on technology, skill, and excellence can leave most us with a nagging feeling that our musicians, our leaders, our equipment, and our songs are never quite good enough. We resign ourselves to the thought that we'll never be as successful, used, or important as the people we see on YouTube and at conferences. Or we breathlessly pursue the trappings and externals of “modern worship,” attaching biblical authority to very cultural practices.
That’s why today I want to salute the average worship leader.
Are You an Average Leader?
By average I don’t mean mediocre or lazy. Just normal. Because that’s what most of those leading in churches today are. Normal. Maybe you can relate to some of these “average worship leader” characteristics:
  • Your musical training, if any, was years ago.
  • No one wants you to sing lead on an album, but you get the melody pretty much in tune.
  • Your vocal range is a little over an octave, but almost always lower than the recorded key.
  • You prepare and rehearse in the midst of a full time job and responsibilities at home.
  • You and some of the other musicians could do better with your dieting.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to figure out the chords or strum pattern on a song.
  • Your sound system has been pieced together over the years and still works. Most of the time.
  • Your choices for lighting are ON or OFF.
  • Twice a year you lead surrounded by a set for “Phantom of the Opera” or some other school play.
  • You have good folks on your team who don’t have a ton of time to practice or rehearse during the week.
  • The ages of your team members range from 14 to 56.
  • Some people in the church love what you do, some aren't crazy about what you do, and some aren't sure what you do.
  • You don’t even try to keep up with the gazillion worship albums released every month.
Here’s why I want to honour you. God sees your labours  And he says they’re not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). “For  God is not unjust so as to overlook  your work and the love that you have shown for his name in  serving the saints, as you still do” (Hebrews. 6:10).
God seems to favor doing his work through the weak and the few (1 Corinthian 1:26-28Judges 7:2-8Deuteronomy 20:1-8Matthew 15:32-28). That’s why I think average worship leaders play a significant part in God’s purposes to exalt his Son throughout the world.
Don’t Forget
While there’s never anything “average” about leading people to exalt the glories of Christ through music and the Word, we can always grow. So to encourage you and spur you on, here are a few thoughts:
  • It can’t be said too frequently that while God can use technology, skill, and excellence, he doesn't require them
  • What every leader has to offer people is the Gospel, God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit, working through redeemed sinners, us.
  • The same God who seems so present in a crowd of 10,000, is just as present in your church of 113.
  • The Holy Spirit doesn't need a dark room or dramatic lighting to reveal Christ to people. He’s been using natural light quite effectively for thousands of years.
  • We’re responsible for the resources we have, not the ones we don’t have (2 Corinthians 8:12).
  • Being average doesn't mean we can’t get better through practice, evaluation, and hard work.
  • Being average doesn't give us freedom to uncharitably judge or fail to learn from those who have greater gifts and opportunities than we do. 
  • Average musicians can be as self-sufficient as gifted ones, which should motivate us to pray consistently. 
  • The goal of our labours is not success or popularity, but faithfulness.
So if you fall into the category of the average worship leader, I want to thank you for your labours and encourage you to keep growing. God is using you in more ways than you can imagine to build his church and bring glory to his Son.
And because Jesus is the perfect worship leader who paid for all our sins and failings through his substitutionary death on the cross, we can look forward to the day when every faithful leader, average or not, will stand before the Father and hear him say, “Well done.”
An extract by Bob Kauflin @

Sunday, January 20, 2013


A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, 
when the true (genuine) worshippers will worship the Father 
in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking 
just such people as these as His worshippers.
John 4:23 (Amplified)

What kind of worship is God looking for? Our answer is found in John 4:23. Here Jesus speaks specifically of TRUE WORSHIPPERS. Does Jesus' statement implies that there are also false/vain worship? Yes it is possible to be "doing worship" and yet not meeting what God is looking for. So what then is TRUE WORSHIP
Jesus did not walk up to the Samaritan woman to ask her to sing two fast songs and three slow songs or clap and raise her hands in worship. TRUE WORSHIP is about having a deep personal relationship with the Father. The Samaritan woman thought she knew about worship when she told Jesus about worshiping on a certain mountain while the Jew must worship in Jerusalem (John 4:20). Similarly today, we may define worship worship as a certain style or platform. But Jesus said, " True worshipers will worship the Father." This is the HEART OF WORSHIP! 
Jesus gives us a warning when He directed Matthew 15:8-9 to religious leaders:
"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their HEART is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandment of men."
The Greek word for "vain" means fruitless and egotistic. Worship based on the traditions of men while ignoring the commands of God. Everything may looks good outwardly but they are just performances without HEART!
What does it means to worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth?
- To worship God from the HEART - Deuteronomy 6:5-6
"Love the LORD your God with all your HEART and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be in your HEARTS."
- To engage our spirit in worship because God is a spirit  - John 4:24
"God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."
This means that we can engage worship with our spirit in worshiping God (more that our physical body or dependence of musical instruments or comfortable environment) anywhere and anytime.
"Regardless of how magnificent the musical moment are, unless your HEART is fully engaged in the worship expressed, it is still only music." - Darlene Zschech
- To worship God as He directs in His WORD - Deuteronomy 5:32-33
"So be careful to so what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside the right or to the left. Walk in OBEDIENCE to all that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land you possess."
God is looking for a people who will live a LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP walking in OBEDIENCEin accordance with His WORD
"If you cannot worship God in the midst of your responsibilities on Monday, then it is very unlikely you were worshiping God on Sunday!" - A.W. Tozer
"A worshiper is one who is intimately acquainted with and have a daily relationship with God exhibited through OBEDIENCE." - John W. Stevenson

Sunday, January 13, 2013


"The true worshippers will worship
the Father in spirit and truth;
for the Father is seeking such to worship"
John 4:23 (NKJV)

The greatest pleasure of the Christian life is WORSHIP, though we scarcely realize it until we've dive in WHOLEHEARTEDLY. We often approach it at first as an obligation. We're fairly self-focussed, and it's hard to turn our HEARTS toward God. But if we do, IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH (with zealous inspiration and according to who God really is), we find in expressible delights. Jesus seeks to turn us, like the woman at the well, into WORSHIPPERS with substance rather than WORSHIPPERS of ritual. How do we make that change?
Many of us ask God this question: "What is my responsibility toward You?" While not a bad question, there is a better, more HEART-WARMING question: "What can I offer You to show my devotion?"
Do you see the difference? The first question presupposes a requirement we must meet. It almost assumes that there will be a minimum standard, and after having met it, we will cease our "God-ward" activity and resume our "self-ward" obsession. The second question presupposes a desire to express LOVE and DEVOTION. It assumes that there can never be enough we can offer Him, but whatsoever we can find to offer, we will. There is no "self-focus" in it at all; it is entirely enamoured with God.
Jesus would have us not ask which requirement we are to fulfill, but what more of ourselves we can offer Him. When we look for our required obligation, we do not WORSHIP IN SPIRIT, because the Spirit of God would not inspire us to fulfil quotas of devotion. And we do not WORSHIP IN TRUTH, because we understand God's worth. He is worth all we are, and more!
Blessed is the WORSHIPPER who can truthfully - and with pleasure - say to the LORD: "What can I do for You? You name it, it's Yours. Whatever I can offer You, please let me." This is the kind of WORSHIPPER the Father seeks.
(an extract from: At His Feet Devotion by Chris Tiegreen)

Sunday, January 06, 2013


"I Will Bless The LORD At All Times;
His Praise Shall Continually Be In My Mouth"
Psalm 34:1 (NKJV)

What would happen if we decided to let every thought and every breath bless the LORD? Imagine the result if His name were affectionately on our lips as we lay down at night, as we turned over in our sleep, as we awoke in the morning and as we went about our daily business. Would such a perspective radically change our hearts? Probably. Would it change our world? It's likely. Any time in the Bible someone gives himself to worship, God does amazing things through that person. Blessings abound. God's work done. He is glorified.
What prevents us from such a pervasive sense of His worth? Are our schedules just too busy? Or is it deeper than that? Perhaps it's a suspicion that He hasn't been as good to us as Scripture declares that age is. Or maybe it's a subtle resentment that He has not paved our paths with gold and has allowed us to taste the bitter trials of life.
Whatever reasons we can come up with, we should ask ourselves if a worship-filled heart is worth sacrificing to the gods of busyness, apathy, and disappointment. If we really got a glimpse of God, we would never be too busy; we would never be too apathetic; and we would never be disappointed with His will for us. We would understand that underlying everything we go through and every responsibility we're given is the loving hand of a God who is leading us closer to Him. The end result is a greater blessing than and earthbound human can possibly imagine.
The angels surrounding God's throne cry put day an night, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of His Glory" (Isaiah 6:3). Perhaps we were not created with exactly the same role as those angels were; but then again, perhaps they are pictures of the praise all creatures - including us - owe Him. We at least have a similar purpose: to honour God and ascribe glory to Him. What prevents us? Nothing should. What would result? Everything our heart truly desires.
(An extract from: Worship The King by Chris Tiegreen)

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


God Is Spirit, and those who worship Him 
must worship in spirit and truth
John 4:24 (NKJV)  
What is your worship like? Is it a Sunday ritual or a frenzied emotion that you can put on and take off? Is it limited to one style of music or a particular church? Most important, is it more than skin-deep?
Considering the central role of worship in the life of a human being - it is our entire reason for being, as well as the eternal activity of the saints in heaven, according to the WORD - we might do well to consider what God wants it to be like. Does He prefer informal or formal? Ritualistic or spontaneous? Noisy or quiet? Dignified or recklessly passionate? Nearly everyone has an opinion on these alternatives, but they aren't really the HEART of the issue. What God desires most has less to do with how we express our worship than with the spirit behind it. In our adoration of our Creator, God seeks inspiration and integrity and a spirit of sacrifice. He wants our outward expression to match our inward attitudes. He wants us not to worship ignorantly, but to know Who He is. He wants it to be real.
That's hard for us. We fall into error so easily: We're either too emotional or not emotional enough, too rigid or too unstructured, too self-conscious or not self-aware enough. Most of all, we're apt to turn a worshipful heart into a routine behaviour in the blink of an eye. What was sincere devotion yesterday is a performance for God's approval today. What was once an act of passion is now an act of obligation. Our HEARTS can grow cold faster than we ever thought.
Worship defines the relationship between God and His people and touches every aspect of our existence. 
God seeks those whose worship emanates from deep within. He desires legitimate praise and integrity between the HEART and mouth. He wants to be the One we treasure most. Most of all, He wants you! 
As we step into the New Year, let us consider the priority the Word of God places on TRUE WORSHIP - Jesus' declaration that REAL WORSHIP is what God is after - to WORSHIP HIM In SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.
(an extract from Worship The King by Chris Tiegreen)