I have not written or blogged on my post for quite some time. Due to a hectic and busy schedule it has prohibited me from taking the time I need to stay consistent. It is good however to get back on again and write out some of my thoughts.
Due to an overwhelming response from a “Tweet” I sent out last Saturday, I thought it would be good to answer that question on my website. For some of you that may have not read my tweet, I stated the following: “Have not had a ‘youth’ praise band ever lead me to worship quite like this one is tonight”. (Then I added a picture of the group that was singing)
The response both on Twitter and Facebook was huge. The question people kept asking was, “Pastor, what did you mean by what you posted?” Allow me to share my thoughts and heart with you by clarifying what I meant concerning this group, as well as praise and worship groups altogether.
As I have traveled nationally for the past several years, I have had the privilege of ministering with some Godly individuals, praise groups, bands and Christian hip-hop artists. At the same time, I have also ministered with individuals, praise groups, bands and Christian hip-hop artists that were not a blessing or a privilege to minister with at all. Unfortunately there are some who have this idea that the Christian “ministry” (i.e; industry, entertainment business), is all prestige. There are some who have a greater desire to make a “name” for themselves as opposed to making the name of Jesus famous!
I have been with the best and with the worst. The Godly and the ungodly. The real and the really fake. Please understand, this is by no means a judgement call by me, but the reality that these attitudes and characters unfortunately can come with Christian ministry. One of the greatest challenges is that of, what I will call, the “youth praise band”. Don’t get me wrong, there are some youth praise bands out there that are truly blessed and anointed by God- Skinny jeans, messed up hair, sunglasses and all! Then there are some who have this idea that they are God’s gift to the stage and have no anointing upon them whatsoever. Pre-madonna’s with their sweat towels over their shoulders, water bottles in their hands, while they wait at their merch table to sign autographs, take pictures and go to the next venue.
Please understand, I get it. I’m in the middle of all this. But in the midst of it all there must be godliness. To get to the point, last week I met a group that truly lived up to the definition of praise band. Not because they sang great, or had a great sound. It’s because their attitudes and characters matched their singing when they were off the stage. Before the event I saw them shaking hands with others, making people feel welcomed. Their smiles and faces showing the love of Christ was completely in them. When they were on stage, there hearts of worship and a “non-showmanship” approach left the audience refreshed and humbled before the Lord. No show, all worship. No pre-madonna’s, all worship. No attitude, all worship.
They were discerning for the crowd they were leading. They didn’t go overboard. It felt like a time of worship and not necessarily a concert. Though they had a 45 minute set, it did not seem like 45 minutes. I have been with groups that had only 30 minute sets and it felt and sounded like eternity! But here’s where they cut the cake; after they were finished, they all sat down and pulled out their Bibles. WOW! Most groups that I have been with will immediately go to their merch table, won’t stay inside for the preaching of God’s Word, or much less have their Bibles with them, and wait until the service is done or until they are called up again to close us out.
This group were truly worshipers from start to finish. So to answer your question, this is what I meant by what I Tweeted. Please understand, this does not by all means mean that this is the best group ever. Or that this group is more Godly than all other groups. It only means that this group is being discipled well and are being taught as to what it means to be worship leaders and not a side show.
We must recognize that it is an absolute honor and privilege to preach, sing and/or rap for the Lord. The Lord does not need need us. He can use whomever He wills. However, if He chooses to use us, let us recognize that we are nothing without Him and that we are not as “BIG” as He is.