By now we are all settling into 2018. Every January many of us feel that excitement of a restart. A clean slate. A chance to change a few things that we have realized are not the best for us. We see a chance to grow. We recognize an opportunity to break free of things we feel are holding us back.
Isn’t it interesting that most of us fear change while simultaneously desiring it? We want change, but not too much. And we want change, if the change is more of what “I” like and less of what “I” don’t like. Now, a few weeks into this opportunity, this clean slate, many of us find ourselves falling back into old routines, old habits, and old ways of thinking. Why is it that things that so clearly needed to be changed for the better a few short weeks ago are now seemingly not worth the effort and investment?
“I know but…I don’t know….”
Sometimes there are things we know are necessary, yet we are reluctant. While there are likely many reasons, I believe two very prominent ones are comfort and fear. We don’t tend to look favorably on our comfort being ousted. Whether it’s a daily routine we’ve settled into or a weekly church service “routine”. One of the things about routines that we find favorable is that after a while we don’t have to think much about it. While we may like that, I believe that is one of the very reasons God brings change upon us. Comfort tends to bring complacency and when our worship becomes complacent, God is not pleased. (Psalm 78:35-37)
All of us are acquainted with the sources and effects of fear, so I won’t talk much about that. However, I will mention that fear can take many forms. One is the form of being afraid to step out, to trust. Does God really want us to do something different? Will he really catch us if we fall? Another form fear may take is one disguised as paralyzing doubt. When our statements begin something like, “I don’t know…we’ve never done that before…”, we need to be sure our thoughts are coming from a place of faith and preparation for success rather than a place of fear of the unknown.
The worship team recently finished a study based around Bob Kauflin’s book, “Worship Matters”. We took an in-depth look at our role of service in the church using Kauflin’s definition of a worship leader as the structure. His definition is:
“A faithful worship leader magnifies the greatness of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit by skillfully combining God’s Word with music, thereby motivating the gathered church to proclaim the gospel, to cherish God’s presence, and to live for God’s glory.”
Loving Jesus, the gospel, and showing it
As this new year unfolds (and for years to come, Lord willing) it is my hope that the worship ministry here at Central Manor would accomplish and fulfill that definition. As lighting, scenery, production, media, etc. changes in efforts to better serve and deliver the message to the people, gaining more “stuff” and production is of least importance to me. Life change is what is important. People that are passionate about Jesus and his gospel, that’s the goal. When we gather, a people who are excited to show their love and adoration to God and encourage others, that’s the goal. Expressions of worship that do not end when our meetings end, but are carried through into everyday life, that’s the goal. May we together seize the chance to grow and change for the better and not settle for less.