DELIBERATELY PURSUING GOD
CHOSEN TO SEARCH THE LAND
We see in Numbers chapter thirteen how the Lord told Moses to send out spies into the land of Canaan. These leaders and rulers were chosen from each of the tribes of Israel because they were respected and considered to be spiritually mature and trusted to know God personally. Is that not what leaders have always been and are today in the church? Most people do not understand the daily balancing act that church leaders go through trying to manage people without causing a religious mutiny. Managers in the secular world can relate somewhat to the headaches and pressures of trying to organize people with diverse personalities but the ministry is even more intense because it is all balanced on a spiritual bridge between the seen and the unseen world.
People want to share their ideas, opinions and expectations with the bold confidence that God has given them a clear understanding of how church should be. What most people fail to realize is that each person of the body also has their own unique revelation about what to change yet with the same intensity and fervent passion as they do. A called leader will take the suggestions and advice to the place of prayer and meditation because they know how important it is to have an open mind and a clear conscience. Much prayer is needed in the life of a facilitator to not categorize people with prejudice and opinions because this hinders their ability to perceive and comprehend a possible confirmation of what God may really want to do. Discernment goes far beyond personality.
Church leaders will always have to deal with everyone suggesting ways that services can be better but if the leader shuts off the openness to learn and locks the gates to his tolerance it will cause a spiritual dysfunction in his own life and ministry. Over a period of time the leader may develop a habit of being friendly and seemingly interested in advice but inwardly can be completely ignoring everyone. This can become a problem if they retreat into a place of false security by shutting everyone out and only listening to their own ideas. (This also applies to managers in the business world). The Lord can use the most unlikely person to speak into our life which is why the leader must have his receiver on the Holy Spirit “frequency” and his antennas up at all times. The minister is like a connector (reminds me of the plastic caps that twist electrical wires together) that takes the hands of others and places them in the hands of God (as he holds on to both) so the current can flow as an extension of Jesus. To be a strong leader one must first become a humble servant and live with a constant awareness that everything is being done in the power of God – not their ability or strength. Leaders for Christ must spend time alone with Him in prayer, personal worship, obedience and a willingness to do whatever it takes – not because they are trying to earn something but simply because they love Him.
Those who surrender to the calling of being a leader in the Kingdom of God realizes how difficult it is to explain and hold others accountable about something that comes from another dimension yet needs to be manifested for all to know and sense. There must be a genuine concern and love for God’s people and a gifted personality that includes being able to counsel, mediate, teach, lead by example and be a person of integrity, fairness and spiritual sensitivity. In the area of music there may be several people in the worship team that can sing solos and lead songs but the worship pastor is the one who can facilitate and “manage” everyone into a coordinated working unit that can flow in not only unity but a harmony of love and respect.
The worship pastor is always trying to encourage and “stretch” the ones who are gifted and becomes excited to step back so others can lead. It must be someone who is interested in promoting others for the sake of seeing people grow and advance into their gifts and callings while also connecting this precious “resource of spiritual nourishment” with the hungry, thirsty and hurting body. The position is not a vehicle or platform to advertise their ministry or push a personal career agenda but a vehicle to promote the team. It is not reserved for the prideful that loves to use authority over others or who gets a “charge out of being in charge”. It is not a position that seeks to control but rather an opportunity to be an actual “servant” that can help others grow and find their place among the challenging yet satisfying world of holy music.
Whether you are a leader or a “leader of leaders” everyone is held accountable to the same standards and considered by the Lord to be equally valuable in the Kingdom. It is ALL about unity; a unified effort that is pressing toward the goal of seeing the super-natural manifestation of God. The armor bearers, weapon makers, medics, uniform makers and cooks are just as crucially important to the victory as the warriors fighting on the front line. It is not about who is the best because the gifts and talents are mixed together to produce one spiritual sound. We practice in private throughout the week because the more skilled an individual becomes the better the entire group becomes. Every team member must see the big picture of this unified “sound” and not become jealous or envious of those who are more advanced or might be experiencing a season of rich anointing. Let us rejoice and be happy for one another when God chooses to bless individuals. It is very important for the entire team to concentrate on God with the eyes of their heart and be reminded their effort is an offering for God. Our purpose is to honor God – our calling is to edify His people and our destination is His throne.
Just like the spies who brought the report from the land of Canaan – people are listening and depending on our attitude and our vision. Our faith has a direct influence on our network especially the young ones. People are watching and listening to every word we say so it must become a personal revelation to consider the power our words carry. We must be aware of the temptation to function in the emotional realm and learn to resist this carnal snare trap. The words we speak reveal who we are.
Laying down our will in order to know God intimately is the reason we live. This attitude and state of consciousness is nothing new because the daily Christian life always involves sacrifice, sensitivity and surrender; it is the nature of Jesus. Being a leader is not creating our own visions and concepts of God’s power and glory but simply listening to His voice and confidently following the perfect destiny of HIS purpose. It is not about supervising and managing the house of God according to our style and desires. It is all about preparing our heart – then inviting God to come into our midst and allowing Him to be Himself. (It is a challenge to be sensitive as God may want to do something out of the ordinary). As each individual person in the body is a work in progress, we should want to see God’s laborers growing in passion and maturity. With the same love and help that has been shown to us, may we invest our time into others so those who are developing may find their place in the church and flourish in their ministry.