Are you a church musician who struggles with the trappings of monotony and routine? Serving in the local church through praise and worship music is an awesome way to express love to our Father and Creator. It is truly a privilege to serve a living God, to regularly and freely worship Him. When we put in our hard work, time, and attention to necessary detail—constantly striving for excellence—fatigue can set in, and the distractions come all too easy.
Although I have been playing my instrument professionally for over a decade, even receiving a degree for music performance in college, I consider myself to always being a student of music and my craft. As I repeat the process of playing on my worship team or even with an artist on tour, often I have to stop and question my own motives. I am very passionate about my beliefs in Christ, and I’m also a lover of music—I am always striving to improve and to grow in my understanding of these things. To encourage all of us to not lose sight of our purpose for real worship, I’ve put together a few thoughts on how and where I feel our attitudes should begin.
Leave perfection to Christ | I truly believe Jesus wants excellence in our worship, and I know that if I am unprepared it can distract others. I can often be hard on myself in practice and preparation, to the point of bringing that mentality with me to a rehearsal, gig, concert, or worship service without even realizing it. Sometimes, I can be so focused on the song, the form, or the dynamics, I can forget about where my heart should be. I think we can also allow ourselves to actually start worshiping the music itself—or, even ourselves—leaving our Savior as a mere afterthought. Jesus doesn’t expect perfection, and His grace is big enough to cover our sins, so it will definitely cover our musical mistakes. My goal as a musician serving in worship should be pointing people to Jesus.
Attitude is everything | I always want to be as prepared as I can. I want to know the music as well as possible, have my gear sounding great, and I want to play appropriately for the setting and the context. But most importantly, I want to have an attitude that reflects only Jesus, actively deflecting anything that puts me in the spotlight. On our own power, this is easier said than executed. Sometimes our human desires get in the way, affecting our attitude toward worship. However, our true faith in Jesus commands us to go against this mentality in every aspect of our lives. Our music and our performance should only be an extension of our commitment to Jesus—it’s really all about Him. Jesus knows our heart and He sees our actions. If we can serve Him faithfully—putting aside any personal achievement—our reward will be awaiting us in heaven.
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