People ask me all the time about my favorite worship leader. I will frequently reference modern-day giants such as Steve Fee, Kristian Stanfill, Martin Smith, Matt Redman and others. But none of these are my favorite. See, my favorite is an old-school guy: King David himself.
I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever. I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness. – Psalm 145:1-3 NLT
There is a currently a huge lull in corporate, congregational worship. Week after week, we enter into God’s house…bored. The music is stale, the atmosphere is forced, and the people are subdued. WHY?! What about Jesus does NOT excite us?!
I’ll admit, there are days when I come into a worship service with externalities that I have allowed to invade and restrict my worship. But even still, when I sing “Oh happy day, my sins are washed away,” my soul leaps! And then I look around baffled at the absolute lack of energy exhibited by Christians. Shouldn’t this be the best news anyone has ever heard? If there were one thing in the world to get excited about, wouldn’t it be Jesus’ redemptive blood that He gave freely to we who absolutely do not deserve help? It just doesn’t make sense.
But David understood. He recognized his weakness and flawed nature. He realized that God gave him more than he ever deserved. And his “soul long(ed) to praise Him.” David was a musician and a worship leader. And he was totally in love with his maker. Over and over in scripture we read that he never stopped praising God and never mailed in his worship. He was energetic, overjoyed at the goodness of his God.
If he were alive now and was a worship pastor, he would probably be fired.
Because he got too excited.
Because he got wound up.
Because he made others uncomfortable (see 2 Samuel 6).
Because he was undone and undignified, even in his position of leadership.
My soul, praise the Lord, and all that is within me, praise His holy name. My soul, praise the Lord, and do not forget all His benefits. – Psalm 103:1-2 HCSB
Friends, until we commit our entire souls to worship of the Almighty God, we will never worship like David. A great Christian leader that I know, who happens to be the best Dad in the whole world, frequently reminds me: “Corporate worship cannot exist without private worship.” Please don’t miss this.
Until we make worship a priority in our own lives, it will remain a boring endeavor inside the church walls. Until we spend time with the Holy Spirit on our own, we will fail to really press in together. Until worship becomes a personal experience aimed only at bringing Glory to God and lavishing Him with praises in private, corporate worship will continue to be one big singalong of very familiar tunes.
Please teach me how to worship in private. Allow worship become a private thing for me, so that I can, in turn, lead others to know and adore you. Please meet with me in private. Please meet with me in public. Just please meet with me. I love you so much.
I’ll leave you with some wisdom from my Dad.
You cannot lead past where you have been.
Corporate worship cannot exist without private worship.
Let my life be salt in their mouths so they will be thirsty for more of you. – Wes White.
Grace and peace,