WHAT WE AS WORSHIP LEADERS CAN LEARN FROM THE ASBURY OUTPOURING
After a week bearing personal witness to what God is doing at Asbury, I woke up with the awareness that there are a few important things we can learn right now.
Humbly offered, and only to serve our growth, I put my reflections below and in a longer form video for us.
1. Worship leadership is not learned on a stage; it is learned in the secret place, and in small settings, where responsiveness to God is cultivated and there is no one to impress. Music is the other skillset we need—though it is secondary to a vibrant secret place life of worship. The GenZ worship leaders get it. We need to get it.
2. The primary goal of a worship leader is to create a space of encounter with God through a song—not just to sing it or play it. That can happen through one song, in 5 minutes, or more songs over 30 minutes plus. It’s about the heart, and the intention, of the worship leader. Our focus becomes the community’s focus.
3. Engagement is real or it’s not. We must focus on modeling (and occasionally teaching) our congregations that “songs are a place we go,” a place of encounter. Don’t expect osmosis to help them “get it.” Desire may lead, but it’s also learned.
4. Tech serves worship; it must never be allowed to lead our energies, focus, and interest when it comes to the encounter of worship that is in community, among the singing saints. Keep the level of the instruments just above the voices, is my personal recommendation.
5. Simplicity matters in worship. These GenZ worship leaders are leading with a piano, guitar, a cajon, and voices. God is meeting people. Let’s reset, friends. Complex is not bad in any way, but simplicity can get us back to majoring in the majors when it comes to corporate worship.
6. Proximity matters when it comes to people being close enough to one another to rise in worship together, with the level of the music just a little above the human voices to give energy and clarity to the dynamic. Being able to see one another’s faces is also to be desired. Circles, semi-circles, u-shapes, side balconies, all can help.
7. Well-known saints are good—making them celebrities is bad. We need well-known and influential saints. We have a nasty habit (our culture reinforces) of making them into celebrities for all the wrong reasons. That’s on us. This is a refreshing stage fragrant with humility where most people are not well-known and don’t need to be.