I have always enjoyed worship and experiencing God’s presence, but I haven’t always understood the purpose or the impact that it makes both with God and in people’s lives.
I started leading worship when I was about 15 years old and loved being able to connect with the Lord in a deeper way than I had before I started leading. I thought it was all about blessing Him and ministering to Him, and although that is true, there was so much more I learned about leading through doing a School of Worship.
This school has a few focuses and one of them is directly focused on Jesus and ministering to Him. Another aspect is learning how to communicate His presence to others. In order to lead worship for a congregation, there is a lot more involved in opening the door for others to connect with God. Personal times of worship are for you to individually connect with the Lord. You don’t have other people to worry about. On the other hand, when you are leading a congregation into worship, you must start out in that place of intimacy and connecting with the Lord, and then go a step further and connect with the Holy Spirit on how to lead others into His presence.
I remember a time recently that I sat up at the front, had a ton of songs picked out, but not a specific order. I was hoping that as time went on the Holy Spirit would help me know how to navigate the way He was moving. We were just getting started, and I was nervous! I hadn’t been feeling especially close to the Lord, so being in this vulnerable moment was the exact place I did not want to be. After a few minutes went by, the introductions were over, and it was up to me to “bring the presence” in a sense. I started playing Good Good Father, and as everyone joined in, it gave me more courage to sing out like I really believed it. I refocused my eyes on Him and off of me. This set the tone for the rest of the time for me. Thankfully this congregation was very engaging, so we played off of one another, and eventually my nerves calmed down. When you start out insecure, people notice. The more secure you are in your walk with God, the easier it is to lead others there.
The School of Worship creates space for you to grow in your giftings. Like anything, it takes practice. This school is first meant to strengthen your personal relationship with God and secondly to give you practical tools to effectively bring people with you into His presence. God is a relational God and doesn’t want to stop with only you experiencing Him. This is one of the biggest areas God has been working on in me. It’s safe and easy to spend time with Him, but His heart is for community and multiplication. It takes work and being outside of your comfort zone to be in front of a group of people and lead them into worship. Like the Great Commission, we’ve been blessed to be a blessing. In the same way, if we’ve experienced God’s presence, why wouldn’t we want to experience it with others?