Several months ago, I read a tweet that I think was sent off by Israel Houghton, or someone was quoting him, or something like that. Or I could be totally off. Anyway, it said something to the effect of “God inspires worship – never demands it.”
The truth of that expression resonates in me so deeply! God will never force us to bow down before Him, but rather just the glimpse of His glory inspires us to bow. Having a revelation of the cross will cause us to surrender our hearts with lifted hands.
I think this should play into how we worship leaders approach leading worship and fostering an atmosphere of worship. With entirely good intentions, it’s so easy to get a little bossy with our “exhortations.” But a principle of worship that will change our perspectives and our approaches is to never demand worship from the congregation, but rather inspire it. An expression that we use oft at Transit is that we must position ourselves to be inspired by God. So how do we guide people into a position where they can be most impacted by Christ?
Carefully select songs and craft a worship set that simply points people to Jesus. Weave Scripture into your set that realigns vision to Christ. Intentionally leave room for people to respond to Jesus’ presence. And all the while, be mindful of your own presence and tone, making sure that you, as a facilitator of the worship time, simply encourage people to fix their gaze beyond themselves – and you – and fix their gaze on the cross.
God inspires worship – never demands it. Likewise, worship leaders inspire God’s worship – never demand it.