The Focus is Jesus; Leading Worship, 012

Hello, friends! Thursday really snuck up on me this week!

I hope each and every one of you are leaning into God’s presence and feasting on His Word more than ever before. You and those around you will benefit.

For those of us who are worship pastors and worship leaders, there are seemingly countless responsibilities on our plate, many of which even extend outside the realm of music. It’s all too easy (and perhaps frequent) to get a bit lost in the ever growing to-do list – and the subtle temptation is there, albeit innocently enough, to confuse priorities.

For worship pastors and leaders who wander down the road of confused priorities, it can be difficult to appropriately determine what should be a priority, what shouldn’t be a priority, and how to lead toward the priorities.

Friends, let’s be very clear here. The priority, the central focus of everything we are and do, is Jesus. It must be. May the people in churches walk away from a worship service with hearts and minds inclined to Christ, not necessarily remembering how suave the lead guitarist was dressed, how relevant the stage design was, or how pithy your opening welcome was.

Don’t misunderstand me.. I think dressing in such a way as to connect with those you are trying to reach is applaudable; elaborate staging and stage design can enormously enhance the time of worship, and those with interior design and decorating talents should contribute that gifting to the local church; and anything spoken or sung from the stage ought to be well-thought out and excellently executed. But these are not the point. If any of these, or anything else beside Christ, is your priority, then you are not setting your church up for transformation.

People are not brought from death to life by your fancy vocal runs. People are not redeemed from rebellion by your relevant wardrobe. People are not convicted of sin by pulsating lights and a fog machine. No. All these things may be important as individual components, but they are just that. They are individual components that must, must work together to bring the church’s focus to Jesus. I like to think of these things as spokes on a wheel, and the wheel drives people to where Jesus is.

Jesus alone takes the dead and breathes holy and supernatural life into them! Jesus alone offers an abundantly merciful way of redemption for those convicted of rebellion against the ways of His Kingdom! Worship pastors, it cannot be overstated that Jesus must be the focus of all the efforts that go into a worship service, or we have reduced church to a mere performance of snide and false holiness.

Worship pastors, it is our responsibility to keep the main thing the main thing. When the temptation arises to make the focus that really cool new song, the skill of the drummer, the fancy new pulpit, or the hipster twinkling lights display, resist. Instead, utilize these things to bring your church’s focus to Jesus. Make each ingredient collectively communicate His story.

Deeply, truly.. from my heart. And let me leave you with a passage that I love..

Oh, let me sing to GOD all my life long, sing hymns to my God as long as I live! Oh, let my song please Him; I’m so pleased to be singing to GOD. (Psalm 104:33-34, MSG)

Peace to you, wherever you may find yourself today, in Jesus’ Name..
Josh

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