“I can tell you have a pastors heart Jesse. I can tell that you love people. I see how people respond to your sincerity and honesty. But when you got on stage and began to lead worship…I felt like I had whiplash. Who was this guy up there…is what I kept thinking?”
The above statement is from a pastor whom I trust. He was speaking to me with honesty and concern about how I led worship in his church. I can honestly tell you that I had absolutely no idea this would be his reaction. Until this point…I really didn’t know how he thought the weekend went.
I was so thankful for his honesty though. He wasn’t belittling me…or putting me down. He was speaking out of concern for how I led. Really…he had just spent the 30 minutes prior to that building me up and encouraging me. Reality is…it was so true. I came into this church one weekend and with all the energy I could muster…I grabbed them and dragged them to the throne of God…rather than trying to be transparent and truly lead them there.
Since that weekend…and after hearing his heart…I am reminded of why I am a worship leader. For years, I was told to keep it short…focus on the music and leave the talking to the preacher. I had 15 minutes to bring them from the streets to taking communion. I continually felt the pressure to push through and do all I could to bring about a great set.
I had honestly forgotten what it was like to allow space in a worship set. To connect with the group I was with…establish credibility and simply open the doors for them to walk through. Instead…I had focused my energy on hurdling as many of them as I could.
His comments helped me to remember how I was as a young leader. I needed the reminder to open my heart to the people. I needed the reminder and the permission to allow space for God to move. I will be forever thankful for his thoughts and encouraging words.
It’s great to get honest advice and feedback on how you lead. As a worship leader, continue to be open to criticism and underestimate praise…because even if it goes well…it still had nothing to do with you 😉
God Bless. Jesse.