This is an election year. You know what that means, right? All the “crazies” come out. Candidates, commentators, opinion makers and takers. I don’t mind so much except that often statements are made in public forums that may or may not reflect what a candidate actually feels or thinks about a subject. This lends itself to an inherent deception. “What you see, is not always what you get.” Which brings me this post on worship.
Pastor, lead thyself?
If you find yourself on stage regularly leading or participating in some portion of the worship experience, you probably can identify with this dualism. As you lead, you have this amazing opportunity to usher people to experience something tangible, personal, yet corporate with God Himself. What a privilege. But as a pastor you are simultaneously on a journey yourself… that is where the dualism shows up. You may be struggling with your own issues, your own sin, your own identity… hey you may have just kicked the dog before you went on stage. So what do you do with that?
How do you process your own life without living in a sea of hypocrisy and phoniness?
I mean, what do you do with all that? Come on, these are the real questions you and I think about, don’t you? If you don’t, maybe you should.
How I handle the dualism of the Platform and the Pastor
I don’t pretend to have the ultimate answers at all. However, I’ve struggled here and I’m thinking you have too. So, here’s my experience when it comes to pastorship self-development and what helps me.
Transparency: You can only fake it with a “game face” for a short time. Those closest to you will begin to see it, and then those you pour into will see it, and finally those watching you on stage will sense it. They might not be able to put their finger on it, but they’ll eventually know “something just ain’t right.” The authenticity is replaced with a superficial persona.
Trusted confidants: I haven’t arrived, but having people in my life who “get it” in the area of worship and have permission to ask the harder questions about my heart and attitude and personal preparation, help keep hypocrisy at bay.
Humility: I know what I’m made of. I know that God has redeemed me, but I also know that just because I exercise my gifts in a public arena doesn’t elevate me above anyone else. My friends remind me of that… at the same time they encourage me to push the limits of the gifting of God and the training I’ve received.
Deep prayer: In addition, I take prayer prep. seriously. Before stepping on stage and before I open my mouth, I ask, request, plead, that God would take my offering and do a “fish and loaves thing,” and multiply it. Most of the time He does.
So what helps you?
How do you navigate the dualism of the pastorship platform and self-development?