Dr. Tim’s Worship Tip of the Month – September 2011

Worship Tip of the Month | Friday, August 26th, 2011

Restoring Relationships in Worship

Every September (corresponding to the start of school) we have the opportunity to restart, reshape and even 2elimmre-design the worship ministries in our churches. Many things are to be considered and reconsidered during this season: auditions, rehearsals, new songs, schedule, new equipment, platform setup, vision casting, priority setting, etc. In the middle of your faithful deliberations to start off the season with a bang, please remember an often overlooked aspect of the worship ministry: the relationships of your team. Your worship is as healthy as your relationships with others – especially on the worship team. Healthy relationships are paramount to a healthy worship environment. And they take work!

Consider these:  1Jn 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” (worship) and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God (worship) whom he has not seen?

Mat 5:23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar (worship), and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

I was recently in a church in India where they literally put this into practice every Sunday. If there is something between the drummer and someone in the congregation, they are requested (required) to step down and take care of that before they minister on Sunday mornings. Pretty radical, and not always practical for many reasons, but the spirit of self-analysis for purity in our worship is not optional in Jesus-worship.

I remember one Sunday, while leading worship, God convicted my heart concerning my bad attitude towards a brother who owed me some money. God’s conviction was so strong I could not continue worshiping until I told the Lord “I’ll call him right after the service and forgive the debt if you’ll just let me worship you now!” It worked, I was released to worship Him and afterwards I did what I had promised. What a relief and what a lesson. God cares about our relationships as much as our worship (in fact our relationships are our worship)

Eph. 4:16 says: “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Notice the ‘joint’ or relationship – how we relate and ‘join’ with one another in pure worship – causes growth in the body.

This year, I encourage you to consider and discuss these areas with your teams to encourage growth and health:

  • Honest friendships

Eph 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—

Cultivate honest, loving, open and authentic dialogue in your team. Your honesty, openness, authenticity and humility will facilitate this conversation. I have heard it said that love is the only bridge that you can drive the ‘truck’ of truth over. If we truly love each other then we must be truthful in our relationships – in this case, you can’t ‘fake it till you make it’.  This conversation should be positive and uplifting in all counts. Our goal is to build up (edify) each other. I love encouraging the weaker members and soaring with the stronger members. We can all grow up in a rich, honest and fulfilling environment!

  • Forgiving one another

Eph 4:32  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Practice forgiveness. Be quick to forgive. I use the term ‘extravagant forgiveness’. Be the first in a situation to forgive the other. This should be a lifestyle of a true worshiper – but sometimes we find a good excuse not to forgive:

  • I just don’t think I can ever forgive him
  • He hasn’t asked for forgiveness, why should I forgive him?
  • I am offended
  • They deserve what they get
  • He’ll just do it again

Sound familiar? Now try turning it around on yourself – what if somebody thought this of you? What if Jesus said this about you? There is not one instance where Jesus would do that to you, and there is no situation where we can withhold forgiveness. I know it’s hard, but we must let it go. Put the poison down!

“Resentment is like a glass of poison that a man drinks; then he sits down and waits for his enemy to die.”—Unknown

  • Valuing and needing one another

1Cor. 12:20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye (guitarist) cannot say to the hand (drummer), “I have no need of you”; nor again the head (leader) to the feet (singers), “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body (choir) which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body (sound) which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty,

Php 2:2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

There is no competition in the ministry. Even the strong ones were once weak. Somebody believed in them and released them. Oftentimes the value and the need for a member of the worship team isn’t apparent but all are ‘necessary’. Our job as leaders is to discover and confess their value and our need for them. Many leaders are quick to find fault or to find the ‘weak link’ in the group, but it takes a true and patient leader to turn that weakness into a strength and release the potential of the member.

I love being able to help the weak vocalist become strong or the struggling musician become confident – but it all starts with valuing them and needing them – not because of their gifting but because they are necessary to the body. Find someone to release this year!

So this year, make an assessment of your team:

  1. Who can you be totally honest with?
  2. Is there anybody you can’t forgive?
  3. Who is hard to ‘value’?

Then pass this on to your team. Free them to honesty, forgiveness and value. Your worship will never be the same.

Be creative, and have a great new year!

Dr. Tim Smith

©2011 SongSmith Ministries

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