This morning I was asked to spend an hour leading and teaching on worship for a women’s retreat in Bethesda, Maryland. And this evening I’ll be sharing the same teaching with my church’s men’s ministry. It makes for a long day and a lot of hearing myself talk and sing, but having gone through the songs and teaching once this morning, I feel prepared and excited about this evening.
Over the last week or so I’ve spent a good deal of time preparing for the hour-long teaching I’m giving twice today, and I’ve been freshly reminded of my pride in one particular area (and it’s a safe bet a lot of worship leaders struggle with this too): thinking that teaching is easy.
Maybe it’s because I listen to a lot of sermons (sometimes three or four per weekend) and I can start to think it can’t be all that hard.
Maybe it’s because I assume that since I can choose, arrange, and lead a 25 minute block of songs with reasonable skill then it must mean I can give a 25 minute talk. Right?
Or maybe it’s because I think that if God has gifted me in one area (music) then I must be gifted in other areas (teaching).
Whatever the reason may be for thinking that teaching is easy, the problem with all of them is the same: arrogance.
Teaching is not easy. It is a serious responsibility and burden that God calls serious people to take seriously. Flippant worship leaders who sit on their perch Sunday after Sunday thinking otherwise are mistaken. And I’m afraid I might be sitting on that perch more often than I’d like to admit.
So my encouragement to myself and to other ways is to pray for your pastor, pray for those who stand before you to teach God’s word, be gracious and understanding towards them, and don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you’re a worship leader it means you’re also fully equipped to teach. Maybe you are. But maybe you aren’t.
I’m grateful that yesterday afternoon as I sat with a blank legal pad on my lap, lamenting the fact that I had 16 hours to go until I had to get up in front of the women in Bethesda and still had no idea what I was going to say, the Holy Spirit convicted me of my foolishness, and made it clear I needed to confess it and ask for help. I’m excited about what God has given me to share.
I also hope that I’ve learned this lesson… If not, I pray that God will keep pointing out my foolishness.