A lot of the things I do as an adult, I learned to do from my Dad, especially when it came to developing a deep abiding desire to know and experience God. As a young man, I noticed how my Dad would break away from the craziness of our family to find a few precious moments with the Lord. I wonder if Solomon might had been thinking of his Dad, David the Shepherd King, when he wrote the first seven verses of Proverbs.

 

Proverbs 1:2-7:  To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth.  Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction

 

What I have gleaned from these verses have been a help to me as a worship leader at my camp and at my church.

 

Worship leaders need to …..

  • Develop the skill of following wisdom and instructions in order to have a better understanding of the words they sing or speak.
  • Be disciplined in the way they deal and process the world, applying truth and lessons learned in my day to day life as they find a moral and ethical balance in the way that they lead others to God’s presence.
  • Help the body of Christ find direction and purpose, as they experience the greatness of God.
  • Deeply understand what Solomon meant when he wrote “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge!”  I believe that that is also where all true worship begins, a healthy fear and awe of God Most High.

 

David understood the great need for worship leaders is to learn to be silent in order to experience God’s presence and power. In the 46th Psalm, the Shepherd King wrote, “Be still and know that I am God.”  That is one of those phrases that is easy to recite but not always easy to do. 

The words, “be still,” come from the Hebrew word “Raphah” and literally means to relax, to rest, to give God the room and time to do what He does best, reveal His glory through the weakness of men. This verse does not give us permission to be lazy, but simply implies that we take the time to listen and see what God wants to do in us and through us. It is through the process of stillness that we will best appreciate His presence for it is the  presence of God where we find refuge and strength.  Earlier in Psalm 46, David refers to God as our “Very Present Help” or  “Nimatsa me-od,” which refers to the help and aid that arrives in great speed, in great might and results in great victory.

 

Being a worship leader at a camp or at a church is very much like being a shepherd. Taking a deeper look at the 23rd Psalm has given me new insight on how I can serve the Lord and His people better.

 

Psalm 23:1-6:  The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul: He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for the Lord is with me; His  rod and His staff comforts me. The Lord prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: The Lord  anoints my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever!

 

The term “shepherd” was always a source of confusion for me growing up.  I knew Jesus was the “Good Shepherd.” I also knew that guys in the shepherding business in the Old Testament days were not well respected.  So I never really understood the phrase “The Lord is my shepherd” until I began looking at it from the perspective of a worship leader.  I mean, isn’t it a contradiction in terms?  It is saying that the Lord God Almighty, the Most High God, the Majestic Mountain Like  Creator  of all chose to lower Himself in order to shepherd me and bring me safely into the presence of God, where I will drink of His goodness, feast on His mercy, and enjoy Him forever.

 One thing that I have learned about good shepherds is that they always walked in the front of the flock, leading them to the place of safety, calling them by name, protecting from predators and other dangers, not willing to lose one lamb. As a worship leader, I desire to provide the same type of leadership, helping those in my flock understand that there is no lack of what is needed and there is no failure because we will fully trust and stand on the promises of God. May God give all worship leaders the heart of the Good Shepherd.

 

 

 

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