The message of the gospel is always relevant. God’s love and mercy alwaysmatters. The problem of perceived irrelevance has never been about the message itself. When it comes to our relevance in sharing spiritual truth, what we do relationally and the message that we project to those around us (through our lives, our words, our posture, our attitudes, our musical preparation and choices, and even the expressions on our faces) impacts their willingness to hear the message of the gospel. When we learn to care more deeply about how God can use our lives and our willingness to seek His purpose than we do about what is comfortable and easy for us, God can indwell our hunger to bring Him glory in such a way that His Spirit brings not only relevance but Divine power to the ministry that we have been given. This process will take some thought on our parts. We never intend to get comfortable and begin to resist change, and we often don’t even recognize those tendencies in ourselves. It will take awareness of where we are and a passion for becoming all that God made us to be to prompt the uncomfortable process of change and allow us to become more open to considering the types of changes that will make our ministry more effective with people of all ages.
As the chief worship leaders in our church, it is incumbent upon anyone who is a part of worship ministry to be as “relevant” to those we serve as we can be. If we are going to really allow the Lord to use us to have an impact upon the lives of others, we must be open to new forms of expression and to refining the overall worship experience so that people are drawn to the message of the gospel rather than bored by the absence of passion and a seeming lack of commitment to excellence in what they observe. In my experiences working with teenagers through the years, I have discovered that I have to “earn” the right to be heard by them. The same is true of virtually any age group. We want to know that whoever is leading us is relevant to the lives we live and is sharing a message with eternal relevance. Most pertinent to this discussion of relevance, we want to know that these eternal truths mean so much to those who are sharing them that there is evidence of a heart of passion in the sharing process.
The relevance we need as worship leaders involves bringing clarity, purpose, prerparation, & passion to all of our efforts. We need clarity because God is not the author of confusion. Everyone on the worship team should have clarity in thoughts & attitudes about worship, understanding that the purpose is to bring glory to God. Every worshiper should be able to follow the music without confusion, focus on the Lord, & worship Him. The purpose of everything that is done in the worship service must be to bring glory to God. The leadership team should be well prepared so the service can flow and not interrupt the focus on our eternal God. Finally, we must have passion in order to be relevant as worship leaders. Our passion is expressed not just through musical excellence & preparation but in a transparent desire to bring glory to God. We're worshipers & seekers of God first and worship leaders second, in answer to His call on our lives, leading in a relevant manner that God can use to draw others to Himself through worship.
When we are willing to do whatever it takes in order for the Lord to indwell our worship and use it to impact the lives of others, the spiritual foundation of understanding that the goal of worship is to bring glory to God is primary. However, without consideration of some practical things that should also enter our awareness, we risk leaving our congregation behind and neglecting the simple relational things that could help to communicate with them more effectively. We essentially have a dual role as worship leaders of relating to and worshiping the Lord while also relating to and leading God’s people. This can be a difficult balance, but we can do all things through Christ. The practical elements of relating to our congregation and thereby becoming relevant to them as worship leaders are not difficult but do require some initial thought and then continued awareness.