Not A Worship Leader

Praise at sunset

Blog by Kristen Hicks

I have decided something. Actually, I thought I had already made this decision. I guess that’s what happens with perspective. I’ve decided that I don’t want to be a worship leader. That may shock the crap out of some of you, some of you may even disagree or try to talk me out of it—that’s ok.

This may be hard to explain, you may not even get it, but lately I’ve been asking the Lord, specific questions about who I am and who I’m not. These questions are unmistakably paralleling my questions about who He is and who He is not. I guess that’s what happens when you look at your reflection in the eyes of the One whose image you’re created in— I’m learning to let His gaze define me.

Here is what I have so far:

1. I am a creative; the way that I think, the way I feel things, the way that I see people, the world, life in general— I see color, masterpieces, greatness, music, beauty, adventures, simplicity. I’ve realized I’ve always tried to make up for this, I’ve always tried to not be this way. I’ve beat myself up for not being more practical or logical. Why don’t I care about money, or a career, or all the other things that I see others caring about? Having this mindset, has made me feel like a failure at times, sometimes misplaced.

2. I’ve, also, realized that I love, love, LOVE writing. Never saw that one coming, for some reason. Although, all the signs were there. I mean, come on… coffee, journalling, deep thinking, processing that ends in God-revelation, epic Jesus talks—of course, I love this.

3. I’m not a worship leader. This one is still in the process of understanding.

I’ve been “leading worship” a lot lately, it seems. Not well, if you ask me. I’ve had many talks about it with the Lord, because there seems to be something missing. Maybe there is a wall, maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s just the season I’m in; that’s what I keep trying to chalk it up to, in my head, at least. But the interesting thing is, when it’s just me in my room before the Lord, it’s different. It’s awesome!

There is this quote I keep thinking about: “My prayer for you is that you would gain authority in the places that nobody sees, so when you stand up on stage you have something authentic to give the world.” Melissa Helser, once again, ladies and gentlemen.

The Lord says He’s in the process of flipping my mindset. You see, for the longest time, when I have worshiped in the secret place, I always, imagine myself on the stage. For starters, because I know I’m made for that, but also, because I wanted to practice getting in the Presence in front of people. Now, the Lord is wanting to take it a step further in saying, that at all times, I am to go to the secret place—whether that means when I am literally in the secret place or on a stage.

What I have learned lately, is that yes, I can be a worship leader, and I can be good at it. I can play the role, please the people, and not even hate it. But I’m not called to the role, I’m called to the Presence; and as much as I myself want argue with this thought, I believe that if I allow the Lord to take me into His Presence—He will change the people. He will lead them into worship. I’ve seen this, I’ve experienced it.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m NOT saying it is wrong to be a worship leader. Nope, I most definitely believe there are people that are called to that. I am saying that I am realizing that I am simply a worshipper. And that is enough. This doesn’t mean, I won’t lead songs at church, no I don’t believe the Lord is calling me off the stage at all, at least not physically.

I am stripping off the expectation that others have put on me and that I have put on myself. I don’t have to “wow” the crowd every time I open my mouth. I don’t have to sing all the hard notes. I don’t need to feel pressure to hear a new spontaneous song every time. I just need to simply come with the authenticity of my heart, letting the smile of Abba define me, allowing Love Himself to wash over me, and come out through me— and I believe if I do this, then He will come… in, over and through all those whose hearts are open to Him.

I’ve heard it said that different worship leaders carry different things, different anointing, and I have often asked the Lord what it is that I carry. But ya know, I just don’t care anymore. Because more than anything I just want to carry what people need. And people need Him, more than they need to hear me sing.

I’ve been thinking lately about true worship, and I think true worship creates space. Space for the Father to speak, breathe, move, heal, define. I want to carry Him, His Presence, His heart, His agenda. It does not and should not ever point to a person—only Jesus, only the Father.

So, this is who I am, please don’t expect anything more. I’ll only let you down. But if you must expect something, expect Him—in whatever, form He may choose to come. Expect that when you open your own mouth and bring an offering of praise, a brokenness in spirit, an authentic heart, that He will respond. Expect that there is a song within you that isn’t just the one on the screen. Expect that with one voice and as one body we are joining with the angels and saints and all of heaven. And expect that He is singing over you new songs of hope, of joy, of redemption, of purpose, of peace, of love, and ALL of life!

PS: And no, I’m not just talking about music.

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