Two "essentials" that I think are hugely important in the lives of those who lead worship at The Orchard:
AUTHENTICITY & DEPTH.
Authenticity. Being real and willing to lead out of their own, personal journey. Not afraid to be honest and transparent about their struggles, pain, and brokenness. The same on stage as they are in every day life and conversation (have you ever heard a worship leader who stands up and talks to an audience in a totally different voice than they normally talk in?) Someone who others can look to and say to themselves, "I get that person...they're not all that different from me."
Depth. If the worship leader has an empty soul.....then the only thing they'll really have to offer is authenticity and talent....and neither of those are enough as far as I'm concerned. I want worship leaders who have taken the time to LISTEN...and get quiet. Who make it a priority to wrestle through the scriptures and songs they'll be leading people through. Leaders whose hearts are freshly inspired by the beauty and goodness of God....and who understand that a huge part of what they do in leading worship is sharing that beauty and goodness with others.
I suppose those are pretty important essentials for all of us as followers of Jesus. But they're especially important to me when it comes to those who are standing on stage leading our community into worship each weekend.
Worship Leaders & Pastors - I'd love to hear from you. What "essentials" are at the top of your list?
"To sustain anything in this life we must continually recognize that that first fervor, that special electricity that we would die for, never lasts and that we must be open to receive a new spirit within the relationship. The downside of this is that all honeymoons die, but the upside is that God is always giving us something richer, deeper life and fuller spirit."
In his book, The Holy Longing, Fr Ronald Rolheiser shares the writings of an Italian spiritual writer - Carlo Carretto. Rolhesier says (in reference to the church) that Carretto "captures well both its scandal and its grace." I think I agree.
How much I must criticize you, my church and yet how much I love you!
You have made me suffer more than anyone and yet I owe more to you than to anyone.
I should like to see you destroyed and yet I need your presence.
You have given me much scandal and yet you alone have made me understand holiness.
Never in this world have I seen anything more compromised, more false, yet never have I touched anything more pure, more generous or more beautiful.
Countless times I have felt like slamming the door of my soul in your face - and yet, every night, I have prayed that I might die in your sure arms!
No, I cannot be free of you, for I am one with you, even if not completely you.
Then too - where would I go?
To build another church?
But I could not build one without the same defects, for they are my defects. And again, if I were to build another church, it would be my church, not Christ's church.