The Tour Guide

Andi Rozier of Vertical Church Band (“Open Up the Heavens”, “Found In You”) tells a story about taking a trip to Israel.

He rode on a bus with a bunch of other people and had a tour guide who directed the trip. He noticed something interesting on the first day of the trip after one of the first couple stops. He was already spotting a pattern. At every stop, there was a group of people who couldn’t wait to get off the bus and see the sights. They sprung out of their seats and waited by the door. The heat didn’t bother them. The walking didn’t bother them. They were excited for what they were about to see.

There was also another group of people on the bus. They took their time to get off the bus. They got out of their seats almost reluctantly. As he put it, they almost seemed inconvenienced by the fact that they had to get up and walk.

Then there was the tour guide. She was both entertaining to the excited group and encouraging to the group that was lagging. She knew it was her job to bring both groups to the sights together.

And she knew something else too. When she got the group to the sight, everyone would forget about the bus and the walk and the heat and the journey. When they got to the sight, she’d be able to stand aside and say, “Look at that!” and her group would be stunned. Completely amazed by the sights.

Leading worship is being a tour guide. Some are excited to be there. They can’t wait to get off the bus and start worshipping. Others, not so much. It’s not that they don’t love to worship God as much as maybe they don’t always like the journey. And often times they have legitimate reasons. Maybe they’re having a hard week, maybe they don’t really like music, maybe their knees hurt and it’s a feat just to climb down the bus stairs (not to mention the mountain ahead).

But when we get there and we can stand aside, get out of the way, and say, “Look at that! Look at how great God is!”, everybody will be in awe. That is the job of a worship leader.

One final piece of the story. When Andi got back home and looked through all of his pictures, he noticed something. The tour guide wasn’t in any of the pictures. According to all his records of the trip, it was if she was never even there.

What a beautiful picture of who a worship leader should be at his or her core. We take a group of people and bring them to a place where they can get a glimpse of who God is and then we get out of the way. And in the end, we know we’ve succeeded when the attention of the congregation is fully on God, and it’s as if we were never even there.

Simplicity

I have been thinking about what it means to be a lead worshipper… either at church or at work or at school or in a restaurant… wherever.

For me, it is simply never losing sight of where God is in my life. I am not wealthy. I do not live in a fancy home or drive the car of my dreams. But I am so incredibly cared for! God has blessed me with the perfect mate, a great family and job. He has allowed me to learn to do things that have become my passion. I have the greatest friends that money cannot buy.

But what if I was alone? What if my job was not so good? What if I had no family that cared about me? Well, I hope that I would strive to find God’s purpose for that in my life. It is what we have done through some pretty tough times. Rather than think that God was vacant in the situation, we learned to search for Him and His purpose. It gave us comfort. Hopefully, it brought Him glory.

Sunday mornings we are people that show up in the same building with hundreds of other people. Some of us are fighting loneliness, depression, anger, despair… None of us know what is going on behind the eyes of those we come in contact with. We have 30 minutes to help them get a glimpse of God… to bring them closer to the Throne of the King. When I can let go of my own insecurities and really seek the God that has cared for me so graciously, I have a much better chance of being someone that can show Him to those that are hurting or seeking Him for those 30 minutes.

That is the heart of why I do this. How about you? How do you see yourself being used to bring people to a place of worship?

Good, Good Father

Here’s a worship song I’ve fallen in love with. It’s called Good, Good Father by Housefires. Chris Tomlin has also recently done a cover of it that’s hit the radio.

Good Good Father Video

The lyrics in the chorus are so simple, but so profound to me.

You’re a good good Father. It’s who You are. It’s who You are. It’s who You are.

And I’m loved by You. It’s who I am. It’s who I am. It’s who I am.

Two things I love about this chorus:

  1. The use of 3: The number three is a symbol of completeness, finality (ex. the Trinity, the amount of time Jesus spent in the grave, the number of times God called Samuel, and way more!). It’s saying “God, You are good! Completely. Forever. End of story.” And “I am loved by that good Father. Always.”
  2. In a world that defines you by what your job is, this song reminds me that who I am is simply a child of God. I am God’s son, loved unconditionally. That’s who God says I am. That’s who I am.

Take a moment today and worship Him. Find a quiet spot and meditate on this truth.

We are all prodigals who have run off and done our own thing, but our Father, while we were still a long way off, runs to us because He’s good and He loves us.

Why?

Why? Why a blog? Why one more thing to have to stay up-to-date on?

I visited another church with my future in-laws over the weekend, and the pastor talked about serving. He talked about who we serve and why we serve. A perfect topic for us in the Worship Arts department. You have volunteered in this department because you want to serve the Lord by serving the members of this congregation (I hope).

But in order to serve, you must have something to give, and you won’t have anything to give if you are constantly on empty. It is easy to be on empty, but it is a necessity, when pouring into the lives of others, that you are constantly being filled.

And that is the purpose of this blog. We want to open up an avenue where you can come and be filled. We want to create a place where you can grow spiritually (as well as musically) so that you can then pour yourselves out to the congregation and fill them.

-Eric