For years, I’ve led worship in church.
I by no means think I’m amazing at it, and I still have serious doubts about my ability to do it, but it’s what I do. The reason I do it is because I meet God most through worship. It’s always been that way.
Part of the reason I love to lead worship is because I long for others to meet with God, and if singing is a way in which they can do that, then it’s a privilege to lead them in it.
Lately, however, something feels like it’s been missing when I’m leading. In fact it’s not only leading, but when I’m being led as well. For a while, I thought maybe it was something I was doing wrong – making too many mistakes, trying too much or too little.
Put simply, I’m struggling to meet with God during worship.
I can’t put a finger on why. I’ve been through all the obvious options – I’m not trying hard enough (or at all), I’m worried too much about the music and not enough about the One to whom I’m singing. And I feel like despite all my efforts, despite my longings to meet with God, it’s just not happening.
Initially, I didn’t know what to do with this situation. Singing has always been my connection with God. I love reading the Bible, praying and learning about him, but worship has always been it for me. So to see that bridge begin to crack and falter hurt and worried me.
However, a while ago I suddenly started to see God and recognise God’s movement in other things, other creative outlets which I had not really tapped into before. For instance, I became very aware that God was speaking to me through what I was reading – not only Christian books and blogs, but the novels I was reading as well.
The same thing happened with poetry. Which is odd because I’ve never really read poems. Now, I read a dozen or so a day. Some about God, some not. Not all of them leave me on my knees in awe, but I’m certainly seeing God’s character through different mediums now.
My worry with all of this was that I’d have to stop leading worship. Not so much because I enjoy being at the front (although most worship leaders will tell you they fight a constant internal battle to make sure it’s not a performance, and I’m certainly no different) but because I believe God wants me to lead worship, and I believe he still wants me to, despite these struggles.
The more I think about the this season, which I’m still very much going through, the more I think there’s been a reason for it.
As is always the case with God.
I’ve found him in different places, discovered different ways of expressing my creativity. Perhaps the lesson has been that sometimes I need to break out of the mould, and not simply rely on meeting God through worship. That will always be a part of my relationship with him, but I think he’s telling me that I need to be cultivating other parts as well.
And so whilst I’m sure this will be an ongoing process, I’m starting to see spring appearing. Buds of different flowers I’ve never seen before. A different perspective.
In it’s own way, it’s extremely exciting.