“Don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.” Colossians 3:23-25 (MSG)
Every week I hear stories of people who came to our church or caught a service online and were impacted by our worship services – people who were giving church one last try; who weren’t even sure God existed; who were one the verge of completely giving up.
Hearing these testimonies and reading that passage in Colossians are reminders to me that it’s never okay to put a weekend service on autopilot. Every now and then I feel like I (or my team) deserve a break from the grind , especially after a grueling week like Easter or Christmas. I’ve been guilty of thinking that we’ll be fine just putting a few songs together that everyone knows and not sweat over the details. But in my 30 years of music ministry I’ve come to understand three important things:
- This could be someone’s first, only or last opportunity to hear the gospel and come face-to-face with God in worship. Every single week the Holy Spirit is leading people into our churches who need Jesus! If we don’t treat every weekend like it’s a big deal we will miss opportunities to reach hurting people.
- You may be setting yourself up for regret. At some point (and this is difficult for someone in their 20’s to understand) you’ll realize that you only have so many opportunities to lead the church in worship. I often think of the final scene in “Schindler’s List” – the painful regret of not sacrificing more to save more. The best prevention for regret is to view each service – each song! – as the most important one you’ll ever be a part of.
- Heaven is watching. Romans 14:12 says, “All of us will have to give an account of ourselves to God.” We should view each weekend as a privilege to serve our heavenly Father in a way that honors Him. God will judge those of us who took the stage in His name by how seriously we took those opportunities.
This is not a recommendation to make every weekend experience the most mind-boggling extravaganza you’re church has ever experienced. That’s not realistic. However, our passion for reaching people and giving God a proper worship offering should always be at the forefront of our service planning.
I encourage you this week, just as I do all of our worship leaders and teams, to dismantle the autopilot switch and erase the phrase “let’s just do a few slam dunk songs this weekend” from your thinking. God has big plans for the people who will join you for worship this weekend – don’t just do the minimum to get by.
This article was originally posted on the Seeds blog. Visit Seeds for free resources from Church on the Move.