Over the past few years we have heard a lot of people talking about how worship leaders should not be rock stars. You have probably even had conversations about it with other worship leaders or members of your team. It is definitely one of the first things that a new team member hears in their training at my church. I think we are all pretty clear that leading worship is not a platform for seeking personal fame or making a name for ourselves, but where do we go from here? If we are going to successfully avoid this pitfall, we have to be clear about the path leading away from the rock star mentality.
The path leading away from the rock star mentality begins with establishing a proper definition of humility.[quote]The path leading away from the rock star mentality begins with establishing a proper definition of humility.[/quote]
The Wrong Definition of Humble
When I was younger I worked really hard at trying to be humble. The problem was that I had a misguided definition of humility. For me, to be humble was to refuse to accept any reward, encouragement, or praise for anything I had done. I thought being humble meant that you had to deflect all compliments or accolades. I thought it meant that you had to always shy away from being confident in your abilities because it would appear prideful. I thought that if I was successful in any way it would be seen as seeking fame for myself. I know this sounds like crazy-talk to some of you, but this was my reality.
Over time, this mentality ate away at my ability to make decisions and impaired my ability to lead. I couldn?t pursue opportunities with everything I had because I had no real confidence.
Once I started to wake up to this, I began to realize that my definition and God?s definition of humility did not match. Once God peeled away the layers, I realized that instead of being humble, I was really giving in to two things:
1. A fear of failure.
If I didn?t risk anything, failure wouldn?t hurt as bad even though it meant disobeying God. It was like being in a boxing match and not throwing any punches for fear of uncovering my face and getting hit. Keeping your guard up without throwing punches is one way to survive, but it is no way to win.[quote]Keeping your guard up without throwing punches is one way to survive, but it is no way to win.[/quote]
2. A desire to be liked by everyone.
If I did not talk or act with confidence, people would not think I was arrogant. I was very judgmental of what I perceived to be arrogant people. I was jealous of confident people. My coping mechanism was to swing the complete opposite way and constantly self-deprecate.
I thought I was being humble, but really I just didn?t have a backbone.
The last thing we need in the kingdom of God is a bunch of worship leaders marching into battle who refuse to throw punches and have no backbones. If we are leading the charge on the spiritual battlefront, we need to be more confident than anyone. This is why we need a new definition of humility?one that includes confidence instead of excluding it.
A New Definition of Humility
My old definition of being humble was really just plain sin. It was distrust. It was walking in fear and not faith. This kind of humility does not honor God in the least. It is another example of Satan taking truth and distorting it just enough to confuse us and stall us out.
Confidence and humility are not mutually exclusive. In fact, real confidence is found in the context of true humility.[quote]Real confidence is found in the context of true humility.[/quote]
Humility before the Lord always begins with a recognition of who He is and who you are not.
He is creator.
He is ruler.
He is King.
He has the final word.
He is pure.
He is perfect.
And you are not.
Because of Christ, though, you are adopted into God?s family. Your past record of sins is wiped clean. You are made pure and you are forgiven. You don?t have to live in fear. You have the Holy Spirit of God living in you! You have God?s invitation to come near to Him and know Him. You have God?s clear command to love and teach others to love.
In light of this, let me ask you one question:
Who should be more confident than someone who follows Jesus?[quote]Who should be more confident than someone who follows Jesus?[/quote]
We should be the most confident and bold people on the planet! It should be oozing out of our pores. We have been given permission to live freely and walk in ultimate forgiveness. Our place in eternity is secured and our purpose in the here and now is clear. Christ has given us the most important message to bring to the ends of the earth and the power to do it.
This is what true humility looks like!
Therefore, I urge you,?brothers and sisters, in view of God?s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,?holy and pleasing to God?this is your true and proper worship.
Romans 12:1 (NIV)
My old definition of humility was sacrifice in the wrong context, but true and proper worship is sacrifice in the right context. In view of God?s mercy, I can confidently lay down life and my lift up my voice.[quote]True and proper worship is sacrifice in the right context.[/quote]
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)
The rock star seeks honor out of context. They want to be lifted up right now and without having to humble themselves. God’s servant seeks submission and welcomes humility. In turn, they are given true honor in the right time.
What is the path leading away from the rock star mentality?
Be radical in your pursuit of humility and in your obedience to God, then walk with confidence. This is how God measures awesome. Be humble, but be awesome.