1. Define the responsibilities of “Worship Leadership” in the Church today?
judging only by my own experiences, it seems that local expressions of the body of Christ need a particular kind of sensory experience (somewhat unique to each local church) in order to genuinely worship God musically. so the lowest common denominator among free church evangelicals in my immediate cultural vicinity seems to be this: that the responsibility of worship leadership is to provide that sensory experience.
2. How should the worship experience change for someone, as they transition from the “Congregation” to the “Worship Leadership Team”?
if the answer to question #1 above is true, then someone's worship experience as they transition from congregation to leadership should change in at least two ways. first, they should be willing and able to genuinely worship through music apart from their preferred sensory experience. second, they should be providing initiative and direction for the congregation.
3. What will be your greatest areas of “Spiritual Struggle” if you begin (or continue) to serve on the worship team (Answer honestly… This will be an opportunity for the pastoral team to help you grow and will not be shared with the full team)?
most immediately, i anticipate continuing to struggle with the truth of the words i use (and encourage others to use) during musical worship. to a lesser degree, i also struggle with the question of the sincerity of others.
further toward the horizon, i anticipate a very difficult yet intentional struggle with the question of whether the purpose to which we put worship leadership is actually facilitating biblical worship. it is not a question of whether people are worshipping, but rather a question of whether i am helping or hindering when i, as a congregant or as a leader, choose to participate in the particular format of rituals chosen by my local church.
4. Why do you feel that you should be/ or continue to be a part of the “Worship Leadership Team”?
apparently my vocal ability, combined with what others perceive as a genuine attitude of worship, has helped others to genuinely worship. i have been told this by many different people from many different churches on many different occasions throughout my life since junior high, and i believe that even if i did not enjoy worship music so intensely, i would still be willing and able to serve in this area.
that is the benefit for others. the benefit for me is that i am continually faced with questions that challenge me to refine not only my beliefs (the mental assent i give to ideas) but also my discipleship (faithful action that gives my beliefs expression and, i hope, integrity). this challenge comes not only from the unique perspective of worship leadership (as opposed to followership), but also from exposure to other leaders, whose differing perspectives force me to grow. (i am blessed to be surrounded by perspectives which force me to grow toward Christlikeness, which is not the case for every growing person, nor for every situation that forces growth.) conversely, i am told by others that i provide them that same challenge.
5. Have you prayerfully considered joining the Worship Leadership Ministry, and have you discussed this with your spouse, family and/or other significant people in your life?
i have in the past both prayerfully considered and also discussed with others my participation in worship team leadership. neither of these actions has ever discouraged me from worship leadership itself. i have not recently revisited this topic with the intention of critical re-examination.
6. Is there anything in your life that would hinder you from serving with right motives or with whole-hearted commitment?
i can think of nothing in my life right now, nor do i have reason to expect anything in particular, that would hinder my motives or my commitment, except perhaps a radical paradigm shift resulting from the second struggle mentioned in my answer to question #3 above, which is unlikely to take place anytime soon.
7. Do you spend time in the Word and in Prayer? Please specify how often and how consistently. Please also describe your goals and methods.
i spend time and effort in the Word multiple times a week, mostly through conversation (whether one-sided or interactive) with others, as well as through that which i can remember 'unaided' (verbatim and otherwise). my inundation with Scripture throughout my entire life has been both blessing and curse-- the former because i have become familiar with Scripture as some are familiar with a favorite movie, and the latter because it's possible i am now somewhat inured to it.
my goal in passing on Scripture to others is usually to inform, correct, encourage, or explain. my goal in discussing it with others is similar, except that those verbs apply to myself just as much as to them. generally my methods include defining words, supporting one passage with others, finding overarching themes throughout the Bible, comparing and contrasting its' narratives with our own lives, transporting the intent of a passage from its original context to ours today (with painstaking caution to preserve its meaning), and praying Scripture in order to be apprehended by it internally rather than simply vocalizing it.
i pray with the intent of praying perhaps once or twice a week. more often i am simply aware that God is aware of my thoughts. most days i will automatically submit many of my thoughts to God as i think them, ready to hear back but depending mostly on Scripture and Christian fellowship to receive from Him a response to my prayers. the exception is when i request something of Him, in which case i will often direct my attention more outward than inward, in order to better notice His work.
my belief is that prayer, insofar as it is intended to change things, is as much (if not more) intended to change the pray-er as it is to change outside circumstances. in keeping with this, the content of many of my more intentional, ritualized prayers (i.e. ending with "amen" or beginning with an address to God) will have to do with my heart, my behavior, my character, etc.
8. How are YOU being discipled as a part of our church (Examples: Men’s or Women’s Groups, Young Married’s, Life Groups, Navigator Series Classes, Youth Ministry)?
the pastors at my church serve as both purposeful mentors and walking examples to me. my discipleship under them often comes in the form of either encouragement or tasks entrusted to me, both of which have significantly changed my life for the better. in addition, their words and actions are more than simply un-sinful: in light of my beliefs, they make me want to imitate them as they live out Christ. Jerad Mendel, Heather Mendel, Cameron Unruh, and Beth Unruh disciple me in these ways.
additionally, i find that the more i disciple and serve others, the more i am shaped apart from the conscious intentions of fellow Christians to shape me. i am constantly impressed with 'bodily activity' (that is, activity as part of the body of Christ) as an irreplaceable Christ-influence.
9. Have you completed any of the following studies? (Circle All that Apply)
a. Growing Strong
b. Bachelor of Arts in Religion at Vanguard University of Southern California
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