I am not a Trekkie, but I remember well the phrase that opened every episode in the old days, "To boldly go where no man has gone before." If you've ever watched Star Trek, you know that it is a saying that is not easy to forget. Either it was very catchy or I just heard it too many times and it stuck with me.
When I think about my role as a worship leader, I am reminded of this catchy phrase from Star Trek. Where can I take those in my congregation in worship? How far will they go in worship? Will they boldly go anywhere in the pursuit of worship, or will their worship experience stagnate and become routine? I've heard it said that you can't lead the people where you have never been. This is an especially true statement in the ministry of worship. If I haven't been before the Lord in true worship, then surely I will not be able to take the people there. If my worship is rote singing and playing, then that is all the people will see and know. Worship teaching is a very slow process.
I know people in churches past who never understood what worship was, and they had never grown in their experience as a worshipper. The song service was nothing more than that..... a song service. I asked myself, "Why won't they surrender to worship? Why won't they become consumed with standing before the same God who saved them from eternal death and separation from himself? How can they come to church week to week and not be moved past the point of offering lip service to offering genuine praise and worship to the Lord?"
As I pondered on these and many other questions that often lead to frustration in the ministry to which I have been called, I discovered that I didn't know where to take them. I had not been in the Lord's presence enough in my own life to help others. I wasn't leading anyone anywhere.
What to do? I began to seek the Lord and worship Him everyday in my personal worship times. I began to read and study as much as I could. Prayer for those in my church, and for myself, became an integral part of my daily journey as I sought to lead them in true heartfelt worship. It was my responsibility to help them understand, right?