Hindrances to Worship

By Debbi Shotlow
Worship Leader
October 16, 2017

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A Call to Inner Healing

They are out there in every service, at every Bible study, on our worship teams and in our prayer and cell groups. They could be a friend of yours, or even a stranger. It could be you or me, your husband, boyfriend, your children, aunts, uncles, cousins or your great, great, great grand pappy. The list can go on. They are wherever we lead worship, teach or preach. They are the “wounded,” those who cannot enter fully into the experience of worship. They are wounded so deeply that it hinders them from seeing Him clearly. The severity of pain is on different levels. Some of us have learned to function very well with it, and some of us can’t hide the pain as well. What I am about to say may not apply to everyone, but the coverage reaches deep and wide. A study that we as worship leaders should know and be familiar with is, The Psychology of Worship - Wounds that Hinder.

All of us have issues and dysfunction in our life that we must work through. We need to look at it and deal with it. While it may not be that easy for most of us, we can be aware of it and pray. When we came to Christ, we were saved spiritually and no longer separated from God. But, because of our fallen state, our emotional selves still need an inner healing. Only Christ can truly heal us through and through, and He is faithful to complete everything that concerns us - Spirit, Soul, Mind and Body.

As a worship leader we should be aware that just as we have been brought out of darkness into God’s marvelous light, there are those who have a much darker past than we do. This worship leader included. Some of these issues start way back in childhood. If you are involved with the youth ministry at all, these things are going on now. Some hindrances to worship that affect our congregation’s ability to enter into worship are:

The divorce of parents

Physical or sexual abuse

An alcoholic parent

Abandonment and neglect

Conditional love based on performance

A home filled with strife and disunity

Emotional abuse and harsh and inconsistent discipline

While each of these areas respectfully requires in-depth study, just knowing that these situations exist is sobering enough for me. From within our congregation, we utilize volunteers to fill our various department and ministries. This isn’t even mentioning the musicians and vocalists that serve on our teams and lead worship. I have often wondered why some people cannot get involved during the song service, let alone get involved with people from within the congregation. We are brothers and sisters belonging to one Father. We need to reach out and minister or serve these people. We are to let them know that God is concerned with every area of our lives. We cannot do this if we are hurting inside ourselves.

Beloved Worship Leader, even though we are on the front lines, we are not exempt from any of the above situations. I want to add more to the list:

Adultery

Abortion, Rape

Lesbianism …………… (do I dare go on?)

Pornography

Prostitution,

Drug Addiction

This stuff - “this UN-dealt with stuff” can hinder our worship leading. About two years ago, a worship leader in my county committed suicide because of the pressure of an adulterous relationship. Just to let you know how close this hit home, I recently had to deal with one of these areas. I consider myself to be pretty free in my worship unto God. In the minds of many that I serve, it would appear that I was free to them, too. But, God knew I was not. Then the Lord uncovered me, and once again I was laid bare before Him. I had to deal with an abortion issue that I had went through at age 18. Listen, I’m already in ministry - and I’m “still dealing with stuff I thought Jesus had taken care of. I knew I was forgiven but I didn’t know that I was set free. I didn’t see that part until I dealt with it in Bible Study for Post-Abortion Syndrome. After the study, I saw a difference in my worship leading and in my life because I could see Jesus a little clearer now. I wasn’t hiding behind the veil of covering the abortion up and not dealing with the reality of it. I had to face the fact that I murdered my child. I was forgiven the first time I asked for forgiveness, but I needed to be set free. I’m free and I can talk about it! (For more information on Post-Abortion Syndrome please contact any abortion clinic or ask a medical professional).

Looking back at the list, there are a few other things that I probably need to deal with. I can name at least five out of the thirteen I’ve noted. My husband and I have signed up for a Christian twelve-step program for damaged emotions. It doesn’t mean that we are “basket cases,” but it does mean we are working at trying to get healed through the power of the Holy Ghost in us. Our individual lives are healthier, and our marriage is stronger for it. The world will deal you a hand of “bad cards” and if you have never played the cards then it can be … “spoiled milk” or “rotten eggs.” You get the point! GET HEALED and pray for your congregation to be healed. The next time you see people not responding to the worship in the church - PRAY, because something may be going on much deeper than we think. Either they are learning or they are hurting.

“Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for every woman or man drawn to this article. I pray, Lord, for their inner healing, and I pray that you will heal and peel away every hurt in their life. Keep us free to worship you, God, and free to praise Your Holy Name. We are just like onions in your hand. Peel away at your discretion, even though we may cry, we know the soup is going to be better when you are done with us. In Jesus’ Name - Amen.”

If you are dealing with any of these issues, please consult a trained Christian professional counselor because sometimes pastors are not equipped to handle these situations in depth. Get yourself healed.









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