Hidden Opportunities

By Debbi Shotlow
Worship Leader
January 10, 2019

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I often get offended when people ask me what I do full-time as a Worship Leader. For some reason, I get offended more than I care to think about. Don’t ask me why - in my mind they should have at least a hint - “Worship Leader.” I didn’t realize that I got so offended until an associate of mine questioned my area of study. He said that his Bible College did not have a degree program in the area of Worship only Music. So did that mean that I had a bogus degree or what? (What’s up with that?) Is it me or does anyone else have this rub going on in their life? Anyway I needed to sit down with my friend and “school” him a little bit. We ended up with an understanding and an appointment to speak some more.

Just that simple statement threw me into a “funk” that only the Holy Spirit could have taken me out of. Many of us know that the area of Worship is new in our Bible Colleges, and those of you who did not know that you can achieve the Doctorate level should do a little homework. But, in general, the churches that we function in, the people around us, as well as our Senior Pasto,r may need us to loving enlighten their understanding about what we do. Some view us as Ministers of Music or Music Pastors, although these are good titles to have if you are “bent” in the music way. What about those of us who are “bent” in the worship way. (Like you or me)

Honestly, I know very little about music except I like to sing. I have basic music fundamentals and a little music theory thrown in for good measure. But ask me about worship and we can sit and talk for awhile. Oh yes, I write songs and hear all the arrangements in my head, but I can’t play one single instrument. (Boy, do I want to, though!) It ‘s not my gift. I have often questioned the Lord as to why I can not play, and why on earth would He put a worshiper as head of the Worship & Music Ministry at our church? He really does take the foolish things of this world to confound the wise and His children too!

This little mystery really started to work on my self-esteem concerning my job situation. I found myself in an identity crisis not knowing what to call myself. In conversation I would give myself titles that I thought people would understand. Titles like: Worship Pastor, Minister of Worship, Director of Worship & Music Ministries, Worship Leader, etc. My title would change depending on the understanding of the person that I was speaking to. After speaking to people, the message that came across was that I was the “Minister of Music.” (What’s up with that?)

So I found myself explaining the duties that I perform on a day to day basis. Department administration, the trips to the music store, scheduling, and the other stuff we do. Let face it, these descriptions did not do the job justice either. I quickly realized that I needed to go in-depth with explaining what I do daily. I found that many people began coming to me to tell them what I did on a day-to-day basis one by one.

You think maybe that God is speaking right about now? I yielded and the Holy Spirit started speaking directly to my heart. What an awesome opportunity to witness to someone. To tell them about worship… to help them get pass the door of salvation into the arms of an intimate Savior. I have begun to welcome those questions because now I can really impart some information to the inquiring minds. (Notice I wrote impart and not teach)

Whether we like it or not we are the lead worshipers in our church. We are saying with our lives that we know the way. People approach us and they want to get to know us on a more personal level. Not necessarily to know about your family life, but they are drawn to your heart of worship. God has gifted us with some endowments that make people want to follow us. (And you thought it was your good looks and your talents?) No way! God put certain gifts in us as worship leaders for His glory. We are outgoing, people persons, leaders, and we should be sensitive to His voice. (Are you with me?) John 15:5 states that He is the vine and we are the branches, if we abide in Him and He in us; we will bear much fruit for without Him we can do nothing.

If you don’t prune a plant properly, you can destroy it. Think about this opportunity to witness on a deeper level and for you to bear fruit. Worshipers are birthed in His presence and we have the keys and the knowledge to impart to others about that secret place. We, as worship leaders and pastors, want our congregation to just experience His presence once. For we know that when they do they will be hooked! I believe that God sends the people to us one by one so that we can impart that heart message much further.

I pray that God would continue to send many more people to us one by one. Just as Nicodemus came back to ask a question of Jesus, may we not miss any opportunity to introduce others to a more in-depth walk with Christ through true worship.

What an honor that has been given to us to be called lead worshipers for the King. To sing the songs of Zion lifting up His highest praise. To You belongs all glory Lord, be exalted in our praise that when others see us worship You, they will do the same.

© 2001/Debbi Barnett - Abiding Ministry Music










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