Captain Kirk

By Stephen M. Newman
Founder, and Author of Experiencing Worship
November 30, 2023

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Where No Man Has Gone Before

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?

The process was not a quick fix. I did not all the sudden become a great worshiper and worship leader. I still am lacking in my ability to lead out like I want to. I still desire to help others go further in their personal times with the Lord, as well as in our corporate worship together. Patience is the key. Just as I cannot become a great man of God overnight, becoming a worshiper and worship leader takes time. The Lord leads me where He wants me to go, and I strive to not get out of His will even when it pertains to my worship. I try to keep things biblical and meaningful to Him.

Where are you taking your people? Where are you as a worshiper in your church? Is your worship leader growing? Is he challenging you to move forward in your relationship with the Lord? If you are a worship leader, then I pray that the Lord will continue to grow you into the leader He has called you to be. If you are a worshiper in a church or a part of a worship team, I encourage you to grow in your own worship experiences. If your worship leader has become stagnant in his leadership, pray for him. We all need encouragement and prayer. We are all in the same cause to be more Christ-like with each new step we take. Seek His face with all your heart, soul and mind. Meditate on His word daily, and become consumed with knowing Him and being in His presence. Get council from your peers and other men and women who are awesome worshipers. Do whatever it takes to help your people!

Boldly go where no man has gone before. Even David, in all his attempts to become an awesome worshiper of God, didn't go as far as he could have. Who will lead them? If you are a worship leader, God has called you to lead. If you are in leadership in a worship ministry, God has called you to lead. If you are a worshiper who truly values worship in the life of believers, then we need you! It takes many to do the work of the Lord. Worship has been neglected in the church for far too long. Seek Him in worship. Go where you haven't been before in your private worship, then you will be able to help others go where they have never gone before. There is no final frontier in our relationship and worship with the Lord.

Stephen M. Newman
Founder, and Author of Experiencing Worship
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