Before you read this blog I want you to pray that God will open your heart. This blog is not meant to criticize anybody, it’s meant to teach. If you read the blog and you feel offended, it’s between you and God. I am only doing what God has instructed me to do.
If you haven’t read the blog entry before this one, go and read that one first, as the blog will continue day by day until I have said all God wants me to say. You might miss something if you don’t read them all.
This morning in the shower I asked God how to start this series. We will start with the musicians found in church bands.
Most churches are very proud of the qualified musicians they have in their worship teams. Many of them have B.Musicology degrees. They are qualified musicians. The question I have for you is this: Should only qualified musicians be allowed in a worship team? Most times when I ask the question I get a yes, followed by a ‘God deserves only the best’. True, God deserves the best. But there is a difference between a qualified musician and a skilled musician. Let me explain.
God called the Levites to serve in His temple. In those days there was no sheet music, no music theory, nothing. Songs were handed down from one generation to the next. And if you look in the Old Testament, you will see that the most skilled musicians were called for service in the temple. There are many qualified musicians today, who are not skilled enough to play in a church. Yes they can play the most awesome compositions written by the great masters such as Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, but they cannot worship. They cannot play by ear. I know a woman like that – you can put any piece of sheet music in front of her and she will play it beautifully, but if you ask her to play something by ear, she battles. I know another woman with three degrees in music, but yet, if she sits behind a piano to worship, God’s presence fills the room and people start crying. What is the difference between the two? One is skilled and called to be a Levite, the other is qualified and that is where it ends.
We tend to fill our worship teams with qualified people instead of skilled and called people. Every person capable of playing an instrument is not called for worship service. Those called are Levites and when they start playing, you can FEEL the presence of God. It overwhelms you! And it’s not always extremely skilled people either. This weekend I witnessed a little boy of about 7 or 8 years old, who played basic chords on a piano and when his mother started singing, I just broke down. God’s presence overwhelmed me. Why? He is a Levite and so is his mother.
We audition potential worship team members by evaluating their musical ability instead of evaluating their anointing. We evaluate their credentials instead of evaluating whether they are skilled enough to follow Holy Spirit and play what God wants us to play instead of what we planned to play. Worship teams need people who are skilled enough to play whatever song, in whatever key, without having to scramble for a piece of paper every time. We limit God by choosing a few songs and sticking to a preset program. We limit Holy Spirit through qualified musicians.
If you are in a worship team – ask yourself whether you know that you know that you are called to be a Levite. Fast and pray until you get an answer if you have to.
If you are a musician in a worship team – when last did you practice your skills to play whatever whenever just to please God?
If you are a worship team leader – ask yourself whether the people in your team are qualified or skilled. Are they anointed? Are they called to serve as Levites? If you don’t know, you have some homework to do. Evaluate your team’s performance. I am not taking about musical performance. I am talking about worship performance. It’s easy. Watch the congregation the next time you play. Are they singing along or are they worshiping? The difference is huge and so easy to see. If they are singing along, it’s time for change.
We need Levites in our worship teams. Levites who are anointed. Levites who will walk to God’s throne room with the congregation following.