I awoke yesterday to the tragic news that a young guy I really loved and had spent some time with at summer camp had just taken his own life. So, praise and worship leaders, it prompts me to ponder what the right perspective is, and ask the question, “What is important in your life?”
He was a great guy, maybe a little awkward at times, but loved by his family, his many friends and almost everyone he met. He was fun, witty, smart and seemingly doing OK, but no one knew the inner torments he faced. I never saw this coming. He told no one, he faced his demons alone and died alone by a highway. It breaks my heart. He will be missed. He had so much potential, and this should never had happened.
Now suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem… it is never the best option, that’s for sure! But it is sometimes seen by people as a way out of pain, a door to get away from things when there seems to be no other way out.
But it is a false dawn, it is a lie from the devil, and it usually comes about when someone’s perception of what’s really important in life is distorted.
So, as worship leaders and as Christians in general, i seems to me we spend so much time pursuing things that, in the long run, don’t really matter that much.
We get upset about things that a month, a year, even a day or two down the road, we cannot even remember! We take things so personally in our church and our ministry. We get so heated, and in the midst of all that, maybe we should be stepping back and seeing things the way God sees them. Maybe we need His take on what’s happening in our ,lives, and what is really important in life.
The Right Perspective… What is really important in life?
To answer this question properly, we need to step back from our lives, businesses, activities and yes, even our ministries to see things from a different point of view… the right perpective…God’s perspective! While we are embroiled in the hum drum, the day to day tasks and so-called normal life activities, we kind of get wrapped up in all that and very often fail to see the big picture, the view of what is really important.
Worship leading is important, to a degree, but how do you measure that? How can you know what is and isn’t important, and how each one relates to the other. Sure, I want to be successful in my businesses, family and ministry, but at what cost?
I believe that 3 things, and only 3 things are eternal… God, His Word and the souls of men and women.
Failure to invest in these 3 areas amounts to putting time and effort into things that, in the long run, are not that important.
Is Money Important?
Of course money plays a role, but is it important? I would argue yes, and no. Yes because with money you can care for and positively impact the lives of people around you, and their lives are really what is important, right?
No, because all the money in the world does not guarantee happiness, but at least you can be miserable in comfort!
Are People Important?
Yes, the people in your life are important. They are one of the three eternal things, so we need to make sure that we are prioritizing them correctly, not walking all over them to achieve a goal that ultimately doesn’t really matter that much.
Am I being harsh? Probably, but I see this happening all the time, where things are said to band members, family members or others and they are hurt or mistreated so we can achieve an arbitrary goal.
Investing in people, especially those close to you, is a long term and powerful investment. Loving them, caring for them, being there for them, it’s all important in life, and if you want them to love you, try loving them unconditionally first!
People must never become collateral damage for your goals, wants or dreams… NEVER!
So, God’s perspective is the right perspective, and He wants us investing into those 3 areas… Him, His Word and the souls of men and women.
If you are obsessive like me (true confessions), then you are likely to become obsessed with whatever you do, including ministry. That’s good for your ministry, but can become a disaster for those around you, especially those close to you like your family.
Knowing how bad I am at this, I insist on taking a day off with my wife every week. Like most of you, I am involved in church ministry so Sunday is never a day off, and therefore my wife and I chose Fridays to spend together. My business has never suffered as a result, and neither has my ministry, because I put the things that really matter first!
I also choose to spend the very first part of my day praying, meditating and reading the Word of God. If you are a worship leader, I would hope that you make it a priority to do the same, because I cannot believe that you can function at your peak in ministry while neglecting the Word of God. That may not be your thing, and that’s fine, but it is really my thing, and it sets my day up to be more productive. It focuses my on what is really important, and for an obsessive workaholic like me, it is essential.
So if it is not really your thing… MAKE IT YOUR THING!
As I think back to my friend, who was so down and so low that he took his own life, I once again make the promise… to myself, my family, my God and those around me… to keep the main thing the main thing!
What’s really important in life? Life is, and the things that are eternal, including people. Don’t waste your time investing heavily in something that doesn’t matter. Business, money, success… they are tools that should serve the things that do matter in life!
Here’s a closing thought about what is important
Only 3 things last forever… God, His Word and the souls of men and women.
Investing heavily in anything that is not these things is foolishness. In the end, these are the things which will remain for eternity, and everything else is going to burn.
You don’t want a fire sale… You want to keep the right perspective, your heart close to Jesus and your life on fire for Him. Put more effort into God, His Word and those you love, and watch Him multiply this in every area of your life, and see Him explode your praise and worship ministry as only His Spirit can!