This week I was saddened by the news of the passing of a great friend and brother in the Lord, and a wonderful praise and worship leader on his chosen instrument.
Bruno had been diagnosed just not that long ago with Mesothelioma, more precisely malignant mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the body’s internal organs, the mesothelium. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos.(courtesy of wikipedia)
He didn’t get much notice about his impending appointment with destiny, but he spent his last months on this earth talking to anyone who would listen about his Saviour, Jesus Christ, and how we can have the True Peace that only comes from God.
What is a Praise and Worship Leader?
Bruno was a worshipper. He was possibly one of the most anointed sax players I have ever known. In his own way, Bruno was actually a Worship Leader. You see, there is a common misconception that the “praise and worship leader” is just the one who organises the songs and stands up the front leading the congergation in the prepared songlist.
I want right here and now to dispell that myth. Anyone who occupies the “stage” whether you are the song leader, a musician or a backing vocalist, you are a Praise and Worship Leader. Yes, even the drummer is anointed to lead worship on his instrument. How? By playing your instrument to God, and worshipping Him with your instrument you are being a praise and worship leader.
An old pastor of mine used to say: “Leaders lead by example”. You know, even when you are not occupying a spot on the stage, and are standing in the congregation, you are still called to be a Worship Leader right there from where you stand. Your very act of worship will encourage others and lead them to do the same.
Bruno Was a Praise and Worship Leader on the Sax
I loved the way Bruno played his instrument. He was Jazz trained, and knew his way very well around the Tenor, Alto and Soprano Saxophone, as well as the Clarinet. We invited him to play on one of my albums. One of the songs is a jazz number called “Let’s not limit what we are” . Bruno came in and said what do you want me to play? Darin played him the song, and said “Just play as the Spirit leads”.
Darin pressed the record button, and Bruno played. By the time he had finished, we were in tears. The anointing was so powerful in that Studio, we were overwhelmed. Bruno knew how to worship God with his instrument.
20 years ago, I was in the same church as Bruno. I remember even then in worship, the Spirit would come on him as he played. The result was that people would be released, there would be healings and other miracles.
There are 4 keys to Bruno’s ability to be a praise and worship leader with his instrument.
1) Bruno was a true worshipper. He had an alive and active relationship with his God and Saviour. He knew about the amazing Grace of God that saved him and he was grateful for it. He loved his Jesus.
2) Bruno was skilled in his instrument. He was well practised and well rehearsed in the instruments he played as well as having a good knowledge of the songs.
3) Bruno was obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. When the anointing came on him, he did not back down, or quit, he played and played to God, to the best of his ability.
4) Bruno did not outplay his anointing. He knew how to be sensitive; when to play, and when not to play; when to play loud and when to play soft. His playing was not ego driven, it was not to show off, but to honour God and worship Him. .
These keys apply not only to Musicians, but also to singers.
Fellow praise and worship leader, we can all learn from Bruno. Like him, you too are called to be both a worshipper, and a worship leader. Get close to Jesus this week, and ask Him for a new boldness in worship. Love Him passionately; not just on Sunday morning, but every day. Worship Jesus in Spirit and in Truth, and allow His Spirit to reveal in you new facets of God’s Glory.
To the memory of Bruno, Have an overcoming week. God Bless you real good, and keep on striving to be the best praise and worship leader you can be, whatever your role in the team!