Nehemiah 8:10 is used often to project the joyful experience of the Christian walk. I will tell you that I have used the last part of this verse often in worship to motivate people to be joyful in their worship expression. However, this verse has had new meaning to me this past 15 months. After nearly 26 years of ministry at our last church there was a season of great grief. We left people we loved and poured into so you can understand why it hurt to leave. When you read the passage in Nehemiah the verse says … “do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” We often miss the context that God’s joy in us overcomes our grief.
Ray was invited to be a guest on The Worship Spot podcast. Check out their conversation, and subscribe to The Worship Spot podcast for more great conversations on worship!
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been studying 1st and 2nd Timothy. Essentially, it spends a lot of its page space discussing the do’s and do not’s of church leadership and reminding Timothy of some key spiritual concepts. As I’ve been unraveling my calling into ministry over the past year, I have thought long and hard (and lost much sleep) over how to go the distance as an honorable vessel for the Lord and not burn out or let my calling/passion fade. Obviously, you can't figure all that out for a life time within the course of a year, but I’ve accumulated some knowledge that keeps me from drifting. If nothing else, it'll always serve as a baseline heart-check for me.
Leadership has been a lifelong study of mine. If I had to make one definitive statement concerning the topic it would be: “Everything in life rises and falls on leadership." When I observe a great leader, I try to get close to them and listen to them. Then I try to absorb their values and emulate their behaviors. There are many factors involved in leadership... vision, ability, opportunity, training, etc.
There have been many discussions on the topic of why our congregations have stopped singing. Many have brought out good points that we should address but in reality each congregation has its own personality. With that in mind, every church is probably going to define “engaged” in a different way. I have lead corporate worship experiences for nearly 48 years and there are some questions that I might suggest you consider to evaluate your congregations singing.