We all have a tendency to approach what we want to do, where and how we want to serve and what we don't want to do through the lens of our own preference. What's in it for me? What will help me grow most? What will give me the most opportunity to develop?
Sunday is about serving. Not about our opportunity.
Sure. Do you grow on Sunday? Yeah. And you still should. But the main point for each of us when we gather as a church? To serve the church.
Serve what the moment needs, not your agenda.
Honestly, if you're just looking for your chance to get on the big stage, or an outlet for you to use what you've been given and showcase, the church isn't the place for you.
At least not our church.
You won't get in the spotlight because you're the most talented. Or because you've proven you're good enough.
Jockeying for position won't work.
Jealousy is a powerful thing. We compete and compare because we are afraid we might not get our shot, that we might miss our moment.
Do you actually believe there is enough room for both of us to serve side by side, to coexist and to actually flourish? Or do you believe you have to make and take the opportunities when they come so they don't dry up?
American idol is all about getting your big shot. Proving that you have what it takes.
The church is all about serving the moment. Proving that you aren't the point.
Frankly, the church doesn't need you. The church doesn't need me.
We think they do…like the world won't continue without us. And in all honesty the church often sends that message - "we really need a keys player.... Can you do it...??!"
But what do we really need to be the church?
We need the word of God and we need the people of God. We need our voices. To be a place where everyone comes together and has a role. We need Jesus to be present.
We don't need the drum fill, a vocal adlib or killer guitar tone. God doesn't need us to add to anything.
Now I'm sorry if you feel like I'm minimizing what you do. Like I don't value it.
Actually I value it immensely... At least when it's in proper alignment.
What does proper alignment look like?
You serve the moment.
Not your agenda.
When your skill, your craft, your lick is coming to serve, then we need what you bring.
Here's a few ways you would know if you're serving the moment or your agenda.
You think you didn't do well if no one compliments something you did? You're serving your agenda.
You find yourself always thinking you could do it better than someone else, you're serving your agenda.
You have to wedge in your flair or unique style to prove you deserve to be there. You're serving your agenda.
On the flip side, if you're willing to play something different than you planed, even different than you rehearsed because there was an unexpected change, you're serving the moment.
If you can leave at the end of the day having never played anything fancy, being ok if someone thinks you're just an average musician (even if your not) because the moment didn't need you to showcase? You're serving the moment.
Check yourself. I'll check me.
And do everyone a favor and get the servant heart infront of the desire to excel.
When you do, you will indeed excel in the end. It will just not be limited to all about you. It'll be much much bigger than that.
The fear is that you will never excel if you do move out of having it be all about your chops. But the truth is the team will excel and you are a part of the team. And when the team wins you win.
This is for you. We replicate what we model. What gets celebrated gets repeated.
We do a disservice to Jesus and the integrity of building a healthy church when we allow unhealthy ambition to exitst. When we tolerate attitudes of premadonas and accept that "it just comes with the territory of having musicians involved" we allow the talent to be that which is cherished and esteemed. When what should be cherished and esteemed is the recognition of a Savior. And it's not your guitar playing that set people free. It was the One who hung on a cross.
If we always put the most talented person on the platform we will single handily create, build and facilitate a culture of striving and an environment where people jockey for position.
What if we put the people with the right heart to serve and an ability to do it with excellence, but the excellence never overruns the heart attitude? We will single handedly create an environment where people are fans and encouragers of eachother. A place where skills come together and function to serve the greater good; the good of God being recognized and encountered.
So it's really up to us.
What do we want as our end game?
A culture of striving or a culture of serving?
Let's be those that stop striving and trying to prove and start serving.