How God Makes You A Better Worship Leader

David Santistevan —  January 2, 2012 — 8 Comments

You may have noticed something strange about your life.

When you’re in your moment of glory, the peak of obeying God, you get leveled. Something happens that knocks the wind out of you and you feel lost.

But take heart, dear worship leader, God is about to launch you into a season of greater fruitfulness.

I have found that God uses pain for His sovereign purposes. I share more of my story here. Pain, difficulty, trial – God uses it all to make His children more effective in ministry.

Consider this verse in John 15:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

The verse both comforts and infuriates me. I’m comforted to know that God is sovereign over my pain. Nothing happens to me, a child of God, that He did not ordain and can use for my good.

But it’s also difficult to accept that God is going to prune me. And if he doesn’t, that means I’m not being effective in the first place.

To put matters into perspective, I don’t typically wake up in the morning asking for God to prune me. It sounds painful mainly because it really is.

God is not afraid of pain. He never intends to hurt you, but He knows what you need in order to serve His glory with your life. He knows how to keep you from becoming so self absorbed that you turn away from the cross.

He knows. And you must trust.

3 Truths About the Pruning Process

According to God’s Word, here’s some truths I’ve learned about the “pruning” process:

1. God desires for you to have maximum impact – this is without question. If you are currently bearing fruit, God will prune you to bear even more fruit.

2. God keeps you close – it’s impossible to bear fruit apart from abiding in Christ. One of the ways God will make you more effective is He’ll draw you even closer to Himself. He wants to bring you to a place where you say, “Apart from Christ, I can do nothing.”

3. God leads you to His Word – God knows that You need the word of God. Not just in a daily devotional sort of way, but His words actually abiding in you. When something abides, it has taken root. It is growing. It’s alive.

What’s the goal?

The goal, of course, is God’s glory. Everything God does is for the glory of God.

And while this may sound lame in our fame obsessed culture, this is actually the most productive, worthwhile endeavor you can focus your life on. The glory of God will endure forever and as you aim your life in that direction, you’ll find your life’s greatest purpose.

But the passage also says that God does this for your joy – that His joy might be in you and your joy may be full joy. Full joy can be found nowhere else. It’s an interesting paradox.

You find your life’s greatest joy as you magnify the glory of another – that of God Himself.

What Does This Mean for 2012?

This truth makes all the difference in 2012. Without sounding bleak, trials will hit you in 2012. Apparent setbacks may arise. But to know that God is working all things together for your good, His glory, and your joy is some of the greatest news in the universe.

As a child of God, things don’t just happen to you haphazardly. Behind it all is a loving designer, a patient Father, the grand architect.

As a worship leader, everything you face will only strengthen your leadership, if you allow it.

Which means 2012 is the year you will blossom. No matter what comes your way, God is making you a better worship leader.

No, He may not drop a Gibson Les Paul on your lap or miraculously improve your vocal skills, but every day God is aiming to teach you about worship – to make you the kind of worshiper the Father seeks.

Question: What has your experience been with trials and worship leading? How has it made you stronger? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

8 responses to How God Makes You A Better Worship Leader

  1. 1. God desires for you to have maximum impact – this is without question. If you are currently bearing fruit, God will prune you to bear even more fruit.

    This point is so true! I look forward to many great posts from you in 2012!

    By the way, I am starting something new on my blog called “Guest Post Fridays”. If you are interested, I would love for you to guest post on my site! You can right a new post or you can post an older one that you have written here. I am starting this new thing because it will help my readers discover new blogs that are similar to mine.

    If you are interested, just email me!

  2. Today is 16 years since my second child died during birth. I did not want to be that person after that happened…. the person I was, the person I am, the person I dreamed of being. The life I had all scheduled out for that person was changed when he died. I was going so fast and was so self absorbed in “my world” during that pregnancy that I had not even appreciated the life I had carried within me until it was gone.

    I really despised the passage in James, “give thanks for all kinds of trials that you might be complete and persevere” and today I find it proven. Giving thanks for trials to me is not a “oh I am so happy my baby died and he is in heaven.” or fantasy crap like that. It is about realizing when one can that the hard things are meant to form and mold and burn off the waste and to make us flexible, to allow us to change and seek what is worth keeping, what is pure and refined in his sight.

    I was angry at God, I denied his love, his protection, and eventually his very existence. Kind of a repeat performance for me. Emerging from a childhood where sexual, emotional and physical abuses were the norm, I had walked away from the God “thing” until having my first child at 21 as a young adult. And even in all this he remained who He is nearly every day. Even in my pain I asked Him to forgive me, to fix me, to make me whole, to show himself in a way I could tangibly hang onto him. I often had questioned how this God of Christianity could be the only God or be when everyone has such a different description and application of Him in their living. And also it seemed not many people really wanted to discuss “why” they really knew He is, or how they knew that. More often people just said I asked too many questions when I was a teen, and I was lucky in childhood as an adult I just got to see all the different boxes everyone put their version of God in. Due to moving a lot as a kid I ended up in a lot of different groups of believers.

    the last big crises of faith happened for me when I went to a training seminar for a church where you could pick from a lot of classes, and again I was astonished that even with in those classes there was conflicting information and advice in what was being taught. I guess I was still not able to handle this, I wanted it all wrapped up and secure, even though I knew that you cannot just walk by rote with God, I at least expected that those who called themselves Christ followers would 1)demonstrate that He exists and 2)not contradict each other in their teaching.
    Finding very little of this, instead of digging in closer to Him and asking those real questions that would have deepened my faith and walk, I kept going through the motions and trying harder until I was all broke down with no joy, love or faith once again.

    I gave up wanting to be a mom, I quit church,I stopped singing and serving others, I got a better paying job, I started drinking on my 40th birthday to fit in and feel more grown up.
    None of this made my life better, except for what He did in it. I discovered how being a mom is more than a duty. I found church is more than a place to go, I found singing was something my life is to do more than my vocal chords to exercise with, I got demoted, battled anxiety and depression and eventually was diagnosed with ADHD, so I am learning while managing this, I gave up drinking at age 43 as I was a choice to continue destroying myself for an artificial buzz here and there or find life in His rivers of plenty and peace. I don’t have very many answers on also how to have great work and family relationships, but He has been helping so much in this these past years. I appreciate the church that I wandered into that took me as is and loved me without pushing me into service, yet kept me involved until I could be of service. I appreciate the pastor who watched this time who said “he has used you in all of this mess” even when I did not see it that way.

    Without facing our sin, our wants that defy and deny him and shut out others… I think maybe we can never begin to really embrace Him for who He is. In that I thank him for this day, for all the troubles as well as the many good things that have been in my life. It is not my life even though I think and call it that a lot. It is not mine, I am His. I cannot come close to even beginning to show gratitude for that. But He helps me get a glimpse, a shadow of it from time to time. And He never stops working, loving, being just, even when we people won’t.

    I spent time in tantrums, in darkness, forgetting him except in the quiet times. In those I found the tiny piece left, and that was what built a new and stronger platform in my life. He was in the undefined and quiet places I had run from most of my life. Beyond the bologna being marketed in the streets. In the relationships I could not handle, the ugliness I could not bear in myself and others, and he trumps the desires I consume to drown out the shame, the needs I fill to insulate from the pain.

    My life is in Him and today we are doing laundry together. It starts with each person I interact with. With His care, preparation, and use, I can remain the sweet smelling undergarment he wears. And that is a warm place to be even in the storm, wear and tear of this life. I think he uses perma fire withstanding thread of something when he puts people to life.

  3. Wow David, excellent, excellent post.

    I’ve been pruned and broken many a time. :)

    Being led by His word and His spirit is so important and helpful.

  4. Jamie Niebergall January 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Our teaching pastor taught on Proverbs 3:5-6 yesterday to kick off the New Year and one of his main points was that if we lean on God’s understanding (not our own) our path will remain straight…NOT necessarily easy or comfortable, but straight nonetheless.

    I also found this quote yesterday from C.H. Spurgeon (who suffered from lifelong depression) and thought it related well to this idea (and this GREAT post!):

    “The way to stronger faith usually lies along the rough pathway of sorrow. I am afraid that all the grace that I have got out of my comfortable and easy times and happy hours, might almost lie on a penny. But the good that I have received from my sorrows, and pains, and griefs, is altogether incalculable.… Affliction is the best bit of furniture in my house. It is the best book in a minister’s library.”

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