A few years ago, I attended a songwriter’s convention in Asheville, NC. This was something I had anticipated eagerly for a long time. The chance to network with other Christian songwriters and grow in my craft was exciting. And to do it in Asheville, one of my favorite cities on the planet, at the impossibly beautiful Billy Graham Training Center — well, that was just icing on the cake.
But there was a problem for me. I was struggling.
Leading worship and singing lead vocals onstage require tons of confidence. And I had none. The reason was simple: I didn’t think I was a good enough singer.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have plenty of confidence as a musician. But let’s just say that God didn’t bless me with an opera-quality voice. And every time I stepped up to lead a song, I had this nightmarish idea that people would cringe the moment I uttered a sound. To be honest, worship had become a burden on my heart, and it didn’t feel good.
Around the second day at the conference, I attended a breakout session led by Michael Neale, the worship leader at a very large church in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Michael was also a songwriter and artist for Integrity Music. This man could flat out SING.
After the session, I meandered up toward the podium and worked up the courage to introduce myself. I shared with him that I didn’t think I should be leading worship because I wasn’t a very good singer — especially compared to someone like him.
Michael was so kind.
“Bob,” he said, “I’ve never heard you sing, but I don’t need to.”
Then he spoke the words I’ll never, ever forget.
“The King has summoned you to sing for Him. Are you really going to tell Him no?”
In that moment, through the encouragement of this remarkable man, God changed my entire outlook on my role. Worship stopped being a burden and became a privilege. A joy. And an honor — the greatest honor I will ever know.
I don’t know where your heart is today. Maybe worship — or serving church — is a burden. Maybe it’s an obligation. Maybe it’s a chance for you to play rock star.
Even if you’re not a worship leader, my prayer for you today is that you’ll begin to view worship as a joyful privilege, one that God has called you specifically to do.
So I’ll end this by asking you the same question Michael Neale asked me: The King has summoned you to play for him. To sing for Him. To be an usher for Him. To greet people for Him. To love the unloved for Him. To be a blessing for Him.
Are you really going to tell him, “No”?