Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Taking Center Stage


Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

This past weekend, my husband, Danny, and I attend the LIFT conference hosted by Passion City Church here in Atlanta.  It is a two-day event geared toward worship leaders and filled with praise songs, prayers, and lots of practical, encouraging advice for those of us responsible, week after week, for leading our congregations in contemporary worship.

How inspiring and upLIFTing it is for us to sing praise songs with some of the best artists in Christian music:  Chris Tomlin; Matt Redmon; Christy Nockles; Kristian Stanfill, and David Crowder.  Wow!!!  All musicians/songwriters whom Danny and I admire greatly.  In fact, we play so many Chris Tomlin's songs at church, we jokingly call our band, Crossroads, the Chris Tomlin Tribute Band.

And, the message from Pastor Louis Giglio?  Something every worship leader needs to hear, to know, and take to heart:  It's not about us; it's about Jesus.  Period!

Our song set might be rocking, our sound system top notch, our lead singer the best in the business, but if we are not centered in Christ Jesus, no one who attends our services will see the glory of God.  And, isn't that why we do what we do?  If it isn't, it certainly should be!

I don't think there is a musician out there who can't identify with the dilemma of performance versus worship.  Yes, we naturally want to do our very best while leading the service.  One wrong note or glitch in rhythm leaves us cringing with embarrassment.  We so want our congregation to see us as "perfect" and without blemish.

But, there is only One who is perfect . . .

And, in order to lead others to Jesus, we first must abide in, belong to, and find our authentic selves in Him.  He must be our center, our focus.  He must be the reason we sing.  He must be our all and all.

Christ, not us, needs to take center stage.  That's where He belongs.  He is the one toward whom we need to point in worship.

~

On the stage of your life, who is at the center?

Will you pray with me?
It is all too easy, Father, for us to take credit and accolades without giving the honor and glory to You and to Your Son, Jesus Christ, and thanking You for the gifts we have.  May we lift high Your name and point others toward You in all we think, say, and do.  May we always give You center stage in our lives.  Amen.


18 comments:

  1. So beautiful! It's so true that we want to "shine" but it's not about us, it's about the Lord! It also seems we're kind of on the same wavelength. My last post is on a similar topic! Love and blessings to you!

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Vrndavana! Yes, I DO think we share the same wavelength, my friend. I think I might have missed your last post, so will have to check on this.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. As ever, Martha, beautiful said. I

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    1. Thank you, Brenda, you are so kind! Thanks for coming by today.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. In every ministry, I guess, there's a need to reflect on who's who on the center stage. We naturally represent God but if it's us who dominate then Jesus gets pushed away.

    I'm so glad you had a wonderful time with Danny and all the Christian musicians present in the gathering. The title Lift is so apt.

    I pray with you that God may always increase and 'I' decrease. I'll be reminded 'always' to put God at the center of everything.

    Lots of love to you Martha and thank you!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Melissa, and for sharing this on your feed!
      Yes! May we decrease and God increase in everything we do. Even if we are not in a ministry position, we should reflect God's love to others daily.
      And, we did have a great time! Very refreshing for the both of us.
      Thanks for praying with me!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Martha, this post reminded me of something my nana used to tell me. Whenever I had to perform, take a test, or do anything important, she'd say, "Bella, before you start, say a prayer and ask the good Lord to be at the helm. Ask him to be in charge of guiding you and helping you do what you have to do under his tutelage." Would you believe to this day I still do this? God always takes center stage in anything I do. I trust him blindly. I'm glad you were able to participate in this musical activity! :)

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Bella!
      What a wise Nana you had! (I had a nana, too!) Since you still practice what she taught you so long ago speaks volumes. Thank you for sharing this story here!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I love the idea of the Lord being center stage. I also love the fairly recent idea of all of us - musicians or not - playing to "an audience of One." I so respect worship leaders who can live in that tension of musical excellence on one hand, and abandoned worship and leadership on the other. Thanks, friend, for what you and Danny do week in and week out to lead your congregation into the presence of Jesus.

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping in, Andy, and for your kind words about our ministry. I will be sure to share with Danny.
      And, I love the concept that we are all playing to "an audience of One." (That's a song we do.) Because, in essence, that's what we are all doing, isn't it?
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Beautifully captured the essence of HIM.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Janu! Glad this post captured that essence of Him for you.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. It sounds like you had a very uplifting time! I love Galatians 2:20. I love that Christ is me now and that I have been relieved of being Leah all on my own. Sometimes that seems too big to conceive of.
    Love you sister!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Leah! Yes, we did have a wonderful time which we both needed. It was a blessing to be able to worship and not be the ones in charge for a change. :)
      And, it IS such a relief to simply let go and let God, isn't it?
      Love and blessings to you!

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  8. When you said there's only one who is perfect,I nodded in agreement. Then I read that you mean God and NOT my dog Blue. I didn't read this post to Blue, he's very sensitive.

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    1. Cairn, you absolutely crack me up! :) Thanks so much for making my day with your comment, and thanks for coming by!
      Love and blessings!

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  9. This speaks to my heart, Martha. Far too often have I hoped to be in the limelight because of the things I'm confident that I'm good at. But our talents do not belong to us. But God bestowed them upon us in order to serve His purpose. So He must definitely be the One at the center, in the limelight. :-)

    Thank you so much for the wonderful reminder of putting God at the center, Martha! God bless! <3 :-)

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Irene!
      You are so right when you say, "our talents do not belong to us." They are, indeed, on loan from God.
      May we ever keep Him at the apex and center of our lives so that His light can shine forth to those who most need to see it!
      Love and blessings!

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