This week was full of meetings and preparations for an event called the Worship Collective. Once every month the worship team at Austin Stone puts on this event to encourage, equip, and empower the community of believers who serve in worship and production.
This Thursday was a truly amazing time where I witnessed God at work and saw the Gospel lived out by a Church body who is dedicated to the person of Jesus. One thing that has continued to resound within me is the concept that the church does not exist to serve our gifts, but that our gifts exists to serve the church. Too often we seek a platform so that our gifts or talents may be seen by others. I know I've done this many times without giving it a second thought.
It is vital that leaders in the church understand their role is to glorify God alone. "He must increase, I must decrease!" (John 3:30)
Here are ten basic truths that we seek to follow as worship leaders, shepherds and pastors at the Austin Stone Church:
1). We esteem the word of God
2). We depend on the power of the Holy Spirit.
3). We love and worship Jesus above everything.
4). We are a community of shepherds.
5). We choose camaraderie over comparison.
6). We choose servanthood over stardom.
7). We are not moved by applause or criticism.
8). We value excellence in everything we do.
9). We focus on character over competency.
10). We consider others more significant than ourselves.
All of these values hit home for me, especially number eight, the value of excellence in everything we do. Worship pastor, Aaron Ivey made the point that even as a boy, Christ grew in wisdom and stature. (Luke 2:52) As children of God we should also continue to grow in the gifts God has given us. The Church (the body of Christ) should reflect Christ with excellence in all that we do.
I will close with this passage from Hebrews 10:
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."