Perry Noble, one of the pastors whose blog I read regularly, recently posted a tribute to his worship leaders. I thought, "What a great idea." Like Perry, I absolutely LOVE our worship team leaders and members at Cobblestone Community Church.
(This post is dedicated to Sharla, Jamie, Matt, Julie, Julie, Deb, Justin, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Tony, Sean, Aaron, Chaz, Jeremy, and Kyle).
#1 – They don't "perform," they WORSHIP. They are musicians extraordinaire, but they are also true worshipers. Not everyone in the room on Sundays sees this, but I do: their worship comes out through their fingers, drumsticks, harmonies, and dedication to their ministry. I'm usually too focused on God myself to notice what they're doing, but occasionally it blesses me, for example, when I see Kyle close his eyes and sing the words, or when Johnny lifts his hands (and drumsticks) in praise in the drum booth.
#2 - They love the church. Cobblestone is not their "gig," it's their CHURCH! They are unfailingly supportive and involved in the church's mission. And as a pastor, I know some of my strongest prayer support comes from the people on that platform each week.
#3 – They have servants' hearts. They do WAY more than play and sing on Sundays. They put in untold hours of practice, preparation, and playing (sometimes two nights a week practicing and another night leading worship at FUEL or House of Prayer, in addition to Sundays!). Then they ALSO show up to paint walls, hang screens, adjust sound and video, AND MORE! They are among the most dedicated servants I have EVER known in thirty years of ministry!
#4 – They are missional. They know--and model--that leading worship isn't only about the music. It's about the mission. They know it's about prayer. About unity. About loving each other. About setting an example. About God. About those who don't yet know the love of God in Christ.
#5 – They are creative. I have asked these guys to attempt a song they'd never done before, or WRITE one, or put together some kooky video or create some prop or obtain 400 objects of some kind, and they go to it, and put in extra time researching or practicing to make it happen. They've never said no. They bust their butts (and sometimes their budgets) to accomplish the worship goals of every single worship celebration.
#6 – They love each other. I absolutely LOVE it that our musicians are not just doing worship together, but doing life together. They will get in each other's faces (OFF the stage). They will party together. They cry together. They support one another. And I won't tell you how the younger guys express themselves to each other. But the point is, if the whole church could take their cues from these folks.... wow!
#7 – They lead ME to God. It's impossible to say what a blessing it is for me, as a man, as a pastor, and as a worshiper, to be led into the presence of God--and often knocked down and even knocked around--by what God does in and through Under Cover and Con Brio. Many pastors (and I've been one) worship irregularly themselves because they are the givers week after week to God's people. But EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY (and many Fridays) I am the taker. I am closer to God than ever before in my life because of these people. And for that, I'm not only grateful...I'm eternally grateful.