Last night we heard more on the topic of being authentic worshippers from Eileen Scott, one of our worship leaders. She talked about character – a subject which is not high up the list of trendy topics these days, but is one which is vital to us as Christians in the process of us becoming more like Christ.
She talked from a book by Bill Hybels called ‘Who You Are When No-one’s Looking’. The first page of the book explains the concept of ‘character’:
‘Character, a wise person once said, is what we do when no-one is looking. It is not the same as reputation – what other people think of us. It is not the same as success or achievement. Character is not what we have done, but who we are.’
It may seem strange to specifically talk about this stuff to a worship team but one of the phrases we have always lived by as a team is ‘character above gifting’. Why??? Ultimately we live by a different set of rules than musicians in the world. We are not all about the most talented people; we are about Godly talented people. We want to build our team with people who are passionate about using their gifts, developing and building on their gifts, but who steward their gift well and honour God in the way they live and serve.
Unfortunately, there have been some very talented people come across our path whose character was not great – I can honestly say that my heart sinks when I meet these people. They are often proud and think they are the answer to all our problems (often to problems I never knew we had!!!). Bar none, these people have never ended up thriving in a worship setting unless they accepted the challenge to work on their attitude and character.
Eileen read Psalm 139 to us as both an encouragement and a challenge. This Psalm ends with the verse ‘Search me God and know my heart… see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting.’ I think it’s often easy to see the speck in other people’s eyes, to see their faults and weaknesses – but the challenge is to be able to see the plank in our own – often much less visible!!! I have found that God often brings things to our attention when he wants us to process them – we then have a very simple decision.
Do we listen or do we ignore?