It was a real privilege for us as a church, and specifically a worship team, to welcome Tim Hughes to speak to us on worship. Tim is a phenomenal song writer, worship leader, and now we also know he’s an awesome preacher!
It’s a strange thing to meet someone ‘famous’. Especially when they’re famous for doing the thing you are trying to do!! There can be a tendency to fall into the trappings that the world puts on us that what makes a person are fame and fortune, that you are a success if thousands of people sing your songs or know your name. But I realised from chatting to Tim on Sunday that what makes him a success is his passion for Jesus, his commitment to turn any talent he has back to God, his support of his family, his attitude of not taking himself too seriously. He seems to only care that God knows his name, not the thousands of other people who sing his songs. He’s just a nice bloke who is using what he can to help people connect with God better through worship. And I’m sure he’s not perfect either – just like the rest of us. The ‘being well-known thing’ is not what makes him him.
For me, it was so good to be reminded that worship is a gift not a chore. So many times I’ve hit a Thursday rehearsal with the attitude of ‘urgh, another rehearsal to do!’ and in some ways that’s totally valid. We do expect a high commitment level from our musicians, and I’m constantly amazed that people not only give their time, but do it willingly and sometimes sacrificially. But there are times when life gets busy that rehearsals are just another thing to do on an increasingly long to do list. This is why we need to separate out what worship actually is from the task of playing in a worship band – to continually remind ourselves that connecting with the Spirit of God is our fuel to a life of worship and to not fall into the trap of worship being a half hour gig on a Sunday morning or a task to be done. I think this can especially apply to people who serve in a worship ministry.
My prayer on the back of Sunday is that people will have sensed a passion for worship and for the Holy Spirit from Tim. That they will have realised he’s someone who God is blessing in what he is doing – and that will encourage other people to use their giftings for Jesus sake and for the sake of the people around them. I hope that they will have seen that God blesses those whose hearts are set on the right thing. For me I’ve realised on a different level that the measure of my success is what God thinks of me. I may never be well know, deemed talented by the world or have my songs sung by thousands – but if I live my life with God as my treasure in a way that others can see in the hope they will be drawn to him, then my life will have been of worth.
Finally, I would encourage you to take a moment to pray for Tim Hughes, and others like him who have a voice to many people through worship music. Let’s pray that their songs and their ability to usher in the presence of God continue to have an eternal impact on those who see and hear them. Let’s pray that through their creativity many people’s eyes will be drawn to Jesus.