I love the music. I love the drama. I love the showmanship. I love the passing off from one generation to the next. I love the spectacle. I love Paul McCartney
This year I was really impressed with Dave Grohl, the front-man of one of the best Rock bands from the past 20 years, the Foo Fighters. They came away with 4 Grammys this year. That’s no small feat! I loved Grohl’s acceptance speech for the “Best Rock Performance” award.
(video was removed, here’s his speach)
Dave Grohl’s Grammys acceptance speech:
“This is a great honour, because this record was a special record for our band. Rather than go to the best studio in the world down the street in Hollywood and rather than use all of the fanciest computers that money can buy, we made this one in my garage with some microphones and a tape machine…
“To me this award means a lot because it shows that the human element of music is what’s important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that’s the most important thing for people to do.
“It’s not about being perfect, it’s not about sounding absolutely correct, it’s not about what goes on in a computer. It’s about what goes on in here [your heart] and what goes on in here [your head].”
Grohl has been in the music business for a while. He’s seen and experienced how quickly stars can be made and stars can be forgotten, all within the span of a year or two. Those that create a relationship with their fans seem to be able to last longer. But, it’s still frightening to me to think about how this pressure we put on our pop stars is so crushing. Pressure to look, act, and sound perfect. Pressure to be unique. It must be difficult to live under a microscope.
The average for how long a worship pastor will be on staff at a church in North America is only 2 years. I found that stat in an issue of worship leader magazine a few years back and was shocked when I read it. Seems eerily similar to the pattern of pop stars.
I think there a lot of contributing factors to such short tenures for worship pastors but I’d like to focus on one. Lack of authenticity.
Grohl knows and understands the power of authenticity; “the human element” as he calls it. It’s the real person behind the music, and for the worship leader, it’s the real person behind the microphone on Sundays. I know there is pressure on worship leaders to make things look perfect, to sound perfect, to flow perfectly. There is pressure on us when we open our mouths to speak not to say anything that will be distracting. There is the pressure of the evaluation meeting, the pressure of Christmas and Easter, the pressure of finding volunteers. You don’t have to look very hard to find it in this role.
Authenticity can be your defense against pressure. The more time I spend in this area of ministry the more I am convinced this is true.
1. Be Authentic In Your Relationship With God
- Do you feel the need to fake it? Why? You need to spend some time getting reconnected to God. Allow your identity to be found in Him. Invite His truth to influence your life, your planning, and your actions. There will be times where God feels distant, but don’t stop pursuing Him. Never fake your relationship with God. You simply can’t be in ministry if that’s how you’re operating.
2. Be Authentic With People
- Conflict sucks. I hate it. I try to avoid it sometimes and wind up sitting on a frustration ball of resentment. Be authentic with how you feel. Be honest and open in one-on-one meetings (which is the right place for it) and express your view of the situation. This is important with your Sr. Pastor and it’s important with your volunteers.
3. Be Authentic With Your Congregation
- Don’t be a plastic worship leader. Don’t try to be another worship leader who you think is really cool. Just be yourself. Practice what you are going to say from the front but say it in your own words. There will be days when your life is messy and for the good of your congregation you will need to put on a brave face. When that’s the case use that situation to identify with how some of the people you are leading might also be hurting and grab on tight to the promise of God’s faithfulness as you worship.
My prayer is that we would be a generation of authentic worshipers. Not the “post-modern” kind but the “overflow and response to God’s goodness in our lives” kind.
let is be so