This video is priceless! I can’t believe how perfectly this illustrates week two of our “Pure Praise” study. Whether or not you are into healing or being filled with the Holy Spirit, you have to agree that this little girl’s expression of joy covers all three categories of praise outlined in Dwayne Moore’s book on page 32 – Vocal, Audible and Visible.
I absolutely love it!
Here’s the thing that strikes me about this video. You hear the parent’s voices in the background? What are they saying? Are they telling her to settle down and be quiet? Are they calling into question her theological belief that God can hear us and heal us when we pray? Are they cautioning their daughter that although God may have healed her this time, it doesn’t mean that the next time his answer might be “NO”? Are they telling her that her ‘healing’ wasn’t really miraculous, it was just the body healing itself?
Here’s what I think they are doing…I think they are being “worship leaders.”
Yep, that’s right.
I think the girl’s parents are a perfect demonstration of what we are called to do when we stand up on stage and lead our congregation in times of praise and worship. We are encouraging! We are vocal in our praise! We are engaged in the story of redemption that is happening in our own congregation! We are thrilled that the church family has gathered together to celebrate God’s wonder-working power in their lives! We are spurring on praise!!!
This little girl was obviously brought up in a home where her parents taught and modeled this type of exuberant praise. My kids don’t act like that…ever. I’ve never video-taped them running around praising God because they were healed. Which leads me to my next observation…
Our people’s response in praise and worship is directly proportional to our teaching and emphasis and modeling on the subject. As a general rule of thumb, that is. I realize there will always be people on opposite ends of the spectrum who come to our church and put up with our times of praise and worship because we are either too stoic or too charismatic. That’s just the nature of it all! But as a general rule, as leaders we are the ones who cultivate the worship culture. Agree? or Disagree?
I’m not talking only about us musicians and worship leaders, but about the overall leadership of the church – Pastors, Elders, etc. Do we teach praise enough? Do we model praise enough? Do we call people to praise enough? Do we provide enough opportunities for praise to occur? Do we pray for our people to have encounters with God throughout the week which would cause them to want to praise Him when we gather together in the sanctuary on Sunday?
I think there’s plenty of material here to get a dialogue going. One word of caution: don’t think that I am bashing our congregation for not “praising God” the way I think they should. I am certainly not bashing anyone. I don’t want this to become a place for us to say things like, “Why can’t we be more like (the big church up the street)“?
We are who God has called us to be. We have a certain DNA. I’m okay with that and I hope you are, too. I’m more interested in hearing us talk about ways we can bring the best praise offerings we possibly can to God. If there is room for improvement, let’s discuss how, as individuals, we can be better worship leaders in the way we authentically model our joy and our pain and everything in between…and not just on Sundays!
Isaiah 51:11 – “So the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads; They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (NKJV)
Finally, I ask you to remember this: you aren’t only leading worship when you’re on stage. You are leading by example all the time. Lead well! Lead with purity of heart!
Psalm 100:2 – “Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before Him, singing with joy.” (NLT)