Worship Leading – Daily tending of Spiritual fire
“Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:13 (RSV)
With winter quickly approaching, my family supplements our heating by burning wood. Not only does it give heat for our living area, it lends itself to providing a nice atmosphere in the room. The warmth, the crackling of the wood, and the movement of the flames add to our enjoyment and the practical nature of having the extra heat.
In general, a wood-burning fireplace must be an active and ongoing endeavor. We must prepare: chopping wood, cleaning out the ashes, and building a small stack of wood to ignite with a small flame. We must tend it: feeding new wood into the fire and managing the level of coals and flames. We must be aware: keeping the screen closed, noticing if any coals have managed to escape, and being careful not to burn our hands.
This reminds me of the need to tend our spiritual fire as we serve our congregations in worship ministry. As our verse states, we must “prepare our minds” and be disciplined in regards to our spiritual well-being. Although we may not be a designated worship leader, we are still leading as part of a team. Our presence on stage, behind an instrument, as a vocalist or in the tech booth is something that people are watching – and we are influencing them. We can’t ignore the health of our spiritual life and expect that some previous activity or devotional practice will be sufficient to carry us through from day to day. We must be active every day to prepare, tend and stay aware of our spiritual fire. We must lead by example.
To prepare our spiritual fire we will need some fuel. God’s Word is the fuel He has provided to feed our minds, hearts and souls. This must go beyond our review of the passage planned for the upcoming services. We must prepare for our spiritual walk by taking in His Word day by day. We might also find some “ashes” such as sins that must be confessed, or healing needed from past hurts. Preparing for a good fire means dealing with these things through the truth of Scripture and prayer, confession and forgiveness. Once we are ready, God can fan the flame of His Spirit in us and ignite a fire of spiritual passion.
Once we begin to burn, the spiritual fire within us must be tended. We can’t wait to feed our fire during the rehearsal devotional or prayer; it must be a part of the regular routine of our lives each day and week. Reading and meditating on Scripture, an in-depth study of Scripture and reading great Christian authors who are doctrinally sound and theologically astute will help sustain our fire. Gathering weekly with a community of believers, not just to lead worship, but to worship and be fed is an important aspect of tending our fire.
We must also be aware of our spiritual fires and protect them. Our Christian culture today is teeming with voices that seem “Christian,” but are teaching doctrines contrary to Scripture. Our discipline in preparing and tending will allow us to notice these problems and help us know how to think about them and defend truth. We don’t want to get burned by error! We must also be wary of sinfulness and the attacks of our Enemy that may diminish our flame and spiritual effectiveness. Our awareness helps us to know what our spiritual fire needs to burn brightly.
Wood fires have a tendency to be hotter at times than others. The ebb and flow of a fire is the same that we experience in our spiritual lives. It is the same we will experience in our passion for ministry through worship. This should remind us that we must be ever faithful in our preparing and tending of our spiritual fire so that we might remain aware of our surroundings. Because God’s Spirit is the flame within us, we are not alone in this and can partner with Him to remain spiritually vital.
Father, as I cooperate with Your Spirit in keeping the spiritual fire within me burning brightly, help me be aware of how I might prepare and tend those flames for Your glory and honor. Amen.
Posted on September 1, 2015, in Content of Worship, Corporate Worship, Leadership, theology, Worship Leader and tagged Mark Sooy, theology, worship, worship leader, WorshipThink. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.