Don’t Do The Hustle

In my younger years, I was convinced that I was destined to be a great worship leader. That I would sell CDs and tour the world and lead countless people in worship. That phase didn’t last long, though, because God humbled me.

He did that by reminding me that He didn’t want me to be a great worship leader. He wanted me to be a great worshipper. That realization really hit home for me, and since then, I’ve tried harder to focus on being faithful where I am.

I thought about that time as I read Wisdom Moon’s post Conference Season = Worship Hustling at the Worship Sense blog. Wisdom writes:

In the world of “Christian celebrities” that we live in, it is no surprise that many worship leaders these days have the secret (and oftentimes not-so-secret) desire to become a “celebrity worship artist”. They see the itinerant worship leader lifestyle as glamorous. In their church office, after reading an email from a church member complaining about how loud the drums were on Sunday, the worship leader might daydream about being in a professional studio, working on their worship album, with producer, Ed Cash.

I chuckled as I read that part, because I don’t even have a church office. 🙂

Wisdom goes on to list several challenges for those caught in the “worship hustle”. I won’t list them all there, because you should read his full post, but here’s my favorite:

Die to whatever dream you have of becoming the next big worship artist or getting a record deal with Integrity Music, etc. Don’t let your personal dreams distract you from giving your 110% to the ministry God has called you to at your local church. When you’re at the conference, look for ways to serve others, ways to take what you’ve learned back to your church, and ways to become more effective as a worship leader at your church.

If we really believe that the first shall be last, and we really want to emulate Christ’s behavior, we’ll elevate others above us rather than pursuing our own ends. In the end, you might not be a famous worship leader or a Christian celebrity, but hopefully you’ll get to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

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