Music is my great love. I’ve always had music around me constantly, even before I was a Christian, and have always been desperately drawn to expressing the creativity of our Creator God through sound.
Ability-wise, I learned classical piano when I was young to Grade 5, I taught myself the guitar in my early 20s, and can sing a little above average. I have some natural talent but not tons of it. There is always someone else around that is much more capable to lead worship, even in a small group of friends, and my own songs would most likely not make the cut onto any worship album. I have a realistic estimation of my ability so you will probably not catch me gracing your screens anytime soon!
It’s only been as an adult I finally have gained some confidence – or perhaps I just mind much less what people think these days. But now I have a growing family and more than enough to do with my time than practice for the hours it will take to cultivate what little natural ability I have! And to what end if I was to pursue that? What does the Lord really want me to do with the sound that is within me? I’ve felt for a long time the Lord wants me to lead worship, yet I have zero desire to do this on a stage and/or in the form that most are used to. I’m a little different.
So what do I do with this overwhelming desire to make beautiful and creative sound in worship?
Here’s what I’ve seen unfold in my life so far, which I’d like to encourage you in also.
You can affect the atmosphere, be it a regular church gathering or any time that people come together in His name. You can change the environment by releasing your sound into that place. Whether or not someone hears your worship, or whether it’s especially tuneful or ultra gifted, you were made to worship! God isn’t looking for the most talented singers or musicians to bring glory to His name.
‘Rend your hearts, not your garments’ (Joel 2:13).
“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” – John 4:24
“Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name”. – Hebrews 13:15
So in making my sound only for Him alone, does this mean I’ll never express worship publicly for others to hear? Or write songs that someone else will sing? I really don’t know. But whether or not that was to happen, I still have a sound to make as I become more free in who the Father has created me to be, and it’s my own sound, unique and beautiful to my Father in heaven, and worthy of being expressed. He’s listening and He enjoys what I offer Him. My worship is for an audience of One. There’s nothing quite like coming together in unity with my believing friends in times of worship and bringing glory to Him.
I love to watch others sometimes, and see the different colourful expressions of worship – someone who doesn’t sing but who drums his fingers on the back of a chair; or those that dance; and those who sing beautiful harmonies naturally to every note; or simply those that close their eyes and smile as they sing quietly. It’s a sweet sound to hear what a group of friends will make together. I especially love to hear indigenous sounds of worship, communities of passionate Jesus followers, worshiping in their own language, style, sound, and uniqueness. My heart wants to explode with joy!
Naturally, it does helps to have someone who can sing in key and play in time to lead others in worship! But your sound in worship is no less worthy, beautiful, unique and needed than a worship leader with the guitar and voice.
What is your sound? Do you play an instrument, whatever your skill level? Do you hum, whistle, sing, clap, recite poetry, dance or perhaps create something beautiful on a blank canvas? There are other ways to worship, but there’s nothing quite like making sound!
Let me encourage you today to release your sound on the earth. There’s no-one else who can express it quite like you.
“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music;” – Psalm 98:4
Some beautiful people making their sound…
- Hallelujah – Josh and Amberley Klinkenburg
- 10,000 Reasons – Rend Collective
- Great are you Lord – All Sons and Daughters
- Still My Soul – Keith and Kristyn Getty
- Forever – Bethel Music