TWLL #6: Silence - A Pathway To Being Present To Jesus When You Lead WorshipJun 08, 2023
THE WORSHIP LEADING LETTER
Read Time: under 5 minutes
Being present to Jesus when we lead worship is critical. It forms the starting point of our connection and conversation with Him onstage, which is what we invite the room into when we lead worship.
One of the best ways we can become more aware of, and more present to Jesus onstage is through the spiritual discipline of silence and solitude offstage.
Today I want to unpack what it can look like to practice silence and solitude, and how it impacts us when we lead worship.
The Discipline of Silence
Silence as a spiritual discipline is simply the practice of getting alone and getting quiet in order to be present to Jesus.
When I’m sitting before Jesus in stillness and silence I’m not journaling, reading, or verbally praying- I’m literally just there before Him. In that moment my only aim is to be aware of, or to be present to Him.
It’s a simple thing, and yet it’s harder to do than it seems- because of the fact that the human mind is always moving, and can easily get sidetracked.
Here’s a snapshot of what it looks like for me. I put my attention on Him, and then remember that I forgot to text someone back. I put my attention on Him, and then start thinking about that hard conversation with that one person last week. I put my attention on Him, and then realize I’m getting hungry. Over and over the cycle goes.
The good news is that it’s completely normal to get distracted, and when it happens to me (which it does frequently) I simply close my eyes and re-center my heart and mind by verbally saying out loud “Jesus” or “ Father”.
Something about saying it out loud grabs my attention and resets it back on Jesus.
What Happens When We Become Present To Jesus
As I press through the distraction, eventually I find myself touching little moments where I am truly present to Him.
These moments are priceless because when I become present to Jesus, I realize and experience the reality that He is present to me.
It’s hard to put into words. The experience of becoming aware that His eyes are on you is like nothing else in the world. A range of emotions flood my mind, and eventually usually land in a place of deep peace.
Peace in that moment, but also peace that stays with me through the day, hours after I’ve sat before Jesus in stillness.
I still remember when it first began to happen- those little moments when I’d be fully present to Him. It was like the feeling you get when you’ve been holding your breath underwater and you suddenly come up for air.
You realize that you being present to Jesus and recognizing He is present to you is what you were made for- as native and natural as breathing.
You realize you were made to have your attention turned toward Him, and made to feel the power of His attention turned toward you.
When you consistently take time to spend a few minutes each day with Jesus in stillness and silence, you begin to notice that it becomes easier to dial down inside, turn your eyes to Him, and lock in.
Over time, as you continue to practice silence and solitude, it also feels like your internal environment changes. I remember when I began to feel like I was less on edge in general, and started noticing that my capacity to be more gracious with others was increasing.
How The Practice of Silence Affects Our Worship Leading
Now let’s take the experience and impact of practicing stillness and silence with Jesus, and apply it to our worship leading. How does it all affect the way we lead worship?
The greater awareness of Jesus’ presence, the greater ease in being present to Him, the peace that comes when we’re present to Him…all of these things are so valuable when we place them in context to leading worship.
Because we need that deep peace when we find ourselves in the busyness of Sunday mornings- especially when we hit unexpected bumps.
We need that ability to more easily become present to Him as we move through the traffic of sound issues, chord charts, song outros, and all the multi-tasking that comes with leading worship.
We need that grace to lift our eyes above everything else and see and hear Him as we lead our own heart, our team, and the room in worship.
Maybe the idea of silence and solitude is not new to you, or maybe it is. But either way, I want to encourage you to begin taking a few minutes a day to sit before Jesus in stillness and silence- and then watch how it impacts you. First and primarily as a follower of Jesus, but also secondly as a worship leader.
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