Today, in 1981, Bob Marley died after a very successful & significant career.
Bob effectively introduced reggae to the world.
Bob was also a devout rastafarian... and Bob - in the context of rastafarianism was a worship leader.
I believe in the virgin birth, life, death, burial, resurrection, & ascension of Jesus Christ. I'm a christian. I believe Jesus is the Way, the Truth, & the Life. In effort to understand Bob a bit more, I googled 'rastafarian definition' & this was the result:
adjective // of or relating to a religious movement of Jamaican origin holding that blacks are the chosen people, that Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was the Messiah, and that black people will eventually return to their Africa.
noun // a member of the Rastafarian religious movement. Rastafarians have distinctive codes of behavior and dress, including the wearing of dreadlocks, the smoking of cannabis, the rejection of Western medicine, and adherence to a diet that excludes pork, shellfish, and milk.
Yep - not me... not even close.
But I believe every worship leader can & should learn a thing or two from Bob Marley.
5 UNDENIABLE CHARACTERISTICS OF A GREAT WORSHIP LEADER
1: HE WAS CONVICTED
Man, he believed. I've watched many interviews & performances. Let me tell you: NO ONE in Bob's camp doubted his conviction. He believed in rastafarianism. He lived it. He breathed it. He owned it. In our world, we say "Your private worship must precede your public worship." And this definitely was the case for Bob. You can't watch Bob sing a song like "Get Up Stand Up" and think that he isn't bought in. As worship leaders, we must be sold out to the core. We must be convicted. It can't just be a Sunday thing. It's a life thing.
2: HE IMPROVISED
Depending on how the audience was responding to the music & the message, he would improvise. He desperately wanted everyone connected, jammin, dancin, & singin. I can relate to that. I'm convicted & I want this crowd of people to feel the conviction too. If Bob thought they needed to sing that part again, or build it up, or take it down, or he needed to say something (yell / scream it out) in the moment to get the people going, he would definitely take the moment by the horns. There are interviews of his band members telling stories about Bob breaking into verses that he was writing on the spot. Man - I like that. And in our case as christians - with The Holy Spirit - anything is possible. Improvise. What do the people need? What does the moment need?
What is the Spirit doing?
3: HE WAS CONFIDENT
If you see old footage of Bob in a concert setting, it's obvious he knew what he was doing. He had that bold & confident vibe that tells us "Yeah. I was born for this." It drives me nuts when I see a worship leader get up in front of a room of people and NOT own it. Well Josh... be careful. We need to walk in humility... right? OF COURSE. And that is the balance that I so desperately want worship leaders to find. Humble - because of what God has done in our lives... and Confident - because of what God has done in our lives.
4: HE WAS ABOUT THE MOVEMENT
Above all, he knew WHY he was singing. Around here, we call that the 'Overarching Why'. Bob was all about promoting his agenda: rastafarianism & love. He had a purpose that was so closely attached to the music, that he couldn't separate the two. We as worship leaders in the modern day church are here to promote an agenda as well: Love God, Love People, Make Disciples. We at Highpoint believe in & pray for revival & spiritual awakening in the teens & twenties. We believe that there are going to be songs - many songs - attached to this movement. The people of God have always sung and alway will sing. What is our movement?
'Your Kingdom come - Your Will be done.'
5: HIS ENERGY WAS CONTAGIOUS
If you claim to be a worship leader, but no one is following your lead, you're just a song singer - or at best just a worshipper. You need followers. If you claim to be a worship leader, then we better see the fruit of your leadership. We better see the fruit of your energy & your presence. Now Josh... I just like it when my worship leader just sorta fades into the background & let's Jesus be front & center... Yeah. Yeah. Me too. But see... the unfortunate problem is that Jesus isn't quite on the tip of everyone's tongues, is he? He isn't quite consuming the attention of everyone's minds, is he? He isn't quite the utmost affection overflowing out of everyone's hearts, is he? That's where we as worship leaders come in. We show them what it means to be in love and stand in awe of our Lord & Savior. Sometimes... just sometimes... it takes seeing someone unapologetically passionate about something before we can really understand what it means to be unapologetically passionate about anything. As worship leaders, we are disciple makers. We share with the world what it means to be loved by The King - & in return - love The King.
at Wednesday, May 11, 2016 |