Are you a Worship Leader or an Artist?
Are you an artist who worships or a preacher with a music ministry?
There’s no wrong answer. No good, better, or best. But, it is important to know who you are and what you’re called to do.
We have all experienced a worship leader who feels like he/she is performing rather than leading the people in corporate worship. It’s a fine line to walk and truly a matter of the heart.
Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.”
Do you ever wonder why it’s so easy to desire the gifts and talents that we see in others rather than appreciate the ones given to you by God? It’s such a waste of time and effort to try and be someone else.
I recently read a book called StrengthsFinder 2.0. It really helped to challenge my perspective. The author suggests that we spend time nurturing our strengths instead of putting time and attention into our weaknesses. Whether you agree with this or not, most of us have tried to master a weakness and became marginal at best. For example, my parents desperately wanted me to play the piano. They happily invested time and money taking me to piano lessons for five grueling years. I didn’t like it…I found it boring and laborious because I wasn’t talented. Because I wasn’t talented, I never got beyond reading music and fumbling my way through. I was constantly frustrated with practicing and then having to participate in embarrassing recitals.
As an A&R person, I’ve worked at several labels and have had the pleasure of facilitating the recording process with many artists, as well as worship leaders. I’ve sat on numerous talent judging panels, listened to a lot of demos, and counseled aspiring creative people. My first question to beginners is typically, “Who are you and how do you describe your music?” You would be surprised to know how many people have answered that question by saying they just want to be like Natalie Grant or Toby Mac or Chris Tomlin. This may sound noble and paints the picture of commanding great crowds; however, my answer is usually, “We already have those artists. What is YOUR creative identity and calling?”
Imitation was acceptable for me as a piano student; however, it does not speak to my potential as a virtuoso. To the more mature talents, the discussion is more about rekindling the passion and drawing from your first love in order to continue to be innovative. It is tempting for all of us to rely on the gift and push all the buttons you know work and dial it in. It’s like being a caricature of our selves, when fresh waters don’t come in and go out.
You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again…BE THE BEST YOU, YOU CAN BE! I’m convinced that authenticity and truth go hand in hand. If we are true to who God made us, we have the potential to be authentic in our creativity. Let’s not settle for less. Let’s dare to be different and avail ourselves to God and his infamous creativity.
President & Executive Director
StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath; Publisher: Gallup Press
Jackie Patillo is the President & Executive Director of the Gospel Music Association (GMA). With recording industry background, Jackie is passionate about music and helping musicians become everything God has called them to be. From Immerse Conference to the Dove Awards, Jackie and her GMA team continue to foster interest among the general public in gospel and Christian music, build community and cooperation among industry leadership in order to address mutual business issues to maximize sales of Christian music, and promote public awareness of Christian music in our culture.