I’m A Closet Worship Leader

A month ago I was sitting in my office at Fellowship Church Knoxville in a dream position that took me an agonizing two years to find. I was surrounded by musical instruments and an extraordinarily talented and humble group of volunteers, interns, residents, and staff. I was doing the one thing I have done almost every week of my life since 7th grade. I was a worship leader.

My full-time job was to plan and lead church worship services for Christ-loving people every week. I got to pastor, walk with, and serve incredible people in their pursuit of knowing and being known by Jesus. I got to write and select the songs that were put in the mouths of God’s people and helped create a space for people respond to Him. That was my job. I even got paid for it. I have been grateful.

But now I’m sitting in a makeshift office in my closet surrounded by pants. Well to be fair, I’m also surrounded by my wife’s dresses, my shirts, and a pretty good second story view of our cul-de-sac. This will be my workplace until we move to Florida after our baby is born. I am now the new director of WEGO and music is nowhere in my job description. Music isn’t but worship is.

You see, I’ve been a worship leader my whole life not just because I love music but because I believe with everything inside of me that Christ is deserving of our worship. Music has just been my instrument to help people (and myself) learn about God and respond to Him with their lives.

But there is something that I have not been able to shake off: What do I do with the billion plus people living in our world who will never be able to worship the One True God?

Their worship of Jesus will not be silenced due to a lack of music or musical instruments. Their worship will never be given voice in the first place because they have never been told or taught His Name. As Paul says in Romans, “How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?” A couple years ago I was able to share the good news of Jesus with a sixty-year-old Mongolian man. After asking him if he’s ever heard about Jesus he said, “No, but yesterday you prayed for my back and God healed it so I’m very interested in what you have to say”. He responded in faith to trust his all-powerful Creator that he went most of his life unaware of. By God’s great work I was able to help lead this kind man in worship while my guitar sat in its case thousands of miles away.

So I’ve been asking a lot of questions about what my personal response to the unreached in our world will be. I have to give an account for my family’s response to the fatherless, the hurting, the addicted, and to those in physical, emotional, or spiritual poverty in our neighborhoods and abroad. And I’ve thought a lot about what our churches can do to heal the injustice that comes with the abundance of financial and pastoral resources around us compared to the worlds vastly under-resourced.

For me, God has taken my family on a spectacular journey and placed us in a new role where we can love, serve, and empower people all over the world that they might become true worshippers of Jesus.

A month ago I was leading a great church in worship every week through music. Now through WEGO and by God’s grace, I get to help teach kids in Mongolia to worship through providing them a home where they can live, be loved, and learn about Jesus. I get to help Nicaraguan middle and high school students love God with their minds through New Hope School. I get to be a part of once addicted women learning how to make Christ their fulfillment through Glory Mansion. I get to watch Christ be worshipped through the generosity of people joining financially with our work. I get to be a part of individuals and churches being mobilized as God’s hands and feet. I get to lead my family in worship of the God who will be our Provision as we trust Him with our daily needs.

My job, my career path, and my desires have morphed but my calling is the same. I am vocationally putting down my guitars and songs and picking up an incredible ministry and missions organization that all people might worship Christ. This is my new song.

Let’s not be mistaken, all of us as Christ’s body are worship leaders placed on this globe at this time to bring glory to Christ with our lives and to lead others to do the same with theirs. Our instrument is fairly irrelevant. Some of us will be faithful pastors leading music in churches; some of us will be house moms, or lawyers, or whatever you do for a job. Whether it be from a church stage, a classroom, a cubicle, or a closet office- may we always seek and serve God out of His power, grace, and strength- that Christ may be known and worshipped in our own hearts and in our world.