Stick to Bars and Coffee Shops

Stick to Bars and Coffee Shops

A worship leader buddy of mine recently tweeted a statement that went something like this, “If playing on Sunday morning is just another gig to you, then do yourself a favor and stick to bars and coffee shops.” I couldn’t agree more. This one simple thought-provoking statement incited me to compose a post on the same subject. So, here comes the spanking that I’ve already received myself. Ready? If Sunday morning AM worship is just another opportunity for you to pull out your custom gear, your newest licks, and your skinny jeans while hoping to impress the chick on the front row, then it’s time to reevaluate your motivation. If playing “main stage” is your desire, but you don’t feel the least bit compelled to fill in the gap where you’re needed (say for example, the worship in the children’s ministry), then you’re probably not called to be on the main stage. If Sunday morning is your way of getting your music “fix,” it’s time to stop treating the worship of almighty God like a whore-house. Go somewhere else to get your fix.

Too strong? Well, check out God’s warning to His people in Isaiah 1 when they started treating the worship of the most high God like a freaking carnival.

11 “The multitude of your sacrifices—
what are they to me?” says the LORD.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

12 When you come to appear before me,
who has asked this of you,
this trampling of my courts?

13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
I cannot bear your evil assemblies.

14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts
my soul hates.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.

15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even if you offer many prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood;

16 wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds
out of my sight!
Stop doing wrong,

Ouch! God forbid that any of us would trample His courts by treating the Sunday morning worship hour with this type of contempt–that we would show up ready to sport our latest trendy v-neck, our newest Holy-Spirit-in-a-box effects pedal, and our cooler-than-thou rockstar attitude with little or no thought regarding the high calling that it is to help usher people into the presence of Yahweh. Satan loves that kinda crap. But God hates it. Instead, may we show up with the kind of attitude that says, “God, You take the spotlight today. Whatever that means for me, whether I’m leading 3,000 in worship, or cleaning bathroom sinks, or singing with 3-year-olds, or fixing a leaky AC unit in the main hallway (which actually happened two weeks ago at Journey Church, and a willing servant spent the entire morning mopping up water and fixing leaks in his Sunday attire)–whatever You require of me on this Lord’s day, may I do it with all my heart.” May that be our attitude, and then may we see what God can do with servants that are equally ready to tackle bathroom toilets with the same intensity we tackle a 1200 sq/ft platform.

5 Responses

  1. matt says:

    thanks for the word bro. definitely a punch in the face no matter what area you serve in. it’s never about us…

  2. Clay says:

    Appreciate your recent comments. Here at Journey Church in Summerville, SC we are looking forward to sharing your music with our people. “People of the Light”….love it man.

    Keep it up.

  3. Rob says:

    I just read your blog for the first time. Bang on man. I think in many ways we have lost sight of true worship. Worship should (in my opinion) be the giving of our whole self to God to show others around us His worth. If we are not willing to do the little things, why should we expect to do the big things? I think everyone should reevaluate not just main stage worship leaders.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Why is it ok to “…pull out your custom gear, your newest licks, and your skinny jeans while hoping to impress the chick on the front row…” anywhere? Why is my music in other places, to other crowds less valuable than Sunday morning service? Why is it ok for this to not also be worship?

    I’m fairly certain that being in God’s will, whether that be in a bar or church, is pretty consistently holy and deserving of respect.

  5. Josh says:

    Legit question for sure. I think the sacred/secular debate comes in to play here, and I think that might be where we disagree a bit. But I’m totally with you on the fact that if God has called you to bars and coffee shops as your primary platform, then by all means, use it for His glory. In fact, I have and do play in those venues regularly, but would hardly place it in the same category as the corporate worship hour of a local community of believers. In this post, I’m making the distinction that the Sunday morning worship hour has to be separate from the entertainment-oriented characteristics of playing in bars and coffee shops. If you see no difference in these platforms, you might want to revisit Scripture. And I mean no disrespect by saying that. Blessings. jv

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