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Compliments: Stumbling Blocks or Treasures of the Heart? by Rick Kamrath

From Pneuma Review Winter 2002

From the Worship Leader Series

Here’s a quiz: The service is ended. People are milling around and you are putting your equipment away. Suddenly a face appears in front of you with a look of total elation.

“Worship was a-a-a-w-e-s-o-m-e!” they exclaim.

Your answer?

a) “Yes, I knew that the worship was awesome. But did you know that I wrote half of the songs in the set?”

b) “Praise the Lord! ‘Cause it wasn’t me. I can’t do a thing without the Lord.”

c) “Thank you.”

Copyright Stan Myers. Used with permission.

Most of us with any training whatsoever in “Worship Leading 101″ would immediately dismiss answer (a). The Bible makes it very clear that proud spirit can lead to disaster (Proverbs 16:18). Any person in a place of ministry, especially a visible one, needs to be constantly vigilant against the temptation to be proud and steal God’s glory for them.

For much of my Christian walk, the answer has always been (b). Knowing better than to answer (a), I would feel very secure in my habit of directing people to the glory of the Lord, and that was good. What wasn’t so good was how some people felt when I ignored their encouragement at best, or dismissed them as one more threat to my humility at worst.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10) is both a command and a promise. Notice that the scripture says “humble yourselves.” We do have something to do about our own humility, just as we are responsible for purifying our hearts (v.8). But our part is to see our condition choose righteousness. But our part is to see our condition, choose righteousness, and allow the Lord to mold us as “His workmanship.” Humble answers don’t produce humble hearts, humble hearts produce the answers (Matt. 12:34).

Years ago I was involved with a Christian band that performed “special” music in weekly concerts at our church. From time to time people would offer appreciation and encouragement, and I would, basically, ignore the words, which were offered to me.

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Category: Ministry, Pneuma Review, Winter 2002

About the Author: Rick Kamrath is a worship leader that has been involved in numerous Vineyard Worship projects.

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