An Attitude of Excellence

Background
Recently, one of the boys in my cell group complained that church was 'boring', and that the worship was 'insincere'.

I thought deeper into it, and realised that these were surface excuses. The main issue was that he was not interested in God at all. If he was, he would have found church exciting - a person chasing after God would look forward to the outpouring of thanksgiving during worship, the thirst for God's Word during the sermon, etc.

Attitudes bear out in Actions
Similarly, attitudes matter in how engaged we are in our ministries. Years ago, several musicians were late for a rehearsal led by a pastor in my church, who then talked about how it could be due to two reasons i) valid reasons, e.g. traffic jams, or ii) a poor attitude.

A poor attitude doesn't arise because the person 'just happens' to not feel like going for rehearsal. Rather, it arises because the 'spark' and interest to serve and worship God isn't there. Conversely, consistent sloppiness is often a sign of a poor attitude. Hence, although there is often a tendency to look at the action (e.g. coming late), what really matters is the underlying impetus and passion to serve. After all, "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Sam 16:7).

This bears out in Numbers 14. Prior to entering the Promise Land, the Israelites rebelled against God when they heard negative reports from the spies. God, however, did not touch about the act of rebellion, but addressed the underlying attitude, which is a lack of faith: "How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?" (Num 14:11).

Cutting-Edge Ministries
My church's senior pastor constantly challenges us to to engage in 'cutting-edge ministries'. This bears out in Col 3:23 - Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

What is working for God like? Put it this way - I put a few mins to give inputs to my colleagues at work, and maybe about an hour for my director. But recently, our Ministers (i work in the civil service) had a question - i poured sweat over it for days!

In the same vein, the effort that goes into serving God multiplies a thousand-fold as compared to serving Men.

Putting the Two Together
Having high standards is an act of worship to God, an effort to bring worship that is deserving of His glory. On a practical note, this bears out in e.g. being punctual, preparing in advance, and practicing on your own. But these will never happen without a thirst for God's will to be realised, without a love for God, and without a passion for pleasing God because "whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Cor 10:31).

Admittedly, we can never offer a standard worthy of God, but as mentioned earlier, ultimately it is the heart that counts, and this is borne out in our constant desire to raise the bar, and in our discipline in preparation and punctuality.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen.

Nate said...

i find this happens much to often, in my church for example, and in a differing situation, one of the drummers and also a close friend of mine became extremely fustrated and decided to step down from worship because he felt that much of the congregation did not worship God with their hearts and it had come to be simply a routine. and then just this last Sunday night, when we had our Alpha celebration, The Holy Spirit just poured into the room and just filled everyone up with a genuine heart of worship. my friend drummer came up to me after doing the set and said 'this is how worship is supposed to be'
unfortunate to say this does not happen regularly but i just thank God for the constant reminders that he is always working and that he never leaves us with nothing to work with

Johnson said...

great post. It's really true of what you have stated out. Many times we, musicians tend to take things for granted. Where now i believe attitude is what matter the most when it comes to serving the Lord. For the Lord looks at the heart of men. Not only in music ministry, but also to other little ministry.

I have learned to evaluate my own punctuality at times and glad that i'm mostly on the right track. *wink* Setting the right example for other musicians to follow is also important in impacting them of how enthusiastic and passionate we are when it comes to "Serving the Lord". True true.


Tips for musicians: Perhaps we can set our hand watch to 10 minutes early behind the actual clock. so that we will be "punctual" in every meet-up! LOL!


Anyway, reckoning back what my lecturer's famous phrase is,"Your punctuality shows your professionality."


GBU.

anton said...

..gee, i'm reminded about "me" as a musician in our church.. It's like this article is talking about me.. Indeed God works in mysterious ways.. I'm just a visitor in this site but i got sermoned..^_^..
anyway, thank you and God bless.. You're an instrument "bro"..

anton said...

..gees, i'm reminded about "me" as a musician in our church.. It's like this article is talking about me.. Indeed God works in mysterous ways.. I'm just a visitor in this site but i got sermoned..^_^..
anyway, thank you God bless.. You're an instrument "bro"..

Anonymous said...

If someone thinks church was boring and the music was uninspired, I find it hard to believe that his opinion is entirely due to a poor attitude. Pastors and musicians cannot use the excuse an excuse like "I was doing it for God" to cover for a boring sermon or uninspiring music.

God asks for our best offering, not whatever we feel is "good enough". Take the story of Cain and Abel... Cain the farmer offered fruits and vegetables from his harvest as a sacrifice to God while Abel the shepherd offered the best lamb. God was happy with Abel's offering but not with Cain's.

Sure, there's a possibility that this guy may have gone to church with a poor, critical attitude, but that doesn't mean God would not be able to touch his spirit through the message and the music. It's entirely possible that this guy came to church with a great attitude, only to be disappointed by words and music that were not inspired by the Spirit.

There are two sides here, and it's important for Christian musicians to always look for what they can do better rather than what other people are doing wrong.

My second rebuttal is on the topic of tardiness to rehearsals. If someone is tardy because of a poor attitude, it's important for the leader to find out what is the cause of the poor attitude. Is the musician over-worked and possibly over-committed? Maybe they need their commitment scaled down so that they are always on fire and looking forward to playing rather than feeling like it's becoming a routine. Personally I know I have been a few minutes late on several occasions because I keep finding things I need to grab or do before I leave so that I don't forget anything. I started setting my alarm clock a bit earlier because of that... sometime's it's just a matter of personal discipline.

God knows what's inside but we often judge a book by it's cover. If you see that someone on your team has a problem, talk to them and find out what's really going on. Sometimes they don't even realize it's a problem until you point it out. But grumbling and gossipping about it doesn't improve anything.

kenny said...

Thanks for the comments, they are very valid.

I agree that a bad environment or pastor can be disappointing, but the underlying of the listener attitude can still be good. If you don't come thirsty for God, there's nothing to be disappointed about. Hence, on the part of musicians, we need to offer our best to God, and serve the church in the best way we can. A good attitude may not be sufficient, but it is necessary.

I won't go as far as to say poor attitude is the only reason for a poor ministry standard. Perhaps, as you say, the person is too stretched. Then its due to a lack of time management skills. Other reasons could be health and personal reasons. But yes, you need personal discipline to be responsible for whatever role you have, for e.g. be willing to drop some commitments if you're too stretched.

I also agree that we need to talk and find out whats going on, so problems will surface and we can deal with them. The team needs to be close, regularly meeting up outside of rehearsals.

angio said...

thumbs up! God Bless!

ezra said...

I totally agree, being a musician in my church too I think all of us should do our best for God. Great message

dave said...

WOW! praise God for site like this.. keep up the Ministry bro..
Our Labor is not in vain!
Stay fired for God.. Go for excellence for His Glory and Honor through our lives..

darisond123 said...

God Bless u guys.....I'm also part of my church's worship team....and it is important for us to maintain a close relationship with God, and also with each other....it helps with many things..even with how the music sounds...and also with that close relationship one would be able to tell if someone has bad time management or some other reason...or if they really are losing interest, or falling back in their faith..it's also important as a worship team to pray n study the word together..this helps a lot in combating many issues that may arise..Great site..God Bless

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ping said...

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Iveth said...

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