“Walk with the wise and become wise…” - Proverbs 13:20
You heard recently from one of our interns, DyAna Bush, about what she’s learned since she joined our team. I recently had a conversation with our other music intern, 19-year old Jordan Moore, about the things he’s learned since becoming a NEXT intern. Although he didn’t have as many specific points of reflection as DyAna, he did share something I felt was particularly interesting. He said that just by being here he’s become much more aware of what it means to be excellent in the area of ministry. Jordan leads worship now and then, but most of his time is relegated to changing guitar strings, hauling gear from one room to another, cleaning the dishes in the kitchen, driving to the music store, and anything else we can think for him to do. But even in the menial tasks he’s acquired a spirit of excellence. Just by being around our creative team day in and day out he’s picked up on the way we do things.
The Bible is clear that when we hang out with fools, we become like them. However, when we spend time with the wise we become wise. It’s a bit like osmosis – a gradual transference of substance from one place to another. The question is: Who is transferring wisdom, creativity, excellence, ideas, etc. into your life? As worship/creative leaders we must continue to surround ourselves with people who challenge our ideas, sharpen our instincts and dare us to move into new and different arenas.
In 20+ years in the music industry and in the ministry I’ve known too many musicians and worship pastors who believe that they can do all this on their own. Their ideas are the best ones, their way of doing things is paramount to the way anybody else does it. Shall we say that walking alone produces isolationism? I think we can. Isolationism then produces an unchecked ego. Ego produces failure. “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” says James 4:6.
A few suggestions for worship leaders:
**Build a diverse team. ** Allow them to challenge you (respectfully, of course). Welcome their input and allow their ideas to trump yours at times.
** Find “next generation” musicians to pour your wisdom into. ** You’ll be surprised how much they’ll end up pouring into you creatively.
** Step outside your comfort zone. ** Listen to different types of music and judge it for its creative spark, not on your personal taste. Do the same with movies, performance art, etc. Expand your horizons!
** Give it time. ** Osmosis is a gradual process – it does not happen overnight. Remember, we “walk with the wise”, we don’t sprint.
It’s difficult to become excellent or expand your creativity just by reading a blog post. You have to surround yourself with excellence and creativity day in and day out. I’m proud of Jordan and what he’s accomplished since he’s been an intern. I’ve benefited as well. He’s reminded me of what it is to be wide-eyed and excited, ready to do something big for God. I’m thankful every day to work with people who make me better, who allow me to do what I’m created to do on a high level. Do the same for yourself. Osmosis-ize your life!