When I first started serving in the worship ministry on 3rd Aug 2013, I shadowed an experienced worship leader. I felt very weird, like an awkward extra on stage who did not know how to stand, what kind of expression would be appropriate, or where to look. Behind the scene, during worship practice, I did not know what they were talking about – Key? Medley? Hang there? I laughed along when they laughed even though I did not know what was going on. When the worship leader sang, I sang; I stopped when she/he stopped. At that time, I still grumbled and questioned why bother to schedule an extra person. But when I look back now, I really appreciate those necessary experiences. Not only did it prepare me to get use to standing in front of the congregation, but it also prepared the congregation for upcoming worship leaders like me. I thank God for everyone’s patience in guiding me and nurturing me. May God forgive my grumbling and complain.
Slowly, different worship leaders shared with me their way of preparing the worship flow and got me involved in worship leading, e.g. Scripture reading, prayers for offertory. When it was time for me to prepare the worship flow, they guided me and helped to vet through it. Though there were times when I felt fearful, I thank God that I was never alone with all of them around. I am grateful to God because it was through these times that my faith grew even more.
Since June 2014, I started leading worship without a second worship leader. I struggled with my incapability. I did not know when to come in at the beginning of the song, or even at the verse. I thank God that He provides musicians and other people, even though they are not scheduled, to help me sing. Today, I still struggle and need people to help me sing. But God is working mightily in me, in my heart.
Initially, whenever I was leading alone, there was not only fear in my heart, but also self-pity. I do not know how to sing! I would pray, and asked people to pray for me. Then I gathered all my faith to have confidence in the Lord. But if things went wrong, I could hardly control the almost instinctive emotional reaction. And I would cry uncontrollably on the spot, sometimes even cry throughout the whole sermon. I prayed before worship leading, I prayed during worship leading, but when mistakes happened, I tend to see it from my own point of view (I distracted congregation instead of helping them to focus), and blamed it on my incapability. Thank God for all your prayers and encouragement. God has always been working in me. Slowly God helped me to see mistakes from His point of view: He sees our hearts, not our performance. I thought: maybe the congregation also needs to learn to focus on God and not let other people or things to distract them. Knowing God is in control, I still cry at times, but I surrender everything to God. He is the One who enabled me and my team each and every time to finish the seemingly mission impossible to me.
On 9th July this year, I was leading worship and I prayed all the way throughout the worship session. My mind was fully occupied and focused on God that I had no spare space to focus on myself and my incapability. Though there were hiccups, I did not cry and blame myself. Instead, I could see my weakness positively. I thank God for my weakness in singing which reminds me to be humble; otherwise I may become too proud. I thank God for my inability to sing well with music, because it pushes me to God, to depend fully on Him and to have confidence in Him alone, not my own flesh.
On 13th Aug, I was leading worship. There were mistakes/hiccups. I praise God that He reminds me that He is God and I am human. I was reminded of Sam Ang’s sharing with me: whenever there are hiccups during his worship time, he gives thanks to God. Not that he is seeking for mistakes, but he knows when everything goes smoothly and so well, people tend to think highly of human and praise human. With hiccups, it reminds people to praise God and points people to God. I truly thank God for His patience and His mighty work in molding me. I truly thank God for putting me in such a community to grow together. I thank God for the faith of our church leaders who allow people like me to make mistakes and grow. I just feel so loved and blessed. I know there will be hiccups, disappointments, and struggles still. But I know I will overcome all these together with God and His people like you.
Hallelujah! All praise be to our God.