I grew up loving music and I started singing at five years old, when my older brother taught me how to sing the latest songs on CHUM radio. I had no idea that music would become such a deep passion! It also, at times, became an obsession for me.
I always wanted to be on the stage since seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show, and eventually, it became a reality. The “stage” is lit up so the performers can be seen by the audience. Ultimately, the reason I wanted to be on the stage was to receive a sense of love. I was seeking a deeper sense of value and worth.
I finally surrendered and got saved at 46 years old. I slowly started to understand that the platform in the church was much different than the stage I had become so familiar with. The stage is designed so the performers can be seen and, at times, adored by the audience. The platform is designed to praise and worship the audience of “One.” The Lord is meant to be the focus, and the church members become a group of worshipers. Only the Lord is worthy to be worshiped and adored. We are designed to worship, but we are not designed to be worshiped.
Everything had to be realigned for me as I slowly transitioned from the stage to the platform. It was no longer a show but a service. I was no longer the one who was being worshiped, but I was used to usher people into the presence of the only One who is worthy to be worshiped.
Often in church situations, when someone has a prominent worship gift, they are quickly fast tracked onto the platform. The modern church culture depends on good preaching, good worship and snappy video and lighting effects. When a new member comes into the church with any of these much-needed gifts, he or she is often swiftly lifted up. This is very dangerous, as this is exactly what happened to Jody and me. When this happens, our dormant pride has a very good chance of reviving itself and beginning its destructive, declining tactics! This declining fall happened to us once or twice in our journey! The old patterns of self-importance began to resurface.
In the secular music business, it is vastly preferable that we try as much as we can to sound exactly like the original recordings. It is sad to see a very similar trend in the church world. If our hearts are sold out for Him, then our musical style preference should take a back seat to our open hearts releasing our praise to Him. Sometimes I hear musicians warming up to a familiar "secular" song on the church platform. I personally wonder why? Perhaps some people have not experienced the effect that some of these songs can negatively have on some listeners?
The church platform should be a place of holiness. I believe we are called to holiness. We are called and honoured to worship the Lord. God is worthy to be honoured with all of our hearts, in Spirit and in Truth.