I had the privilege to lead worship for my small group a couple weeks ago. I came in moderately prepared. Prior to this, I haven’t lead any kind of worship for roughly seven years, so I knew I was going to be rusty in both singing and playing as well as just an overall leader. Now, my small group isn’t large (did the word “small” give it away?), but I still felt a bit nervous playing and leading people. I think I messed up at least four or five times, but it didn’t matter too much, I kept moving my focus from me to God, and the night ended in a joyous time of prayer and worship.
When I got home that night, I felt bad about how I performed. I didn’t care so much how I performed in front of my peers. Sure, it may have been a tiny bit embarrassing that it was obvious I didn’t practice as much as I could have, but felt bad how I performed in worship in front of God. When I look at what He’s given me—not things, but raw talent and skill—I felt I didn’t honor Him by not honing my God given abilities.
I’m reminded of the the parable of the three servants.1 The master entrusted his servants with bags of silver. Two of the three servants doubled the master’s fortune, while the last one horded his share of silver and did nothing with it. The last servant was so scared that he might lose what his master gave him and stored it away in a safe place effectively where no one, not even the servant, could ever make use of it. The master became upset at this third servant that he took away the silver and gave it to the first servant (whom it seemed like the master entrusted the most considering the first servant was given 3 more bags of silver over the second servant).
To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.2
In its common context, this parable represents the monetary resources God gives us and our how we ought to be responsible stewards of said resources. When He entrusts us with His resources and we do well with what He’s given us, He is willing to give us more responsibility3 to even more resources.
So how does this relate to my ability to lead in worship? I believe the talents He gifted me with is also a resource that I’m responsible over. Did He bless me to be naturally perfect in these talents? No, but He has blessed me with the desire to be better and hone these skills He’s given me… whether those skills is musically, photographically, or programmatically, I owe it to Him to excel to the best of my own ability before He grants me more responsibility in those areas. I’m not striving for perfection (only He is perfect), I ought to keep striving for excellence so that He may be glorified.
Whatever you do, do well.4