I was listening to an interview between Michael Hyatt and Jen Hatmaker​ today on the online Influence & Impact Summit  (some great things to learn about this week for FREE).

One of the things she said about how her platform of influence has grown (or “Secret Sauce”) is by putting “a much lower priority on self-preservation”. She wasn’t referring to NOT being a self-preservationist, but just making it a lower priority. It reminds me of this scripture:

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12:3, ESV

Is this not humility? Especially when considering others?

It made me think of things we have to put aside to do that as believers in Christ. If we are concerned with the care of others, it means we have to go beyond ourselves. It means we have to risk transparency, risk failure, risk being rejected. We have legitimate fears that can cause us to keep ourselves closed up from influencing others around us. Or even being willing to share our lives more publicly. But what is going to be our greater priority? In my life it means I have to risk to love and be transparent with my failures, while going after the thing I know God has planted in my heart to be a blessing for others.HumilityCSLewis

Are there places (or a voice you have) that you hold back in your life and heart, that you wish you could let go of, letting God be your strength, to risk and reach out with?

“‘There is always room at the table for another’ (writer, speaker, leader, etc.)…yes, everything has most likely been said…but ‘there is room for you to say it the way you are going to say it.'” – Jen Hatmaker, Influence & Impact Summit, Online Interview, October 7, 2015

There is room for me to be another singer-songwriter out there…and I have a unique way to share my message through a mental health, spiritual, life lesson and musical perspective.

Does knowing this encourage you? If it does, what is the next step you will take to move you into taking a risk for something God has gifted you so that you can share it with others?

Find out more about Jen Hatmaker here.

Find out more about me and my music ministry: Jen Haugland Music

I’ve blogged on this before, yet I know it is not near enough.

I have been on a quest to find something rare during my time and stay in Franklin, TN this time: brokenness. Why search for it, you ask? You know how people say “Don’t pray for patience” or “Watch what you pray for”? Well, I really don’t care what other people say. I pray for brokenness in the same way as patience. It really ought to be something that exists on a daily basis. I need to keep it front and center.

Brokenness has been underrated since the beginning of the fall of mankind. My pride in doing things on my own stinks and humility is always where God wants me.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:17

“Broken” Hebrew shabar (Strong’s: H7665) appears 793 times in the Old Testament and in this particular scripture verse, the verb is considered a passive tense verb, although I believe it is in a simple form that remains active in the English. It can be a past, present and future form of being (someone please correct me if I am wrong).

In it’s Nephal tense it means:

1. to be broken, be maimed, be crippled, be wrecked

2. to be broken, to be crushed (figuratively)

My mind instantly goes to Jacob (Genesis 32:22-32); to the place where he wrestled with the Angel of the Lord (a Christophony). Jacob wouldn’t stop wrestling with God until He knew he had His blessing. The manifestation of God pulls Jacob’s hip out of socket and gives him a new name, Israel, so that he would remember that He saw God face to face, and that his life was delivered by Him. And then He blessed him.

Remain Broken BlogOh, how many times I know I wrestle with God and ask Him to bless my life at the same time. I too, have seen His goodness, “face to face”, in His word and in observing His active deliverance in my own life. I bear the scars of my rebellion and wrestling with Him. Yet, in His mercy and grace He has allowed me to persevere. And it is His hope that I have, evidenced by His Holy Spirit in me, that His love is poured out in my heart (Romans 5:3-5). It is His finished work at the cross that I have accepted in my life. This is my blessing: that Jesus has delivered me and I will live forever with Him. I am sealed for the day of redemption. He has not left or forsaken me, even though I feel alone many times. Brokenness hurts, but it doesn’t mean I am without hope. Brokenness is a sign of strength and humility. It is a sign that God is at work in me.

I want to remain broken, so I remain in Him. And one day, like Jacob, I will joyfully receive a new name and see the promise of His blessing.

Yes, it is very good to be broken; to have my life utterly wrecked, so that I do not rely on my own strength to do things. He will be the One that delivers me every time (past, present and future) from my self…so that I will remember what He has done for me. So that I will remember what I have overcome.

He builds my character. Refines me. And He is making me ready to see Him one day, when I am welcomed home.

Reference:

Hebrew Tenses – Help :: Help Tutorials :: Hebrew Verb Tenses.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H7665&t=ESV

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Psa&c=51&t=KJV&p=0#s=t_conc_529017

Blue FrenzySearch me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

Psalm 139:23-24

As I went through my Instagram feed this morning, I made note of the worship leaders in a church setting. Quite a few of the pictures reflected the famed big lights, the admiring worshipers, the band, and the worship leader on stage who seemed to have an air of coolness in some kind of way. And it was all archived by one image. I am not against big worship teams, great bands, lights, fantastic sound systems, highly skilled and trained musicians, etc.

But I sometimes wonder and feel that maybe I am missing out if I am a worship leader that doesn’t have a similar following, budget, equipment, band, clothing, hair, glasses, etc. And then I see the heart of a broken servant bowing in worship before the Lord and I think, no, none of that is needed to bring one heart closer to God. God can use whatever and whomever He wants to draw a worshiper to Himself.

Which goes to my main point in sharing this. Any of us in leadership are going to be held accountable for how well we took care of God’s sheep as we attempted to direct them (or didn’t direct them) to His throne of grace. How well do we get out of God’s way though, so we can allow His Spirit to actually do the work in drawing the worshiper? Or did we secretly admire some of His worship and hold onto it for ourselves thinking we are the ones who deserve it? Just a little?

I don’t think any of us are immune from wanting to feel important and accepted within the church and amongst other believers in our circles that we move in (myself included). We want to know that we make a difference in the lives of others. But is this the praise of man that we seek or are we willing to defer it until the end when we hear “well done, good and faithful servant?” If we seek the praise now here on earth, that’s it. It’s not waiting for us anywhere else. We’ve already received it. But if we store it up, we allow God His moment to glorify us in due time and pass up the temptation to take it for ourselves in the here and now.

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”

-Matthew 6:1

I am sure this is nothing new and it has been asked before in previous generations, but are we getting away from where our focus needs to be with the way we do music in our relatively small time of corporate worship? How does this impact the believers that are in desperate need to meet God in a real way? How are we setting examples for smaller churches with very little budgets, players, etc. Are we becoming a stumbling block? Is this the picture of the church God wants? I wonder sometimes if the poorest church and music ministry program is one of the richest in joy and heart.

Yes, it’s great to see so many people worshiping with “cool songs” that have been written out there. Even “cool people” that sing and play the songs. But who really gets the praise? Even in small churches it’s not so different. I hear people build up their worship leader and the ground that they walk on. And it is very tempting as a leader to bask in that for just a brief moment, that we almost come to expect it every time we play. And if we don’t hear the accolades, we wonder if there is something wrong we did.

I am sure that there are many mindful churches that try to keep this in check. It’s such a fine line to walk. What are we willing to do as worship leaders to also be a part of keeping this in check? Has pride and self-glory subtly found their way in? Is it time for us to check in with our Savior and allow Him free access to examine our hearts? And if He finds anything out of place are we willing to be led in the way of everlasting by Him? Would a picture of your music ministry and worship time look different as a result?

If we want to see change in the heart of our churches, then the heart of a lead worshiper and servant of Christ needs to be found here.

bowing

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

-Psalm 95:6