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To See You, Lord

I don't want to be a tour guide 
at the nature reserve called Abba, 
directing others’ attention 
to that cliff-face over there...
that ravine...
that bush...
that vista, 
fabricating wonder for guests 
but having in my soul 
completely lost touch 
with the landscape of my Father's heart. 
I want to see You, Lord. 
Fully. 
I want to feel the texture, heat and cold. 
To breathe Your air and discover 
the unseen tracks of who You are. 
I don't want to live a life that points to You. 
That is not enough. 
I want to live engrossed in You. 
Sweat on my brow. 
Dirt under my nails. 
Flowers in my hair. 
Utterly lost in the wild wonder.
-Antonette Weatherly

Skipping Rocks

My family spent a September week in the woods of Colorado. While hiking a trail around our cabin we came to a lovely river, water clear as glass, flowing over a bed of stones. We began to show the little ones among us how to toss the rocks and observe the splash. Of course, this evolved into a friendly competition of skipping rocks between my husband and brother-in-law.

I’ve walked many a shore watching my husband skip rocks. So much so that I’ve become his official rock finder. I don’t have a strong arm like my husband but I can find the best skipping rocks, flat and smooth.

As we walked the bank outside our cabin, I laid eyes on it, a beautiful white stone, flat, wide, and smooth. It was perfect. I reached down, pulled it from the cold earth and placed it in my husband’s ready hand. He immediately released it across the water.The stone skipped gracefully several times before finally splitting into the water’s surface and sinking lightening hard to the bottom. We collectively awed with approval. A perfect throw.

“Nettie’s rock and Tucker’s arm,” my brother-in-law cheered.

In that moment the Lord spoke to my heart, “your rock, My arm.”

Immediately, I recalled Peter professing the identity of Christ. Peter says, “you are the Christ”…to which Jesus responds, “flesh and blood didn’t reveal this to you, but the Spirit of God, and upon this rock (this revelation) I will build my church.”

As I am faithful to gather the word of God to my heart (a treasure hunt on the Lord’s shore) whether I feel like it or not, whether I have perfect understanding of it or not, He will, by His Spirit, bring revelation. And with His strong arm, He will propel me into growth by way of the rock of His revelation.

We so often over-complicate transformation by believing our weak effort alone will be enough, failing to understand it is “not by might, nor by power, but by [His] Spirit” that transformation occurs. I only need to provide the rock. By reading His word in the simple faith that it will not return void of power, you place a smooth stone in His hand, and it will accomplish in you and around you what it is released to do.

Your rock, His arm.

Approved

For those endeavoring to begin a new Kingdom work:

Recently, while preparing to speak at my church for the first time since turning 30, I asked the church secretary for a private place to pray before service. She showed me into what is known as the count room. A tiny, hidden space, I had assumed to be a closet, was in actuality once the room where the tithes and offerings were taken to be counted. Quietly within, I knelt down to pray, and noticed a very large safe, bank slips, and money bags.

Turning 30 was a significant shift in my life. This age for me has marked the beginning of running my race in the Kingdom, putting my full weight on the promise and call of God on my life, holding nothing back. This night of speaking would set a precedence. What was I to teach? I taught on the subject of proximity, coming close to God. This is where it all began for me at 15 years old, praying in my bedroom, simply enjoying His presence, then receiving a radical call from God.

As I sat in the count room, pouring my heart out before the Lord, thankful to be 30, thankful to be here, and in a new year, He impressed upon me the significance of the room in which I was sitting.

The Lord is getting ready to take you into the “count room.” The place of first fruits offering, where as you lay your heart and intents before him, He will approve and confirm. Where you have awaited confirmation, and affirmation; where you have deeply desired to have it confirmed that you are where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to be doing, He will evaluate, and take account of you. 

It’s important to understand and live humbly in knowing that you are and are not ready, and you must exist between the tension of the two. You are ready in that you have said “yes,” but you are not ready in that you have no idea what is coming. You are ready in that you have prepared well, but you are not ready in that you don’t understand what sacrifice is yet ahead. You are ready in that you have heard rightly to “go,” but you are not ready in that it will be the day-in and day-out kneeling before His throne that will be your source of strength. 

Paul writes to Timothy advising him to “study to shew thyself approved unto God.” Approved here refers to coinage and it being cut accurately, no sides shaved down. No cut corners, so to speak. A coin that is approved is the right weight in silver, worth its full value. 

In this season the Lord is drawing you into divine evaluation. He does not evaluate a child of His that can’t pass. You are ready. Take this opportunity, in His presence, to lay your heart and intent before Him without reservation. Put your full weight into the task He has assigned you. Ask Him all of the questions, and trust Him. Speak the vision He is downloading in your spirit, and hold it with an open hand before Him (ready at all times, should He make alterations). Receive His approval, and move with the utmost confidence in this new work.

Rest for Your Soul

My little family of 3 frequently takes a 20 minute drive into the country to visit my in-laws. Some visits we remain until well after dark. That means a 20 minute drive home beneath the stars. 

When we pull up in our driveway we kick into our “out too late” bedtime routine. First, my husband scoops up our sleeping daughter from her carseat and gently deposits her in her bed. I then change my sleeping girl into her pajamas. Sometimes, this evokes a sweet smile from her, and feeling tenderly cared for, she nestles down into her blanket and drifts off to dreaming. 

I remember the exact feeling when I was a little girl, of being half asleep and my mom changing me into my pajamas. I recall the strange relief of having fallen asleep in one place, waking up in another, and finding yourself secure in the arms of your parent making you comfortable for bed. 

Recently, the Lord brought this to my heart and spoke that in this season, where many are experiencing fear, panic, and unrest, we can rest like my little girl, in and through Him.

In Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

The rest that God gives is more than physical rest, although physical rest is included. God also provides rest for our souls. As you meditate on Him, our good Shepherd, and His provisions for you, you can experience what it is to be tenderly cared for in times of trouble, and as you do, He will “make [you] to lie down in green pastures” (Psalm 23:2). 

Prophetic Word: The Sound of Ringing Brass

3:00 AM February 18, 2020

This morning I saw a shovel digging deep into the earth and suddenly it struck against a treasure box. The SOUND of the strike was so loud it carried across the earth. The Lord spoke that across nations, across denominations, the body of Christ is STRIKING UPON THE TREASURE OF THE LORD. A sound like RINGING BRASS is resonating over the Church. The treasure that we have found is INTIMACY WITH THE MOST HIGH in the secret place. The deep yearning of the Spirit is compelling the people of God to find the true treasure of His presence and to REVERE it. There is a GREAT MOVE OF OUR FOCUS, a UNITY in the single pursuit of HIS FEET. 

The tip of the unearthed treasure box was covered in soil and time-worn on the outside, but those digging knew the YET HIDDEN GLORY of what they had struck. 

The SOUND of the shovel hitting the treasure was like that of RINGING BRASS. 

“And [Jesus’s] eyes were as a flame of fire, And his FEET LIKE UNTO HIM FINE BRASS, as if they burned in a furnace,” (Revelation 1:14-15).

Don’t stop digging! You have FOUND HIS FEET. As we make our dwelling at the feet of Jesus in the SECRET PLACE, we too are being PURIFIED IN THE SAME FURNACE of Yaweh’s love. His feet are the PLACE OF EXCHANGE, where we receive MORE OF HIS MANIFEST GLORY as He burns up all impurities. 

The SOUND OF RINGING BRASS is the words of David crying, “ONE THING I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).

The sound is His invitation over us to the MOST INTIMATE PLACE OF MEETING, where He transforms us into His own likeness, PLACING THE TREASURE OF HIS HEART into our hearts, making them cry out, “I will be satisfied when I awake in your likeness,” (Psalm 17:15).

As we live in this deep place of intimacy by the Spirit, we will carry His feet with us onto the main stages of the earth and into the recesses with GREATER POTENCY, making every place we enter a THRONE ROOM FOR ENCOUNTER with the King of Kings. 

At His feet He releases HIS SECRETS—secrets that release HIS WILL (the very ATMOSPHERE OF HEAVEN) into the earth through the individuals that carry them. The SOUND OF RINGING BRASS over us is resounding with the words, “There’s a private place reserved FOR THE LOVERS OF GOD, where they sit near him and receive the revelation-secrets of his promises” (Psalm 25:14-16 TPT).

Confessions of An Overcomer

Recently, I found myself in a new ministry atmosphere in which I knew without a doubt, I was in over my head. It was an opportunity I had waited and prepared for for years but actually being in that room, surrounded by leaders I’d looked up to for over a decade was surreal.

And do you know what I heard, “who do you think you are?”

That same old voice, using that same old strategy, “hath God said?”

The thoughts begun to rush in like a flood.

“Who are you to speak to God’s people? You’ve failed too big and too often to ever be of any use to the Kingdom. You’re a woman. You’re too young. This isn’t worth the risk. Life was easier being quiet. What do you hope to gain by this?”

I’ll admit, I listened to the voice of the enemy for about 5 minutes on the car ride home, then, my husband and Jesus slapped some sense into me.

The Lord said, “give me leaders who have been through some stuff.  Leaders that have walked through fire but don’t smell of smoke. Who have overcome lack, loss, rejection, sin, and sickness. People that know what it is to apply the blood of Jesus to their lives and see His power released. People that have trained their eyes to look at their suffering through the veil of his unfailing love. People who boast in their weakness, their losses, their embarrassments, and their failures. These are the more-than-overcomers in Christ, that will set captives free.

The enemy is scared to Hell that instead of identifying with all you are not, you will begin to identify with all that you have been made in Christ. When we identify with the finished work of Jesus, putting on Christ, we share in His victory.  He’s going to bring you into rooms in which you feel in over your head. Get ready! You are right where you belong, overcomer. 

Stewarding Kingdom Influence

John’s encounter with Jesus at the Jordan River in Matthew 4 teaches us what it is to healthily steward Kingdom influence. 

John has been preaching to the multitudes, “Heaven is about to appear! Turn from evil and turn to God!” (Matthew 3:2)  And thousands are responding to his message of freedom by confessing their sin and being baptized in the Jordan River. John knows his life’s message and is owning it with bold conviction in front of believers and non-believers alike. 

THEN Jesus comes to Galilee to be baptized by John. Matthew 3:13 says, “when Jesus waded into the water John RESISTED him saying, ‘why are you doing this?’ John the Baptist, the prophesied voice crying out in the wilderness (see Isaiah 40:3, Mal. 3:1) RESISTED Jesus! John’s been telling the multitudes that the Messiah is coming, who will baptize his people in fire (see Acts 2), and whose shoes John is not worthy to touch. Yet, the moment Jesus shows up with new instruction, John resists him.

I believe we all too often find ourselves as taken aback by Jesus as John is in this moment. We’re running our race, others’ lives are being impacted by our ministry, and we’re feeling fully capable of carrying out the assignment exactly as planned. BUT THEN Jesus steps into our situation with a new direction and we find ourselves at odds with the King. Put yourself in John’s shoes. “Surely you’ve got this wrong Jesus. I’m not really supposed to baptize you? Surely not now, in front of all of these people? After all that I’ve told them? What would they think?”

Isn’t it funny how often we as believers value a good presentation over the presence of Jesus? Jesus is right there! He’s telling John what must be done but because it doesn’t compliment his idea of a well executed plan, John is stopped in his tracks. He is resistant to the very thing he’s been expectant of, Jesus’ coming. Even if John felt unworthy of what he was being asked to do, who was he to argue with Jesus?

When John asks, “why are you doing this?” I love Jesus’ reply. He says, “it’s only right that we do all that the Father requires.” In other words, “because I said so.” When Jesus wades into your situation, that one you’ve got all figured out, (the 5 year plan, the chosen college, the ministry, the blog, the child rearing, the career) and he speaks your next move to you, take a page from John’s story. Don’t try to figure it out. Don’t expect a theological dispensation on why this and not that. Simply obey.

John baptizes Jesus. “And as Jesus rose up out of the water, the heavenly realm opened up over him and he saw the Holy Spirit descend out of the heavens and rest upon him…the Father shouted from the sky, saying, ‘This is the Son I love, and my greatest delight is in him” (Matthew 3:16-17) Think of how affirming and fulfilling this moment was for John! His quick obedience to the instruction of Jesus solidified him forever in the story of the unfolding Kingdom and the arrival of its King. Each well-stewarded moment of resistance in your life, each opportunity to obey, solidifies you in that story as well.

On the other side of obedience is always breakthrough. If you are waiting for breakthrough in any area of your life, I am willing to wager there is an opportunity to obey attached to it. We don’t know what manifest glory we release in our lives when we simply take Jesus at his word and say yes. It wasn’t sin for John to resist, to not understand, or to even question Jesus’ plan. But he didn’t allow it to cause him to disobey.

In John 5:35 Jesus calls John “a lamp that burned and gave light.” I believe John was a man of fire not because he spoke loudly and wore wild clothing but because he chose obedience to Christ over the convenience of being luke-warm and in charge. Living in the delight of agreement with Jesus far surpasses the brief satisfaction of a well-executed plan. We must remember that we are citizens of a Kingdom in which we are not the King. As John’s life demonstrates, simple obedience to Jesus is a mark of true Kingdom influence. 

Freedom

I’ve been processing with the Lord my expectations of what freedom looks like in a congregation, an entire congregation free of fear and shame. I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of the picture of freedom I had painted in my mind is desperately lacking, at least fundamentally.

Freedom is often thought of as this explosive expression, a kind of spontaneous combustion. I think of a congregation fully free and I imagine radical worship, demonstrative praise, services rich in emotion and bravado. I suppose I find that really attractive because I belong to a culture of hype seekers. Don’t get me wrong, I believe freedom looks like something. It surely doesn’t look like nothing, but I am beginning to consider that freedom looks like the woman of faith gently laying her hand on the broken and seeing them healed. Or that it looks like tears streaming down the face of the man of God experiencing the love of Jesus so deeply in prayer with a brother, he can’t even utter a sound as he weeps.

As a worship leader, there have been seasons in my life I have struggled to understand what it is to behave free, in order that I might encourage freedom in others. It occurred to me today that freedom isn’t necessarily loud, in your face, shouting “let me show you how free I am!” And I’m so relieved because I was never very good at that.

Jesus was the freest man to walk the earth. ALL the fullness of God dwelt in Him. Understanding that, how could I set my expectation on a demonstrative display of a manifestation only, and not upon the calm invitation he utters to Lazurus when he says, “come forth,” or when he says to the Canaanite woman, “your faith has made you whole,” or when he promised the man who hung beside him on the cross, “today you will be with me in paradise.” Or better yet, when he came toward his disciples unannounced, walking across the surface of the water toward them, inviting Peter to join him. No hype. No bravado. Just authority released.

I think sometimes we as Christ followers invite noise into our gatherings because we are afraid to speak only, to lay our hands on, to cast out, to bind and to loose, to let the word produce life. We are afraid because these acts require our cooperation. These acts require a step of faith & we fear mustard seed faith will be inadequate. It is a fear that would never utter the words and yet agrees, “I’d rather shout than come face to face with my sister in need of healing, in need of prayer.”

I’m still processing all of this but I believe the Lord is saying, come up higher. He is giving me a new perspective. He is redefining what a “win” looks like when I step off of the stage after leading worship. He is inviting me to expect more of our services and to value the seemingly uneventful encounters happening across the room more than I ever have before.

I believe a wave is coming, sweeping across the Body of Christ, the likes of which the global Church has not known. Some things released will be loud, some things will be subtle. I don’t want to miss seeing what the Lord is doing because I would not value the subtle expressions of Heaven’s outpouring as highly as I value the earth shaking ones. More than something that is seen, I am beginning to believe that freedom is something that is known intimately, in the heart of man. It is the very nature of the Lion of Judah being released in us–sometimes roaring, sometimes resting in his strength, but always seated in authority. I believe freedom looks like that.

Surrendered: An Interview with Her Virtue Director Kayla McCusker

Victory Life Church’s Her Virtue is an annual camp retreat in which hundreds of young ladies ages 12-18 gather together to spend a weekend in worship, growing in connection, and discovering purpose. Throughout the weekend, campers participate in a range of fun activities, workshops, small groups, powerful teaching, and passionate worship.

Each year the Her Virtue team puts in weeks of prayerful preparation with one goal in mind: that lives will be forever changed by the love of Christ. For many returning campers and leaders this event has become synonymous with radical encounters with the Lord and moments that set the course for the rest of their lives.

Now, in it’s 11th year, Her Virtue is under the directorship of ministry leader Kayla McCusker and her team.  I got to sit down with Kayla to get an idea of what the journey to Her Virtue 2018: Unveiled has been like, and what’s in store for these ladies this year.

Q- This is you and your team’s first time to be responsible for the planning of a Her Virtue Conference. What has that process looked like?

A- So, I have a team of 7 and we meet every week. The first few meetings we were just sharing what was on our hearts. We didn’t talk about the logistics of the conference. All we did was share what we were going through in our lives and things we were struggling with. The second meeting was more of a “so what’s on your heart for Her Virtue” meeting. And it’s really cool because everything we had to say was all connecting. The Lord’s just awesome like that! There have been some challenges but overall it’s been one of the best seasons I’ve ever had. Because there is so much to do, in the back of our minds there’s always that thought that we forgot something but we’ve worked through it. The team that we have for Her Virtue makes everything a piece of cake. They’re awesome.

Q- What’s on your heart this year for the ladies attending?

A- Our hearts behind what we want for Her Virtue to be this year was first off…this year we are dealing with some heavy stuff regarding sexuality and everything that’s going on in the world…things that have entered not just the culture of the world but the culture that we as young people host. We knew that it was going to be more of a difficult year. We were going to have to jump through some things that we didn’t have to in previous conferences. There are so many different temptations and struggles out there, so how do we cultivate a culture where your temptation isn’t who you are? Where you can say, “I’m dealing with this, but it’s not who I am.” It’s a huge identity issue. We were wanting to create a place where they belong despite if they were dealing with pornography, same-sex attraction, whatever it is. We wanted to go with a theme that would allow us to instill truth into everyone’s heart so that when they leave the conference it’s not just another weekend.

Q- What does the theme Unveiled mean?

Picture going to an art gallery and there’s this masterpiece that has been the talk for months now. The whole conference is leading up to an unveiling. Unveiling the beauty in Christ’s work. We want them to know they are still wanted, they are still apart of this Kingdom no matter what they’ve struggled with. A huge goal of our team is to pull at the roots of whatever struggle they’re dealing with, not to say you shouldn’t be doing this but to find the root. The deeper reason why. Unveiled is about identity.

Q- You’ve attended Her Virtue every year for years? What was your experience as an attendee?

A- I’ve never left a Her Virtue conference feeling like I was missing something. I’ve never left feeling like that was a waste of my time. Her Virtue is where I received my prayer language. It’s where I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Some of my best friendships were formed at Her Virtue. It has kept the momentum of my walk with God up. It’s once a year but it was always something to look forward to.  It kept the momentum there, kind of fanned the flame. It helped me to find a community of people dealing with some of the things that I was dealing with and going through some of the things that I was going through.

Q-What would you say to young ladies who are apprehensive about attending Her Virtue?

A-The thought of going to a conference is very intimidating but my advice is that you have nothing to lose. If you’re going to take a chance, take a chance with a group or people that are on the same page as you. Her Virtue is a judgement-free place. I’ve dealt with some pretty heavy stuff that I feel like came forward at Her Virtue but was never judged.

Q- You’ve been leading in your church for 6 years and are one of the hardest workers I know. What advice would you give young ladies who feel called to leadership roles?

A- There are so many times in this walk, in being in ministry on a volunteer level for so long, that you feel you were promised something and it didn’t happen. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that if you are continuing to seek after the Lord and being obedient then there’s nothing but promotion. The times I’ve felt the most down about myself or my place in ministry was when I had paused seeking after the Father.

Q- Finally, what does surrender mean to you?

A- Thankfully, I’m in a church that encourages female leadership but since it is kind of a new thing culturally, you find yourself dealing with insecurity but wanting control at the same time. Having struggled with comparison and being so young in ministry,  I know what it is to surrender to self. In order to get to the place I knew the Lord was calling me to, I had to surrender my insecurities. Surrender is laying down anything that is self. Especially leading a team. If I’m not willing to surrender to self then it’s not going to be the team’s Her Virtue, it’s going to be my Her Virtue which isn’t going to be as good as the teams.

Surrendered: An Interview with Worship Leader Tayte Weatherly

Tayte Weatherly has been leading worship in her church since the age of 14. She has served two Victory Life Church campuses in youth and adult services, Victory Life Academy’s Chapel band, and multiple worship conferences. Her commitment to sharing the love of the Father and a passionate heart of worship has led her on a life-long pursuit of the presence of God being made manifest through His people.

In 2016, this pursuit led her to begin her first Worship Life Group.  This group provides an environment in which members participate in an extended time of worship, during which the gifts of prophetic ministry, healing, and prayer are lovingly encouraged and practiced by its members.

Q- What was your vision for starting a worship life group?

A- I have a really good friend named Jesse Hanks. The idea was actually hers in the beginning. She came to me and her vision for it was very simple. She wanted a time of worship for people who were hungry….people who wanted to go deeper, who weren’t afraid to put a lot of time aside for it, and not in a hurry.

Q- How did you begin?

A- We started meeting in the first place I ever led spontaneous worship, in the chapel at Victory Life Church in Durant. I started leading spontaneously while a sophomore in high school there. So, where we held the life group was super special to me because it felt like a reawakening of that first love. Spontaneous worship was a big part of the vision for the life group from the beginning.

Q- How would you describe spontaneous worship?

A- Spontaneous worship and prophetic worship are different. In spontaneous worship you’re not prophesying, you’re just loving on God in your own personal and unique way. Prophetic worship is God loving on the people in the room. You’re just used as a messenger. You go back and forth between them throughout a worship set. You’re always loving on God and then He’s pouring that love back into you [through prophetic songs]. Spontaneous is loving on God in your own words, on the spot.

Q- What is it about this aspect of worship that you love?

A- I love art and God loves art. He loves when we’re creative. I think the creative element of it caught me from the beginning. I’m also a super affectionate person and it was a way for me to release affection for the Lord like I never really had before. And [it was a way] to be emotionally vulnerable with the Lord. I love the vulnerability of it because it’s a huge risk! You’ve never sung these words before! It’s kind of a sacrifice that you give the Lord because it costs you something. It costs you being comfortable sometimes, and it costs you being safe.

Q- What do you think is the role of spontaneous and prophetic worship within the Church?

A- I’ve found that it is a huge facilitator for other ministries, like healing. Prophets will share more when there are prophetic worship leaders leading. So, it’s a huge facilitator for the supernatural really.

Q- What do you see God doing in your worship life group?

A- In my worship life group there’s no line between the stage and the audience. We all want to be there. The worship leaders don’t want to be there more than the people attending ’cause no one comes on a Friday night and worships unless they really want to worship. Because of the hunger in the people, there’s no distinction between the person leading and the people receiving. We’re both being vulnerable with the Lord. I would love to see more of that in the Church [as a whole], where we don’t expect the worship leader to be more excited than us. We’re both going after the Lord.

Q- Last year, you moved from meeting in the chapel to meeting in Janell Martin’s home. What has that transition been like?

A- The change between the chapel and the home was exactly what we needed. It seemed to fit the style of worship we were doing better than an auditorium or a sanctuary because it was very intimate and it felt like family worship.

Q- Your group experienced a lot of growth in numbers after the move, how have you grown as a worship leader since?

A- I didn’t expect having to grow as much as I did in flexibility and in facilitating ministries…learning to honor them. For example, recently I felt the Lord tell me to pause while singing. I didn’t necessarily want to pause. It was a beautiful moment with the Lord and I wanted to keep on singing, but He told me to pause because someone else in the room had a prophetic word. So, I just honored the Lord and paused. Sure enough someone did give a prophetic word during that time of silence. Learning to leave times of silence is something that I didn’t expect to have to learn how to do. That’s been a real growing experience.

Q- You’re learning to flow with group members who are stepping out in their gifts. How do you flow spontaneously with your team of vocalists?

A- I think you have to sing with a person for a long time to figure out the right flow and again, it takes a lot of honor. Someone might get a prophetic word and you have to let them sing it out, even if that wasn’t what you were feeling in the room. I’ve heard it called honoring the point. It’s like a pointing dog that points at something and before you see it, you just trust that the point knows what he’s talking about. You really have to develop more relationship with prophetic worship leaders because there’s a lot more trust needed.

Q- How do you flow spontaneously with the instrumentalists on your team?

A- I believe that instruments also prophesy. David prophesied with his harp and demons would leave Saul [1 Samuel 16:14-23]. I think that instrumentalists are just as important as singers in prophetic moments. As a leader you have to be very observant to the sounds that are going on around you because an instrumentalist can be catching a new sound, a new song and you might have to encourage them. I think it’s big to understand that you don’t just have prophetic songs, you also have instrumentalists coming up with melodies that can release power in the room.

Q- How has leading in a life group setting effected the way that you lead from the stage?

A- I think the biggest thing I’ve learned in life group that’s helped me leading from the stage is that sometimes God wants you to restrain yourself if it’s right for the moment. We have to remember that the people in the congregation are God’s kids and He’s very careful with His kids. I’ve learned to be very careful and really try to hear the Lord’s voice as well as I can. When He’s telling me no, I stop. When He’s telling me yes, I go. That’s something I’ve become better at because of life group.

Q- What kinds of challenges have you faced as a worship leader?

A- I think you have to fight comparison no matter how long you’ve been leading. We all have different strengths. There will always be someone who has a better range than you. There will always be someone who can do things with their voice that you can’t. The enemy will try to get you to waste your time comparing yourself with them instead of listening to what the Lord is saying to you. The main thing is listening to the voice of the Lord.

A- How do you overcome the struggle with comparison?

Q- Getting the Father’s perspective…seeing that person how He sees them will help you to celebrate them instead of seeing them as competition. When I see someone with a better voice than me or someone who is a better prophetic worship leader than me, I encourage them to go farther. It’s about not staying stagnate and not having the attitude that, “I’m the only person who can do what I do.” Letting people pass you, letting people exceed you, and actually being excited about that, that’s the Father’s heart.

Q- How would you encourage others who are growing as worship leaders?

A- Time alone with God. You can’t replace time alone with God with anything else if you want to grow. The more personal time I have of just worshiping the Lord, the better all of the times of worshiping on a stage are.

Take Away:

  • Spontaneous worship is about loving on God.
  • Prophetic worship is God loving on His kids.
  • Honor is a key component in flowing in the gifts of the Spirit.
  • When you see others the way the Father does, you can celebrate them.
  • You can’t replace time alone with God with anything else if you want to grow.