1 Chronicles 16:41 With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and designated by name to give thanks to the Lord, “for his love endures forever.”
This last part of the chapter doesn’t specifically reference the joy of the Lord, but it is certainly references the joyful activities of the day. Both books of Chronicles are written from the perspective of the Levites, and lists of names appear in several places. This particular section stands out to me because of names I’m familiar with from the attributions of Psalms, specifically Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun. In other words, David was far from being the only musician and poet involved here. I like what this verse says about “those chosen and designated by name.” In other words, the Worship Team was made up of people who were recognized as good, dedicated musicians by others, doubtless including David. Many churches today use worship teams, and that can be a very good thing. However, there are two major cautions involved. The first is that musicianship isn’t the only, or even the most important, qualification. If they are to lead worship, they must be genuine worshipers themselves. That relates closely to the second point, and that is that they aren’t to be performing, but rather leading the congregation to worship. Too many churches focus on a stage production, leaving the congregation as no more than the audience. That is hardly worship! Professional Christian musicians have the same issue: they are pleasing to God to the degree that they lead others to worship Him. Some get caught up in the same cult of personality that many secular musicians promote, and that can degenerate into a genuine abomination. There are indeed many examples of people who were brought to the Lord through being involved in worship teams, but they are definitely the exception. Non-believers should at the most be a small minority, and have no voice in such questions as the selection of music. As a side note here, the pastor should be the Chief Worshiper. They may not be a formal member of the worship team, but they too must remember that they are in the service to worship God. If they are focused on giving a good presentation of their sermon, then the probability of that sermon being the Word of the Lord to the congregation is very low indeed.
This is of course very close to home for me. It’s only been in fairly recent years that we have had worship teams other than Cathy and me. Worship through music is a joy and a delight to me, but I must be careful that it is genuine worship, and not showing off. Our younger daughter is the music minister in her church, on top of her “W-2 job.” Her other job does give her satisfaction and joy as well as income, but her heart is in raising up people to worship God. When she comes to visit us here, she has people who are already trained to lead effectively in worship. She’s far better at that than I am! I too desire to raise up a people who will worship God in spirit and in truth, not only in the church building but throughout their lives.
Father, thank You for this strong reminder. Thank You for all You have done in and through me in this area over the years. Thank You for the anticipation I have of worshiping You before Your throne! May I indeed be more and more effective in raising up disciples who will worship You as You desire and deserve, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!