It is wholly appropriate to say that prayer is leadership.
But leading our churches by being men of prayer is not easy. Instead, the expectations of God are easily lost to the expectations of men. “The way of the western church” is not normally built around prayer. Oh, among us prayer will be verbally venerated; just less often does it become our actual practice. In the western church prayer is too often symbolic, spoken of in sacred terms, maybe even “formally incorporated” into a worship service, but still not part of our DNA, nor the DNA of our elders and ministers. No, the things that consume the physical and emotional energy of a leader may well be meetings, activities, decisions, budgets, church management, hirings, firings, crisis counseling, and making sure someone turns out the lights at the end of the day. Other things, lesser things, push hard and clamor for our attention.
Of course, that is a juvenile and wildly foolish title for an article; but in light of the seemingly endless other silly and inane comments often made about worship music, what’s one more to the mix? Within the American church, few topics have brought out more absurdity, immaturity, or blind passion, than the discussion of “what shall the music in our worship services be like?” There are of course exceptions, but if one listens to the discussion in Bible School classes, small groups, hallway chatter, Sunday aisle reactions, blogs or car rides home…well, let’s just say it has often been less than our finest moments.
A paraphrase of Stephen Leacock’s quote, “He rushed madly out the door and flung himself in all directions,” is the metaphor of our day. But I don’t want to live a fool’s life; I want to live the life of a wise man, a man of substance and not shadow. I don’t want to live by crisis, I don’t want to play for the crowd, I don’t want to hop on the merry-go-round of fads . . . I want to hear his applause.
The following areas would appear to be the things I am accountable for in God’s sight.