It’s Sunday morning. You step onto the stage and sit down at the piano or strap on your guitar. The songs you picked out earlier in the week have now been practiced well, the band is behind you tuning their instruments and the crowd is stirring. In about 30 seconds, you will be leading the church in song.
Depending on the morning, you will usually have around 30 seconds to glance at the crowd before that awkward moment where everything goes silent. So, what do you do in those 30 seconds? Do you wink at your spouse? Do you nod at friends in the back? Do you exercise your OCD by tuning your guitar for the hundredth time?
For me, these 30 seconds are some of the most precious in the life of my ministry. I am about to celebrate the glory of Jesus Christ and plead with others to behold Him. I’m doing this with a heart that, at times, wants glory for me. I’m leading in a room where the cross, for some, has no more meaning than shiny jewelry hung around their necks; a room where false gods can be created in an instant; a room where happiness can rule the day, not “joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Peter 1:8).
Do I feel the full weight of this at that moment? Do I understand that my primary function is to pastor, not merely entertain (2 Chronicles 7:6)? What if I use these seconds to plead for the souls of the men and women in attendance? What if I ask the Lord to make me shine like the stars in the heavens for His glory, humbling me under His mighty hand and hiding me behind His cross? What if this morning was different? It would make all the difference for the next 30 minutes.