THE GREATEST STAGE PERFORMANCE

Every performer knows the need for adequate preparation before the actual act. Every GREAT performer understands the importance of each single activity preceding the scheduled performance. Sports men will consciously avoid taking steroids and other substances that may disqualify them from the actual game they look forward to. So would Singers! No knowledgeable singer will take in caffeine, oily foods or engage in undue screaming just before a grand performance. And no matter how confident we are, no one will indulge in drinking before a major business negotiation. We all want to get it right the first time, without having regrets abi? Guess what? …So did Jesus!

I’ll attempt to paint a picture of the life and death of Christ Jesus, and how it relates to your life. Yes, YOUR LIFE! This is what I call THE GREATEST STAGE PERFORMANCE. The summary of which is that, if worship is indeed sacrifice like Jesus exemplified on the cross, then we must come to terms with the fact that the efficacy of sacrifice is in the making; not in the offering! A perfect case-study would be the offerings of Uncle Cain and Uncle Abel. I had read that my older Uncle, Cain had brought an offering to the Lord even before Abel did; but the Lord “hath respect unto Abel and unto his offering” (Gen.4:3, 4). In other words, God respects you and then He respects your offering. The offering is never complete without the offerer (permit my excesses please!). I have also learnt that it is not about the gift as it is the giver. This is where most Christians get it wrong! My Dad once spoke about a wealthy man who lived a reckless life. “He must be in heaven” he said and I asked “Why?” “Because he built a Church for our village” Now, that’s just awesome! I never knew one could buy their way into heaven o! …and I’ll never know (I’m not judging!). But it surprises me to see that God was pleased with the sacrifice that Abraham (our father of faith) hadn’t even given. Yes! At least no one or nothing died before heaven bore record that Abraham had done a great thing (Gen. 22:16). Hence, there must be something more than all we do that God actually requires of us. Don’t you think so?

Now, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was ultimate. It was total, pure, acceptable and more. But I realize that the significance and enormity of that sacrifice was a function of the totality of His life. A lamb without blemish or spots was required to do the job of cleansing in the Old Testament (Deut.17:1; Lev.4:3). In the Torah (Jewish tradition), certain animals are always set aside, separated from others as kosher. These were reserved by God to receive a higher level of holiness for offerings and sacrifices. In order words, God always had His own preferences. There is also a process called the mitzvah of kashrus by which kosher animals are elevated to higher levels of holiness (I’m guessing that is where I’ve been!). But in plain English, I’m beginning to understand why Jesus couldn’t be like every other person. Why he couldn’t get married and raise kids. Why he couldn’t take a nine-to-five or maybe do some business. Why he couldn’t indulge in one sin or at least some naughtiness, just for fun! (afterall, he knew the rules of the game well!). This sacrifice was significant, not just because of the blood that was shed, but because of the life that was lived. I’d think that God indeed had respect for the man and for the sacrifice.

Here’s where I’m headed friends. Our worship is not significant just because we sing aloud and cry and dance, shout and have goose bumps on a Sunday morning. Our worship is deep because we choose to stay HOLY and unto God alone. Whether on the stage or at the pub, our status remains the same. We are reserved as kosher until the time of offering. Our worship is even more glorious on a Sunday morning when we have lived our lives in worship from Monday to Saturday. The sacrifice of lifted hands, hearts and voices comes with such power and glory as was at the cross. This is our sacrifice of love; holy and acceptable unto God (Rom.12:1). Did I say you may not fall or make mistakes? NAY! But if you fall, you fall IN CHRIST. Did I say it’s all about self righteousness and not grace? NAY! But we have the mind of Christ. We think like Christ. An author once wrote “if you begin to think like a Millionaire, chances are higher that you’d one day become one” (Not sure how this adds to my point bur…). So to all my friends, Worship Leaders, Musicians and Gospel artistes, let’s raise the bar on that sacrifice of praise and worship we give. It is possible. I’ll leave you with this. Posted once on my facebook wall “The stage is the easiest place to lead worship from; try leading by your life!” I’m only getting better!

Blessings!

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“GOOD FOR NOTHING CHRISTIANS”

Image“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Matt. 5:13 (KJV)

I could end this post RIGHT HERE and go to sleep! But I choose to take you on the ride with me.

Like the disillusioned university undergraduate who fails to recognize that the purpose for going to school lies outside the four walls of the school premises. He prides himself in being a student, enjoys all the excesses of youth and the gift of freedom from the eagle eyes of his ever so cautious parents. He is very regular at every club, party and gathering, except class! And like a Prisoner doing time in jail, he spends extra years on campus trying to earn an already damaged trophy he calls a ‘certificate’. He indeed has lost his Savour.

When Jesus spoke in Matthew chapter five, he was speaking to you and to me, the average everyday Christians. He tried to remind us of 2 basic but extremely important concepts:
1. Our Identity, and
2. Our Essence.

YOUR IDENTITY: Simply put, You Are Salt! Think about this for a sec… All the things that you can do, how important and indispensable you are to mankind. What happens when you are not available? Life loses taste!…that’s what happens. This defines the life of a true Christian.

Yet, it isn’t enough to call you SALT. You may have the name and not the game!

YOUR ESSENCE: This is the reason why you are called what you are. This is the reason why you are called a Christian. It is for the value you bring to the lives of others. However, Jesus says, it is possible for salt to lose its savour (its essence); and yet maintain a great white look. Hmmmm…

Losing your essence as a Christian doesn’t necessarily mean to have “back-slided”, to be living in sin or as “church fugitive”; losing your essence involves every bit of your professing to be a Christian, going to Church twice a week, whirling around the lingo and involving in Church activities. It includes all these things (…perhaps more), and yet a life that is of no relevance to this present world! Looking around me (…even within me), I see Christians everywhere that are only relevant to themselves (and maybe their Church & family).
Recall that Jesus said “YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH”. Not the salt of the SALT! I absolutely believe that our Christianity should be measured by how much sweetness we bring to the lives of men, to our homes, to systems and to organizations…most naturally. Your own world ought to be near useless without you. For more about how you can be a true Christian, follow any or all of these steps:
1. Log on to http://www.google.com and read up about SALT.
2. Read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) and take note of Jesus’ relationship with men (Both Jews and Sinners).
3. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you.

I hope something changes about your Christianity after now.
Please spread the news!

God Bless You!

ME

 

WAIT! WAIT!! WAIT!!! PLEASE…Image

Let me end with this thought. Did you notice how Vasily Orlov infiltrated Americawith Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) and Ted Winter, his ‘supposed’ creations? That’s why I like this movie. May God’s agenda be fulfilled through us as we recognize who we truly are by Christ Jesus.

cheers

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WORSHIP & MIRACLES

…so it’s about 3am, Saturday nite and the Lord subtly whispers these words to me. Then I thought to myself, “if half of the crowds that will gather at different worship centres and Churches to worship God this morning understood this basic principle, then we are at the verge of a major revival!” It’ll be such that the world will stand aghast like on the day of Pentecost, and we will have congregations outside our Churches that we never planned for.

The manifestations of the supernatural are things that men, high & lowly, seek after. Everyone will give almost anything to see someone operating in that realm, let alone walk in that realm. Everyone will give almost anything to be superman (…even if not Clark Kent!!!); but how can these things be??? If I asked you what moment you believe we should expect miraculous happenings in our Church services? Most people will conclude at the time of the word and my guess would be right! Now, that’s ok, but not completely true. If indeed it’s a Worship service (like we call it), then EVERY SINGLE MOMENT is equally as important. Now, don’t think you know where I’m going!!! I want to speak particularly about the worship session and how to activate the supernatural in this time. This insight is relevant to every single worshiper in the pews and if the Worship Leader is ignorant of this, then….???

The Bible says that “…without faith it is impossible to please Him (God) Heb.11:6. So the first principle to even worshiping is FAITH. He that comes to God MUST first believe. We can have wonderful worship sessions, with amazing music and sonorous voices that please everyother person (including your Pastor) EXCEPT God. How many of us truly recognize or realize that we are speaking to God when we worship? And I mean everytime you sing that song! The way and manner we ‘jump’ songs sometimes reveals more the indistinct mutterings of a child that can be barely understood. Several songs that do not relate in any other way but rhythmically make up our repertoire in worship. But we must be aware like tha Preacher says “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thy mouth be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in Heaven and thou upon the earth; therefore LET THY WORDS BE FEWEcc.5:2. I submit that so much can happen when we say one thing….and sing one song!

This brings me to a very important principle Jesus shared in Mark 11. This knowledge is what we need to activate miracles and transform our worship sessions. There are no boundaries and the possibilities are limitless! “for verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saithMark 11:23. There is a laid down guideline that determines the intrusion of the supernatural in any and every situation. When the words of the mouth align with the convictions of the heart, the miraculous is activated! Selah. The moment our hearts and mouths begin to align in the place of worship, we begin to engage a very powerful spiritual principle; and it works! God’s word cannot be broken. I have witnessed a generation of Christians who draw close to Jesus, but their hearts are far away. They say they are desperate for Him, but they desperately chase vanities. They sing “How great you are” but they exalt their bosses, mentors and even Pastors greater. We must begin to re-align friends. That’s the key to the revival we pray for. We would see God pleased and He’ll move in our midst again.Image

Finally, if I were to re-phrase the 24th verse of Mark 11, I’d say “Therefore I write to you, that what things soever you desire in worship, when you sing, believe that you have them and you shall see them” Selah.

Have a blast this (or next) Sunday!

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EFFECTIVE WORSHIP LEADING 1 (curled from an article by David Nkennor)

Worship Leading is both a Spiritual and a Physical (or Psychological) activity. Yet, none of both “extremes” is advisable in leading a great worship session. The activity is in itself a Spiritual experience that cannot be faked, yet as Worship Leaders we lead men who are human and not necessarily Spirits.

Effective Worship leading is characterized by some elements that are synonymous with good Leadership. This understanding helps to develop the Worship leader into a complete leader who inspires not only by the songs they sing, but by the life they live. Good leaders understand that people are different; hence they take cognizance of individual differences. Every gathering of worshipers has a representation people from different backgrounds, having different likes and dislikes. Some Orthodox, some Pentecostal, some traditional, some contemporary. A good knowledge of your audience should influence your choice of songs; as certain styles would only help your audience connect and tag along more easily.

A good worship Leader is also sensitive to the times, seasons and happenings. It is important that you pick songs that are relevant to the emphasis of the service. Be it about healing or miracles, faith in God, thanksgiving or adoration etc, there are songs that work for each time. People also respond better when you recognize real issues at hand. Being sensitive may also mean not overstretching an audience filled with elderly people with the duration, speed/tempo and intensity or loudness of the worship session; as in a concert full of youths.

Another basic rule for effective worship leading is to KEEP IT SIMPLE! Not everybody is as musically intelligent as your band is. The more complicated the music is, the less people you are most likely to carry along in the worship session. Avoid doing too many new or unfamiliar songs. It may be wiser to teach a new song you intend to do, before beginning the session.

Regardless of all the steps we take and the loopholes we try to avoid in leading worship, you must understand that if worship was designed to please God, then it can’t happen in the flesh. This means that true worship is not a function of our feelings, even though our feelings are expressed in it. It is a function of the human Spirit. (John 4:24, Rom 8:8). Worshiping in the flesh profits you nothing! There are no benefits or advantages when we worship in the flesh (John 6:63). It is sad to note that some of our worship sessions are only an attempt to entertain our fleshly desires; and they lack the essence of selfless indulgence with the one who loves us most.

Finally, no one can worship effectively without the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God makes up for our inabilities. That’s why He is called our HELPER. “Likewise the Spirit alsohelpeth our infirmities” Rom 8:26

Remain blessed.

….to be continued

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…JUST AN INTRODUCTION

Hi, my name is David Nkennor & Worship is What I do Everytime. Via this blog, I will be sharing all the amazing insights God has given me about Worship and Worshiping. Lessons that can help anyone become a better Worshiper. You’ll also interact with and get exclusive write-ups from a couple of my friends, mentors and models, who are recognized Worship Leaders in Nigeria and abroad. Hold your breadth! YOU ARE WELCOME TO THIS COMMUNITY…

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