A few nights ago, I sat with a friend of mine and we discussed several different topics about worship, but one that came up was the spirituality of a worship team and where it should be. We both came to an agreement that if a worship leader’s (or leader in general) life was not grounded in a relationship with Christ, they could run a risk of getting consumed with what we called the “Spotlight”. What is the “Spotlight”? You might ask. The “Spotlight”, in our definition, is the craving or desire for the limelight. Check out the true definition of the limelight – a focus of attention, public attention, public interest, media attention, public eye, the glare of publicity, prominence, spotlight; center stage.
As we gathered all these thoughts, I asked myself a few questions, are there worship teams and leaders out there that are addicted to the spotlight of their calling, gifting, and responsibility? How does that even look like? Where can I find similar acts in the Bible? These questions lingered in my mind for a while, so I decided to dive deep into scripture and find some answers.
The Bible says, in 1 Kings 11 2-4, “The Lord had clearly instructed his people not to intermarry with those nations because the women they married would lead them to worship their gods. Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. And sure enough, they led his heart away from the Lord. In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship their gods instead of trusting only in the Lord his God, as his father, David, had done.”
You are most likely asking, what do these scriptures have to do with the spotlight? To answer that question, let me give you a quick overview of Solomon’s life.
A. He was the son of King David by Bathsheba.
B. He was responsible for building a magnificent temple for God.
C. He had fame among the nations (I Kgs. 4:31).
D. He possessed expertise in many fields (I Kgs. 4:32-34).
E. He wrote Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.
F. He was the richest and wisest king (I Kgs. 10:23, 27).
G. He had a great military strength (I Kgs. 10:26).
If you ask me, that is a great resume! In the beginning years of Solomon’s life, God was with him and had placed His favor on him. Solomon was passionate about God – the same God, his father David had served. And in the scriptures above, we see that Solomon had been king of Israel for a long time. So what happened? How could such a man of God, turn his heart away from the One that gave him everything and put him where he was? Where did all this start?
I believe that Solomon got so accommodated, so comfortable, so used to being in the spotlight, so used to getting praise and glory from everyone, that the thing God gave him, was the thing that overtook him. The position and all that came with it, consumed him. I heard a famous preacher once say,
“The same anointing that blesses you can also curse you if not taken care of and respected”.
It is easy for leaders to get accommodated and comfortable where they are, especially if they have been leading in the same church, with the same team, for a long period of time. Every leader must examine themselves daily and know what is driving them to lead their teams and church, week in and week out. Is it the genuine passion to worship God? Is it a passion to be a vessel used for His glory to bring others into His presence that is the driving force? Or is it the external pleasures of leadership, whether on or off stage and the comfort that it may bring, that is the driving force?
Many of us have seen God do amazing things in and through us, but we must not lose ourselves in our calling, our responsibilities, our talents, gifting, or position. All these things are wonderful and needed, but they must also be handled with care. We can’t allow ourselves to forget about the God that has given us what we have or put us where we are. If we do, there will be a shifting of importance and priority – a shifting of not who we are worshiping but what we are worshiping.
This leads to the Spotlight Addiction.
I CHALLENGE EVERY LEADER TO…
1. Self-examination. Reflect on your ministry and calling. Ask yourself, why do I do what I do? Be honest about your answer.
2. Ask God to examine you. (Psalms 26:2)
3. Ask a mentor or pastor to examine you. Be an open book to them and let them give you constructive criticism, counsel and advice. (Proverbs 15:22, Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 19:20, Proverbs 27:17)
My prayer is that every leader and every worship team across this nation can put God, and only God, on that high pedestal. I pray that we can worship God the way Jesus said it in John 4:23, But the time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way.
Johnny Sierra has been leading worship since ’02, & is currently serving with Rethink Life Church in Orlando, FL. A singer-songwriter & musician, he has been married to his High School sweetheart since ’07, & is the father of twins. Johnny’s podcast on Spotlight Addiction is available HERE.