Worship Leaders: A Challenge From Isaiah

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Thanks to Bobby Gilles (MySongInTheNight.com) for sharing this challenge with us.

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Five years ago I was helping my mom clean out my grandparents’ house after my papaw passed away. I discovered a trove of treasures in my mamaw’s nightstand: a box full of scripture cards handwritten or typewritten by my mamaw and organized by theme. This was part of my inheritance and I was delighted to lay hold of it. My mamaw was a woman of great grace and faith, overflowing with love for the Lord and His Word. She was full of God’s Word too. It flowed out of her in songs and poems she wrote to the Lord, and it filled her conversations with family and friends as she spoke encouraging, timely words to heart after weary heart.

When I found her handwritten card for Isaiah 50:4, it occurred to me that my mamaw likely prayed this Scripture throughout her life as a believer.

“The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He wakens me morning by morning. He opens my ear to hear as the learned.” – Isaiah 50:4 (NKJV)

Anyone who knew her could testify that God surely answered her prayer for a learned tongue and the ability to speak a word in season to him who is weary. Most everyone who knew her, including me, received such a word in their own seasons of weariness.

Five years ago I began to pray and ask God to waken me morning by morning and open my ear to hear as the learned so I might also have a learned tongue, and know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. In the past, I’d eagerly, zealously spoken many words, some in season, some untimely, some encouraging, some damaging. But as I continued to grow up in Christ, my heart desired more and more to speak truth in love, to encourage the downcast with God’s life-giving Word and unfailing promises. I was eager to do this in conversations, emails, handwritten notes, blogs, text messages, prayers and songs. But to do that, I realized I must have an open ear and be willing to listen to the Holy Spirit and submit to the study and instruction of God’s Word.

As I’ve revisited this scripture card, which now sits on my desk at work, my heart has been stirred to pray this again, specifically regarding my service as a worship leader. One of my primary functions is to make much of Christ, the Living Word, as I serve my church each week. Another function is to know the people that I’ve been charged to serve. And to know them is to know how weary they are most of the time.

To know them is to appreciate how heavy-hearted many of them are every time we gather. And to be able to serve them well is to have an open ear and a learned tongue that knows, by the Spirit of God, how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. To serve them well is to make much of Christ, the Living Word, who is not silent but always speaking life into every season we journey through.

Worship leaders, would you join me in praying Isaiah 50:4?

Invite the Lord to waken you morning by morning, to open your ear to listen like one being instructed, to open your understanding to His will, to give you a well-instructed tongue and fill your mouth with His words of wisdom so that you know how to comfort the weary in your congregations.

As you read all of Isaiah 50, you’ll see that Jesus is speaking in this passage as our example in His own perfect submission to the instruction of the Lord. He, too, was wakened morning by morning, with an open ear and a learned tongue that He might be able to speak a word to our weary hearts in all our seasons of suffering and hardship. He continues to do this as our faithful and perfect Worship Leader, and He calls us to follow Him in service and for the glory of His name.

“The Lord God gave me the ability to teach so that I know what to say to make the weak strong. Every morning He wakes me. He teaches me to listen like a student.” (Isaiah 50:4, NCV)

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Bobby Gilles is Sojourn Church’s Director Of Communications, and works with Lead Pastor Daniel Montgomery to communicate Sojourn’s mission and vision. He co-wrote the children’s book Our Home Is Like A Little Church, published by Christian Focus. As a former radio disc jockey and music director, he was twice named a National Top 10 Finalist for Gospel Music DJ of the Year.

Originally published at: http://mysonginthenight.com/2014/08/19/worship-leaders-take-this-challenge-from-isaiah/. Republished with permission.

Image by flickr user Tim Hamilton – used under a CC 2.0 License.



is the Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church, where he mentors, oversees and helps lead Family and Student worship environments. He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community and at HighestPraise.com.

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