I was taught piano by my mom (music conservatory trained) from a young age, before preschool, to play the piano. I am classically trained but also trained to play for church/worship. These are two differing philosophies. While both are fun and rewarding, one, classical, is played to show off your skills and the composer’s skills and one, worship, is to show off God. The key to being successful in leading hearts into worship lies in whether or not you have adequately prepared, and I do not mean having the chord sheets or notes ready or memorizing the song, though that is a tiny part of it. “You cannot teach what you do not know.” You will never lead another to worship if you are unfamiliar with the concept. You must worship as a lifestyle. Loving God, studying the Bible, praying, serving Him and others, loving people are all forms and extensions of worship to God. When you live in that and keep humble, God will play through your fingers when the time comes to smooth out any imperfections or distractions during live worship after you have practiced ahead of time and lived in this state of worship. As you are diligent to God, He rewards with blessings of being able to share that and draw them in. And do not underestimate the power of a sustain pedal and inflection- building up a song vs. quiet moments of contemplations. Be ok with pauses. Be comfortable in your skin. You play for God and not people. That is a key ingredient. I always sing, out loud or in my mind, while I play. When you mean it, you play from the heart fearlessly and just play for Jesus, like it is you and He in the room. I do this whether I play for Jesus alone or play before thousands of people gathered to worship Jesus. Same thing. Numbers never matter, but your heart does. I detest emotionless playing for worship. God deserves our passion, our putting of ourselves and intention into what we play for Him. We represent His worthiness to be worshipped when we play so it must reflect that. It is an honor and a privilege to lead worship from the piano and He blesses those who do it well, meaning from a heart of constant worship and dedication to God. Nothing is better, so do it right, do it well. Go with God!! ❤
When I grew up in the church, the word stewardship was a big deal. It was taught. It was spoken of. Now, it seems an intrusion is some kind to speak of it, as if it old fashioned and an imposition of some kind. However, I believe all of life walking the way of Christ is about having good stewardship. Every single thing we are or have has absolutely nothing to do with us. It, every tiny inch of it, is a gift from God and we are to use it wisely (be good stewards) for Him and for our good pleasure. Him first. This is the idea behind healthy living and good financial decisions (including tithing) and proper use of talents and sharing, etc. Everything we do has to do with our focus and motivation and the purposeful realization that the gifts we are given, even life itself, is for God first and our enjoyment and helping others next. If we look at things that way, it keeps greed and selfishness and narcissism away. Good stewardship is a glorious way of life and really what we are supposed to be about. When we start believing the lie that this is all about us, that our lives should cater to us and glorify us, we miss the peace and rest and freedom that comes with understanding that God is the reason for everything. He is the Giver. He gives because He loves and wants to but we act like spoils brats if we don’t appreciate and understand good stewardship as a lifestyle. When we get that, we are closer to God and open the door to many more blessings.