Diversity On The Platform

Oct 7 2015

As I was looking at our weekend platform this morning, I was struck with the beauty of its diversity. I was filled with awe again at a God who invites everyone in to play a part in His redemption story for humanity. A God who wants everyone to worship and find their place and identity in Him.

And so in our pre-service prayer meeting I reminded the team of 4 simple things to be mindful of when we lead the church in worship…


1. BE yourself

Authenticity is the currency of our time — being you is a beautiful thing… And people can spot fakes a mile away. Even more so on the platform. The minute you put yourself out in front of people, we become tempted to role-play and emulate.

But God… He hand-selects, He creates, He fashions according to what He needs. So who you are, what you are, and how you are is part of His plan and you are created for purpose.

2. BRING yourself
Are you outgoing? Good
Are you reserved? Good
Asian? Good
Australian? Good
Islander? Good
Single? Good
Married? Good
Young? Good
Old? Good.
A parent? Good
Awkward? Good
Vocalist? Good
Production engineer? Good
Camera man? Good
Lyric operator? Good
Keys player? Good
Cool? Good
Bring that.
Bring you .

Bring your unique cultural background, your unique gifting, your talent, your personality and your whole self to the platform. We need diversity in the body of Christ if we are going to reach the world. Everyone needs to be able to relate to someone. But if we all try to look like carbon copies of each other, we become a bland, colourless, lifeless church.

3. LEAD yourself
Your history and your journey has given you insights about the nature and character of God, that is unique to you. This morning on our team, there are so many realities of joy and hardships…

One girl buried her dad a year ago, another’s is in hospital fighting for his life. Michael Chislett‘s son Elliot was born with a heart condition and they journeyed a hard season in trusting God. Auts grew up in a solid Christian family but lives on the other side of the world to her family whom she adores, as she pursues God’s calling. Matt’s been married a year. Tenni is engaged but his girlfriend is in the USA.

We have people who struggle with health issues, financial troubles, people whose family are in prison, who are unsaved but they find God as they pray and worship. They hear His words of comfort and find His salvation, His rescue, His nearness, His promise, His hope, His presence.

David says — my soul will hope in the Lord! (Psalm 62:5). He taught himself, he encouraged himsel. If we are ever going to lead worship well, it will be first by leading ourself in worship.

And then …

4. Influence others
As we begin to lead others, hopefully our own reliance on God and our own revelations of what He is like overflows. It’s the outpouring of our lives.
As we stand up in front of church, the community is encouraged as they know what the ones leading them have been through or are going through… and they think “Wow if she’s still praising God, then maybe I can too“… “If he can worship amidst that storm, maybe I can too“.

We need all of us to lead all of us.