Many things come to mind when a person considers what might possibly be the most valuable asset or quality someone could have when being a member of their church’s praise team or music department. I’d like to propose that one of the most useful and valuable qualities that any person could have in any ministry is simply having a “Yes” attitude. Let me explain…
It’s not news that we live in a self-focused, “me-first” society. Many have proclaimed this generation as the most narcissistic generation of all time. For many people, their day-to-day lives are focused around themselves and consumed with fulfilling their wants and needs. Many do all of us a “favor” by enlightening us via social media every move they make, what they made for dinner, and pictures of their faces.
It’s also not news that the church should not be imitating societal norms and that God’s kingdom isn’t like any other kingdom. God, in His infinite wisdom, has a way that doesn’t always make sense in the mind of man.
That being said, what does having a “Yes” attitude mean anyway? The core of it is simply this: “Whatever I’m needed to do, wherever I’m needed to be, whatever part I’m needed to play, I’ll say ‘yes.’ ” Not too complicated, right? Raise your hand if you think you can do that (seriously, put it down, you look ridiculous). However, there is one big problem in all of this: A huge 5-letter word called “FLESH.”
Let’s just get real for a second. We all have egos. We’re all flesh and prone to getting our feelings hurt from time to time. Yes, that’s right, you too (gasp!). I’ve seen it countless times. Our flesh and pride get in the way of what God wants to do through our ministry and in our departments. Sometimes our talents aren’t being used in the way that we think they should be. This might seem crazy, but sometimes the best drummer isn’t called to play the drums. Sometimes the best singer isn’t called to sing. But so many times, we get caught up in what we want to do in the Kingdom, not what God wants us to do. This toxic perspective is a result of being inward focused, instead of outward focused. We get so focused on ourselves and our talents and abilities that we forget our designed purpose. Sure, God wants you to use your talents and, in time, opportunities will open up. But having a “Yes” attitude is all about giving God control and showing maturity. It’s about giving up our desires in exchange for His. I’m not just talking about saying “Yes” when it’s convenient; it’s about saying “Yes” when you’re asked to fill another role that you don’t necessarily want or desire to do.
Let’s face it, there’s a kid inside all of us. None of us like being told “No” (go ahead and admit it. We’ve all been there). We typically don’t like when we don’t get our way. Inside there’s a little kid that wants to scream, call everyone names, have a temper tantrum, and lay on the floor kicking our legs. But most adults (and I emphasize with the most) have learned how, through good parenting and life experience, to control their emotions and actions to avoid humiliating themselves and everyone around them. However, while we may not be displaying such emotional outbursts outwardly, there are other things that adults do to reveal their harbored disappointment and resentment. Jealousy and vengeance, unfortunately, are adult problems too.
When we truly mature Spiritually-speaking, we learn to trust that God is developing us and taking us somewhere. We have to make up in our minds, “Whatever I’m asked to do, no matter what it is, I’ll say yes.” Make up in your mind BEFORE you’re even asked that your answer will be yes! This way you’re allowing God to guide and direct your life. In essence, you’re telling God, “I trust your plan for me and I know you have what’s best for me.”
Having a “Yes” attitude makes a strong statement that you realize that this thing that you’re a part of is bigger than yourself. So many times we want God to guide our footsteps, but we don’t realize when He’s trying to do exactly that. God uses us in many ways and for many different reasons. Sometimes it’s a test of our faith; a test to see if we can we be faithful even in the small things. Sometimes He uses us to be a blessing to others through ways we haven’t even considered or imagined. We when submit to God’s will we allow Him to set the course for us. Consider Psalm 37:23
Are we truly willing to let God order our steps? Picking and choosing how and where we are used in ministry, and only agreeing to do the things we want or like, is a huge indication of our spiritual condition. This will lead to pride, jealousy, discontentment, comparing, and a host of other noxious emotions that are detrimental to any ministry department, music and otherwise.
Now look, I get it – there are times that we are asked to do things that we REALLY don’t want to do (maybe you’re needed to MC the service, but you’d much rather be playing the drums). This is not abnormal (sigh of relief)! But what do we allow to dictate our actions and emotions? Do we give God preeminence in our life or will we instead succumb to bitterness or a bad attitude? Will we do what is best for the team or only what we think is best for ourselves? It really does come down to a choice.
We’ve probably all heard that God is a gentleman. This is true. God won’t drag you by the feet kicking and screaming with your fingers dug into the carpet; but life does have a way of humbling us. If you find yourself struggling with some bitterness or discontentment, try considering your motivations. “Why am I clinging so strongly to this one aspect of ministry? Are my motivations pure or are they selfish? Am I desiring to do this for my glory or for God’s?”
We must remember, this is not OUR ministry; this is GOD’S ministry. If ministry is a performance for you, then I’m sorry, you’re in it for all the wrong reasons; and it WILL diminish your effectiveness. Ministry is not a platform by which one allows others to view his or her talents, but rather, in this kingdom, our job is to reflect and point others to Jesus Christ. Our goal should be to reflect God through our lives and get others to a place where they can see Christ, not us.
Let me shift the focus slightly for one second and say that sometimes God’s greatest purpose for your life comes right through your biggest fears or the same exact things that you’re running from or fighting against the most. Don’t look at perceived roadblocks or fears and be intimidated. View them as opportunities; opportunities to grown and develop into what God wants you to be. From personal experience, some of my greatest opportunities and accomplishments have come right through things that I was afraid of or intimidated by. Don’t spend life avoiding your fears, walk through them.
In closing, think about it for a second. How much more could we accomplish if every single person in our ministry departments adopted a “Yes” attitude? How much more could the gospel be propelled if every single person said “Wherever I’m needed to be, whatever I’m needed to do, I’ll do it. Even if my flesh doesn’t want to and I feel like there are better positions and better places for me, I’ll do it. AND I’ll do it with a good spirit and attitude.”
A “Yes” attitude doesn’t get to pick and choose; but it does make us prepared to allow God to have complete control. Remember the story about the potter and the clay? The clay doesn’t get to choose what type of vessel it becomes; that’s up to the potter! When a person adopts a “Yes” or a “Wherever I’m needed” attitude, they give God control and their ministry becomes much more effective and helpful to all of those around them. Through this, unity is greatly strengthened and many more people will be blessed. You can trust that, when you have a spirit like that, it will be noticed and rewarded. Not on your time, but on God’s.
Whatever ministry department you’re involved in, be a team player, have a good spirit, be humble, bide your time, love God more than anything else, and trust God and allow Him to guide and direct you. Do everything that you do as unto the Lord. And if you want to be used and fulfill your potential in this Kingdom, be prepared to say, “Yes.” Ultimately, you’re not just saying it to others; you’re saying it to God.