“People brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'” –Matthew 19:13-14
When you hear people talk about children, it’s not usually in the context of them being responsible, highly accomplished, or wealthy. Usually, people talk about the cute things kids do, or the earnest things they say. Children are known for being honest beings, and I believe that is exactly why Jesus entrusts his kingdom to them.
As I have said before, this summer I have an internship with a youth pastor. Part of my job is to rebuild the youth group worship team that has been falling apart recently. I have been in several worship teams over the years in various capacities, and as I like to tell my students, “I have a lot of worship team wisdom to impart”. Though that is true, I have been learning as much, if not more, from these teens as they have been learning from me.
During the school year, I had a post-it by my door that said “WORSHIP HONESTLY”. This was advice given to me by my pastor, and now boss, Justin. We were having a conversation about feeling God’s presence and being self conscious while worshiping, when he told me that the most important thing was to worship from where you are– worship honestly.
I have never seen a better example of honest worship than these teens. They all have different talents, backgrounds, and skill levels, yet all have one thing in common: they’re all excited to worship Jesus. I tell them that it’s important to have a true and honest heart while worshiping, because their audience will see that and follow suit. This true and honest worship is no problem for these students. I see them get up on stage, and while it may not be the best musical performance Broadway has ever seen, it’s real, and it’s honest.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I would rather be led in worship by this somewhat rag-tag group of enthusiastic students than a put together church worship team. Because as Jimmy Needham says in his song Clear the Stage, “You can sing all you want to, and still get it wrong. Worship is more than a song.”