The Call, the Gift, the Passion and the Preparation

Featuring Bruce Kunkle Posted on April 22, 2010

The conventional wisdom about this is sound and it is as follows.  God calls people into ministry.  Being on a worship team is a ministry—an important one.  God equips those whom He calls by giving them gifts.  He also gives them a passion to do what He calls them into—though perhaps not right away.  These three elements: the call, the gift and the passion spur the minister to prepare and in the case of a worship team, this means improving your artistic skills.  Every worship team member owes it to God, the church and the team to use and develop the gift they’ve been given so that there is continuous improvement. 

Example: A Missionary

Missionary work is an excellent example of this.  A missionary who went to the field without being called of God would be foolish.  If he or she felt called to start a hospital but had no gift or knowledge of medicine that would be pointless.  If a missionary was gifted and called, went to the field but never developed a passion for his or her mission, that would be tragic.  And if a missionary were called to evangelize a foreign people, gifted and passionate about evangelism but never prepared by learning the language and culture of the people to whom they were sent, that would be a pointless disaster.

Applying the Example to the Church

It is easy to see how these principles apply to something unusual like missionary work because most of us can be objective about it, since we are not involved in it.  The problem comes as we attempt to apply these principles to other areas of ministry in our local church.  For example, do we insist that Sunday School teachers have a gift, a calling and a passion for teaching and do we insist that they prepare?  I would suggest that if our teachers are not such people, then they are certainly not doing as much good as teachers who were so qualified and may even be doing harm.  Some of us may be willing to extend these ideas to pastors, teachers and missionaries but not the worship team.  The problem is that we are not willing to go that far “down the ladder”.

Here is another fallacy: some gifts and callings are important and worthy of excellence and others are merely duties that could be done by nearly anyone.  But this is completely contrary to the teaching of I Corinthians 12 where we find that “to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” .  There we also see that we are all members of the body of Christ  and that we are to have equal concern for each other .  This chapter of I Corinthians has been the subject of much debate focused on spiritual gifts.  But the point remains that the hierarchy that we frequently impose on the church is a false one.  This false hierarchy has “more spiritual” positions at the top: Pastor , worship leader, secretary, and Sunday School teacher down through less spiritual positions to the bottom where the laity (common folk) are found.  The false idea is that they have no spiritual gift or calling on their lives and can be expected to accomplish nothing for God.

This teaching has relevance for a worship team member who thinks, “I’m just a drummer on the worship team.  I don’t have to be anyone special.”  The truth is that he or she already is someone special with his or her own gifts.  God has spiritual gifts for each of us and He requires them to be used “for the common good.”   Every position on a worship team is one that requires specific gifts.  If God hasn’t given someone the gift required for a particular position, then they are like a hand trying to be a foot if they attempt the position without the gift.


Tags: , ,