One of the things I had to learn when I started leading worship was how to take a compliment. God is gracious to use us as tools and instruments to bless and minister to his church, the people then in turn will often respond to the ministry and the minister with a thankful heart. How we respond to this makes all the difference in the world, both for us, and for the church we serve.
ACTING SPIRITUAL DOESN’T MAKE YOU SPIRITUAL
Sure, are there guys out there who seek public positions in the church for their own glory? Absolutely. But, the chances are that you aren’t one of them. So don’t worry about it. When someone comes up and thanks me for the music or pays me a compliment, I just say “thank you.” I don’t believe I’m robbing Jesus of any of his glory, nor do I think that I’m taking any for myself. It may sound ‘spiritual’ to say “it’s not me” or “by God’s grace” or something like that, but I don’t think it is, and I may infact trick myself into thinking I’m more spiritual than I am.
DON’T DRAW ATTENTION TO YOURSELF WHEN YOU WANT TO POINT TO JESUS
Sometimes in an attempt to point people to Jesus, we can actually point people to ourselves. If someone pays me a compliment and I just say “thank you” then that’s it, and the conversation moves on. But I’ve seen many times when someone tries to say something spiritual sounding and they end up drawing more attention themsevles. Maybe the person starts to comment on their “humility”. Maybe the person starts to argue “yes, the Lord is good, but you blessed us.” Either way, the covnversation doesn’t move on, it stays focused on you.
Honestly, I’ve seen people do this, and I’m not sure that they aren’t trying to draw attention to themselves. “It’s not me’ they shrug, but there’s a little satistfied smile on their face as the attention is poured on them.
By just saying thank you, the attention is off me quicker than any other way I’ve tried.
LEARN TO RECIEVE A BLESSING
Servants often have the hardest time being served. If you’ve served well, then you’ve been a blessing to your church. There is nothing wrong with being blessed yourself. Let someone thank you for being open to God using you. I’ve had people come up crying afterward a worship time because they felt they had to be ‘strong’ or hide their hurt, and something I prayed or a song I sang was used by the Lord to set them free. I’ve had people who were disparing find joy through God the Spirit working in the music. How horrible would I be to those people if I shut them down with a “look to Jesus.” They have been looking to Jesus! That’s the whole point 🙂
YOU’LL KNOW WHEN TO DRAW THE LINE
There is always a tempation for a worship leader to try to take the glory for themselves. I believe if our eyes are on Jesus then we will know when we’ve crossed that line. While I usually just say “thanks” when someone pays me a compliment, there have been rare occasions where I’ve had to politely shut someone down with a “it’s not me, the Lord is working in your life, look to Jesus.” But that’s been incredibly rare. Usually I just let them thank me, I recieve their blessing and I rejoice that God has seen fit to use a fool like myself in any way.