expressive worship

Redefining What it Means to be Humble

It really gets me going when I hear from clients who are using the tools we give them, through either a session together, Tom’s DVDs, or an Expressive Worship Workshop.

When artists take the time to put these things in action, they see the reality of what can happen. One couple I’ve worked with over the last year or so, Jacob and Katie Eckeberger, just experienced this.

They made the move to go on the road to do concerts and lead worship, and recently they sent me a message that made my day! Check it out:

“We were leading worship at a church last week, and of course we were putting into practice the tools we’ve picked up from you and the Expressive Worship seminar. It was 3 pretty packed services (seating about 500 in each) so we had plenty of stage to cover and plenty of people to connect with.

The responses we had were really incredible. They caught on to new songs they hadn’t heard before and were almost louder than we were by the end of it. So many people came up and complimented us on our ability to lead them and create a moving worship experience.

The kicker was the comment we got from the pastor. He mentioned he was really thankful for our humility. Of all things, I wouldn’t have expected him to call us humble while we were “commanding the stage.” But I guess if it’s done right, our desire to humbly lead the church comes through just as clearly. I’m sure you don’t hear this enough so “Thank You!” Jacob and Katie Eckeberger

You are SOOOOOOO welcome! And thank you for having the guts to put yourselves out there and lead.

You’ve probably heard this from Tom before, but it bears repeating: True humility is walking in the authority God gave you on that platform.

And that’s exactly what Jacob and Katie were doing – taking on the role that God gave them! They had confidence and authority in their purpose for those services and really put themselves out there to love and to lead the congregation.

No one wants to follow someone who’s weak. Think about it. If your worship pastor dragged himself up to the platform on Sunday morning, then hid behind the big plant in the corner and said in a wimpy voice, “well… you may not want to sing along on this song buuut, if you decide you want to… ummm… maybe I can teach you some of the words.”

No! We want him to come up and take charge and be confident because his job is to teach us and lead us. People aren’t going to think he’s being humble if he wimps out… they’ll just wonder which board member okay’d hiring this guy, and then vow to vote him out!

And let’s face it, a lot of us maybe either don’t know the song, or aren’t confident in our singing ability, or are not ‘Type A’ people. We need a little help in getting freed up to worship! (For that matter, we sometimes need help just waking up on Sunday morning!)

So stand up there, look people in the eye and do your job with confidence and authority. You have our permission. Break the bonds of false humility and push through to create freedom in the room.

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Amy Wolter

Amy has vast and varied experience in music, from keyboardist to lead singer, from songwriter to producer. She fronted a nationally touring Christian rock band that garnered some top 10 CCM hits. Playing in a variety of venues and churches gave her a real understanding of what audiences and congregations connect with. As a member of her church’s worship team, Amy understands the challenges that come with this, and enjoys helping Christian artists and Worship Teams create freedom in the room to truly express their worship.

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  1. Jade says:

    Got it … Well presented … Received!

  2. “True humility is walking in the authority God gave you on that platform.”

    That is so true! We need to be more “afraid” of God that the congregation! If we are more worried about what the congregation might think than what God thinks or value people liking us more than doing the job God gave us to do, then we have already lost. If God calls you to lead, you had sure better lead! Don’t be a wishy washy flimsy floppy arrow, but a strong arrow pointing up straight to God! You don’t have to be abrasive and arrogant, but you do have to get people’s attention in order to ask them to focus on God and give him the attention that He deserves!
    Like John the Baptist we are crying out: “Make way for the Lord!” If we are so “humble” that no one hears us, we are not humble, just weak, lousy servants.
    Let’s not be self centered and worried about what people think of us. Let’s be God centered, convinced it’s all about HIM not about us!

    • Amy Wolter says:

      Love this Jason; If we are so “humble” that no one hears us, we are not humble, just weak, lousy servants. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wayne Wasion says:

    Great blog, Amy! So many confuse humility with self-deprecation. But I like to say that whether it’s self-exaltation or self-deprecation, the focus is still on self. Philippians 2 describes true humility, using Jesus Himself as the ultimate example. He was so secure and confident in who He was before the Father that He sensed no need to prove Himself before others (to paraphrase v 6). Thus, the real foundation for true humility is not timidity and emotional self-flagellation, but is security in our relationship with the Father and confidence in what He has gifted and called us to do in the Kingdom. With that kind of security and confidence, humility is not a threat. It also results in stronger leadership, as others are inspired by that security and confidence without being turned off by arrogant self-promotion. True leadership inspires others to follow; it need not resort to coercion or manipulation.

  4. Jim Drew says:

    I tend to struggle through words and concepts for a period of time. I spent almost two years tearing apart the word and concept of real faith as opposed to the “Wishful thinking” faith that so many talk about, even in the church. That just didn’t make sense. But onto the thoughts here…

    That said, the word “Humble” was yet another word lost in the confusion of “Christianese” and I spent some good time on it. I ain’t the final word on it but, well, let me share what I found in as short a space as I can.

    For some reason we have gone to the “tear ourselves down” false humility. What I learned over my period of time on this boiled down to one statement in a song I wrote. “Build Each Other Up, it’s the heart of being humble”.

    When we lead music to allow folks a place of worship in corporate gatherings, we are being there to build folks up, to give them tools for worshiping, helping equip them even as we sing together songs of hope and feelings toward an amazingly powerful and loving God. Think about it. God listens to me sing to Him and He enjoys my voice? (as long as it is authentic). That in itself is amazing and brings a true humility!

    To lead music for the sake of allowing opportunities for corporate worship is an amazing responsibility which humbles us if we recognize it, but then the humility of using what God has strengthened us with to give to others, to build them up, to offer tools they can carry around all week and spend more intimate times of worship in with their God. This is a cool thing, and again, brings another kind of humility.

    Perhaps what I am saying is that humility has many cool facets, stemming from different things, including the awe we feel in the presence of the One true God. When we step up to a microphone or instrument to build each other up, what a great aspect of humility we take part in, as long as we don’t kill it with delusions of personal grandeur! I should not be putting myself down. That is false humility. I should not be lifting myself up foolishly. That is prideful and wasted time. I should be building others up with the gifts I have. That is a true aspect of humility, and as musicians we have opportunity to play that out so often!

    I know that ultimately it ain’t about us, but about them and then about the God we love so much, Reality is though, part of that humility is being prepared if we are doing it in this way. LOL! Learning the songs, getting quite intimately familiar with our instruments and how we use our voices. Learning how to meet the congregation / audience in front of us.

    My brain is leaking smoke from thinking so hard so early!
    Love youse guys!


    • Amy Wolter says:

      Wow Jim! I BET your brain is leaking smoke! Great thoughts – gave me some new insights this morning. We appreciate you sharing that with us!

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