There is a concern among Spirit-filled worship leaders that the act of worship and ministering to the Lord is becoming just another genre of music.
This culture of worship that is lacking the presence of the Holy Spirit, while not bad in and of itself, is not focused on the glorification of God but on oneself and what a person gets out of being in the Lord’s presence.
Sitting down with Iris Global’s “Green Room” podcast, musical artist and worship leader Steffany Gretzinger shared how she feels praise and worship has deviated from the presence of God:
“We’ve gotten so caught up in the ‘calling’ to do this and the calling to that, [but] Jesus only ever called people to Himself. He said, come, follow Me and I’ll make you this and commission you to do that. The calling is not to be a worship leader and the calling is not to do all this, He called us unto Himself,” Gretzinger says.
“If He’s the way, and He’s the truth, and He’s the life, and in the secret place [where] we are truly yielded in walking with Him, those things, they don’t have any flavor, the reward is when you come home [and the] presence washes over you in that secret place,” she adds.
When one searches the Bible for passages on worship, they will encounter verses like Psalm 150:1-6, John 4:23, and Psalm 33:1-4, and discover the focus on worship is the Lord only. He is worthy of praise and when the subject and focus of worship moves from Him, it loses its spiritual power and anointing.
“He’s the water in the well…we always want living water, but He’s the only place we can get it. He’s not a genie, [He] isn’t a buffet, we eat the whole Lamb, bitter herbs [and] all…we need the whole Christ or have no part with Him,” Gretzinger explains.
Addressing the lack of the presence of the Holy Spirit in worship, Gretzinger believes that many were unprepared for the fame, stardom and wealth that come with the success they earned, but also did not have the spiritual foundation in place to ensure God was the focus.
“I think we’ve got a lot of people who have not built a structure of intimacy or maturity, and then there was a crown put on their head and it crushed them,” says Gretzinger.
This does not have to be the way forward however, as it is the role of mature worship leaders who honor God and minister to God while leading corporate worship with other believers, to raise up a new generation with a firm foundation built with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
“Well, it’s [worship leading] become very romantic, it’s become ‘super sexy’ and the idea of leading that many people and being on a platform…really, it’s quite costly,” warns Gretzinger.
She would know having been one of the most successful worship leaders at Bethel Redding for several years alongside other Spirit-filled leaders such as Jeremy Riddle.
“So many people that I’ve known through the years couldn’t open a Bible and tell you where anything was, [they] couldn’t preach the gospel, and that’s a lot of musicians, it’s a lot of artists [today],” Gretzinger says.
“This isn’t about the people in front of you, this is about ministering to the Lord, ministering to His presence. I’m trying to get them [younger generations] back to the gospel and go ‘Look! Can we first become obsessed with the One we are signing to?!’ This isn’t actually about your songs going all over the world,” continues Gretzinger.
“If you’ve ministered, if you’ve touched the Lord, you’ve touched His heart, you’ll know,” says Gretzinger. “Because His presence will be resting on you and in you like the fruit will always speak of the root.”
Getting back to the heart of worship, as the song goes, for Gretzinger is a total and complete focus on God and how great and wonderful He is. Before anything can move in a ministerial setting, the love for God must permeate the wall where His worship is being sung inviting an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
“We don’t have any business talking about how you’re going to do this and this and this for God, if you’re not even telling me what you love about Him. If you can’t even tell me what this [grabs her Bible] says, and get it right, ‘study to show yourself approved,’ that’s not just for if you’re a preacher, this should be for every one of us.
“So, I think it’s basics. It’s like…coming back to Bible basics, living the gospel…that’s following Jesus,” Gretzinger shares.
James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.