My thoughts...Wisdom from over the years

Are you a “Diva”?

Posted in: Featured, tip of the week ♦ Monday, October 8th, 2012, 10:03 am ♦ No Comments on Are you a “Diva”?

Are you a “Diva”?

In looking up the word Diva, I found that it is closely associated with the term “prima donna”.  This is the meaning we tend to give it today and here’s what I found:

Legendarily, these “prima donnas” (prime donne in Italian) were often regarded as egotistical, unreasonable and irritable, with a rather high opinion of themselves not shared by others… the term often describes a vain, obnoxious and temperamental person who, although irritating, cannot be done without.

This magazine seeks to reach worshippers involved in the day to day business of leading worship at their local churches. You would think that the idea of a “Diva” mentality would have no place in the church—and you would be right to think so! Unfortunately however, “Divas” are way too commonplace on a church platform. The diva mentality has permeated our platforms breeding an infectious disease. The disease is rooted in pride, and without a thorough cleansing—maybe 7 times to the Jordan would help—we are likely to feel the devastating effects in our choirs, worship teams and congregations. Take this letter I just received from a dear friend in the ministry…oh I’m sorry…who WAS in the ministry:

Things are going great for me; I start a new job in April. Actually, it’s an old new job. Going back to work for the guy that I helped start his business back in 2001. It’s a Specialist computer store. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve served my time in the ministry and now it’s time to get out. We’ll still be attending our church and I’ll still be a part of the praise team but in a reduced capacity. I’m burnt out with this stuff, need a break. Now when someone has a complaint or wants to share with me the “proper” way to lead worship, I’ll direct them elsewhere. And when the vocalists get their feelings hurt for some reason, there seem to be a plethora of reasons, it’s not my concern. Someone shows up late? Not my concern. Show up unprepared? Not my concern. I could go on, but I’m sure you understand what I’m talking about.

Say it isn’t so! I wish this was an isolated case, but its not. We lose yet another great warrior in the trenches because of self focused, prideful, contentious ‘divas’. We’ve become consumed with a performance mentality so much of the time and that has lead to the breeding of a performance oriented group on the platform. Of course this isn’t true of all churches, but it’s true more than it should be. I’m saddened by the lack of true humility and genuine desire to serve. Instead we seemed to be overrun by people who use the worship platform for their own gain. It truly grieves my heart and can speak confidently when I say it grieves the heart of God as well.

So what can we do about this?  I say we take a strong stand. I say that wrong attitudes and self serving agendas be addressed. The time is passed for worrying about hurting other peoples’ feelings in this regard. How about hurting God?! This is HIS platform. This is supposed to be HIS time. This is not about YOU getting the chance to sing! This is not about YOUR beautiful voice.  We need to get back to basics and start doing a thorough cleansing of the temple. We need to set the record straight as to why we do what we do. We need to demand humility from one another or ask people to step down until God does the work in their hearts that needs to be done.

Check yourself. Are your motives pure? Most likely not. Why do I say this? Because scripture tells me so! Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” So I can confidently say that you and I may well have the wrong motives at any given time on any given day. I may have some good moments here and there, but my sinful pride creeps in a lot more often than I wish it did. I tell my students-somewhat jokingly-that I have to do a minute by minute heart check when I’m leading worship. I can start out with the right heart, but within minutes my mind can wander. I can easily be distracted by wrong thoughts. I tease and say…”when you’re as good as I am, its just hard not to think about it!” That is of course tongue in cheek, but we all have our own dark thoughts that can distract us away from the true goal which is to honor Christ and Christ alone on the worship platform.

Another great self-check is to spend some time worshipping and singing to the Lord all by yourself. This is very important on a number of fronts. First of all, with no one watching you will get to know who you are as a true worshipper and not as a performer in front of people. Let’s face it, the minute we pick up that microphone something inside us changes. Let’s try to keep a check on ourselves by being in close touch with who we are when we’re alone with God. If the only ‘worship’ you engage in is in front of other people, it’s likely tainted. Additionally, you will find that you are more able to genuinely engage in real authentic worship—which YOU need. Get to know God and worship Him on your OWN. Only then will you be able to experience Him authentically in front of others…and people need to see real authentic worship, not a performance.

Lastly, if you’re using the platform of God to fill some need of yours to sing or otherwise be on stage, PLEASE find a different avenue to fill this desire. The platform on a Sunday morning was designed to lift Him up and bring glory and honor to Christ alone—not to fulfill your selfish desires. The church needs more people coming humbly before Him with clean hands and a pure heart.


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