For some of us it is difficult and maybe a little scary to get up before a large group of people. I had been able to avoid doing this most of the time, but one Sunday I needed to go up front and make a short announcement during the worship service. I had written my few lines on a piece of paper. Another fear is that my mind will go blank. As I was waiting for my time to go forward, I took a deep breath trying to calm myself, then another deep breath and then a deeper breath and then another deeper breath—I was beginning to think I was going to hyperventilate and pass out before I made it up there. And so it took many years before I had the courage to be a worship leader. Besides being nervous about standing up in front of the congregation, I also compared myself to others who were worship leaders—Oh, he is so eloquent; she seems so comfortable; he has such good ideas; she expresses herself so well—and on I went, always putting myself at the bottom of the barrel.
Then a few years ago I was in a study group that was using one of Max Lucado’s books, It’s Not About Me. It was like a wake-up call to me. Wake up, Sue, it’s not about you. It’s about God. I felt like I had been freed from a great weight on my heart, mind, and soul. I finally realized it’s not about how well I do, but about doing it because God loves me and I love God. Now when I am preparing to lead worship, I don’t think about how I compare to others but only about how I can honor God. Also, I tell myself those are not a bunch of scary people out there—they are my friends and they are hoping for only the best for me. I encourage any of you who may be afraid or feel inadequate about being worship leader or being a part of other areas of service in the church to go ahead and be a part of glorifying and honoring God in whatever way you can. God doesn’t judge our capabilities, he just wants us to use them and do the best we can. And in the same way, he doesn’t judge our financial capabilities—he just wants us to do the best we can. Our giving, our generous living, is not a comparative or competitive activity. It is an expression of our faith. While there is much of us in our giving, our giving is about God.
This story is just one of the more than two dozen resources available in the 2011 Ecumenical Stewardship Center Companion Resources downloadable pack, featuring the theme “Saints Alive! Living Generously" and based on I Corinthians 16:1-4. The Companion Resource, Giving magazine, and theme materials are designed to provide congregations with comprehensive, biblically-based materials for their stewardship programs. Visit our web store for more information and to purchase these materials.