30 Seconds

It’s Sunday morning. You step onto the stage and sit down at the piano or strap on your guitar. The songs you picked out earlier in the week have now been practiced well, the band is behind you tuning their instruments and the crowd is still stirring. In close to 30 seconds you will be leading the church in song.

Seconds for self or Jesus

Depending on the morning, you will usually have around 30 seconds to glance at the crowd before that awkward moment where everything goes silent. So, what do you do in that 30 seconds? Do you wink at your spouse? Do you head nod friends in the back? Do you exercise your OCD by tuning your guitar for the hundredth time?
For me, these 30 seconds are some of the most precious in the life of my ministry. I am about to celebrate the glory of Jesus Christ and plead with others to behold him. I’m going to do this with a heart that, at times, wants glory for myself. I’m going to be leading in a room where the cross, for some, has no more meaning than shiny jewelry hung around their necks; a room where false gods can be created in an instant; a room where happiness can rule the day, not “joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Peter 1:8).

Seconds of prayer for minutes of soulful worship

Do I feel the weight of all this at that moment? Do I understand my primary function is to pastor, not merely entertain (2 Chronicles 7:6)? What if we used this time to plead for the souls of the men and women in attendance? What if we asked the Lord to make us shine like the stars in the heavens for his glory, humbling us under his mighty hand and hiding us behind his cross? What if this morning was different? It will make all the difference for the next 30 minutes.


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