We gather around the Campfire today to hear from Michael Mazzotta. Mike is a bi-vocational Assistant Pastor at The Rockville Centre Vineyard Church in Long Island, New York. He is passionate about discipleship and enjoys equipping the church to grow in its ability to develop disciples on a large scale. He and his wife Meredith run an independent record & publishing label where he produces, records and helps to develop artists in their callings. When not working, Michael loves a good cigar while walking with Meredith and their Bulldog Benny through their Manhattan neighborhood.
Know Your Church
So my wife is a fiery Ukrainian/Irish mix; she is steady and stable when well-rested, at times very susceptible to stress-induced pondering, and when she’s really tired, she gets silly and then VERY cranky… I know the ups and down and ins and outs of Meredith… I also know that she has big green eyes and is a brunette.
I write songs and I love to sing about the things I know. Now, if I wrote her a love song, and sang about her blue eyes and blond hair, there would be some problems; if she heard the song when well-rested she’d probably make fun of me, and if she was extremely tired it might cost me my life!!
What does this have to do with worship?
Jesus loves the church. He died for her. He’s entrusted worship leaders with the responsibility of leading our various congregations to Him in corporate communication, prayer, times of listening to His response, all facilitated via melody and song--that is, through what we call “worship”.
So, Jesus loves the church… He knows her… He knows her so much better than I know my wife.
If I had one thing to say about leading congregational worship it would be this: know what color her eyes and hair are. Understand what Jesus is desiring for her. If you’re not in love with her, ask Jesus why that is… And if you don’t know the color of her eyes and hair, then take a moment to see if you really know who and why you’re leading!
Churches have mission statements. The heart of these statements is usually born of God before the bedrock of a town plot is broken for it’s existence: behind the building, stage, sound system, music, coffee and sermons is the passion of God for that community. He had--and has--BIG dreams for His church: to experience His love, and then change the surrounding town by sharing that experience of His love with them!
Every church is different. Every plot of land is broken with different intentions. However, to baptize people in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey EVERYTHING He has taught us is not a great suggestion… It’s The Great Co-Mission!
A husband considers and learns about his wife in order to experience love, to live life, and to accomplish more with his wife than he ever could by himself.
Take time to consider and learn your church, the bride of Christ! Understand her reason for existence, her strength, her weaknesses, fall in love with her and lead her to be one with Jesus, so that she can accomplish more with Him than she ever could by herself.
Relationships and churches have seasons. If Jesus is taking your church into a season of healing, sing of His healing love. If He is leading her to seek and save the lost, sing of a commitment to join Him. If He is leading her to… sing that thing! Pick songs that represent the present need she has, not the ones that sound great for the sake of sounding great, or the ones that you sound great playing. Sing the songs that roll out the red carpet for Him to walk down, the songs where He can take His bride by the hand, and walk out to change the world in whatever way He sees fit!
And if those songs don’t exist, write them! If the songs exist and you don’t like them or don’t sound good on them, sing them anyway!!
Be one in mission with Jesus for your church! Know her, lead her, step back from the microphone and hear Her sing to Him; let her voice communicating with Him cheer your heart more than anything else.