In Philippians 3, Paul says something that could be easily interpreted as hubris: "Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice." Shocking statement! I can NOT imagine saying this to ANYONE. "Whatever"? In other words, everything? Now, this is the Apostle Paul, but I still can't imagine that type of statement from anyone besides Jesus Christ.
I do a lot of things. And to no one's surprise, a lot of those things aren't worth imitating. I'm hoping to keep growing, and by God's grace, to be "transformed." But to be copied wholesale by those that follow me? I can see sort of see it, but not in the fully orbed way that Paul describes.
Yet, if I look back on the well-worn path of my twenty or so years of leading worship, my journey has been influenced by the people I've looked up to or followed to such a strong degree that what Paul says make a whole lot of sense.
My first worship pastor, a godly man named John Willison, laid out the blueprint for ministry and life. If I didn't know which way to turn, right or left, I would do what I had seen John doing. When I first started out as a worship pastor, without really knowing the "why," I imitated John's strategy, just because John did it. As I copied John, I started to figure out the reason behind the behaviors.
Who are the people you imitate? Are you consciously imitating them? Or have you somehow fallen into a habit of copying them without even knowing it? (For instance, when I was watching the execrable Netflix show, "House of Cards," I started to thinking about all the ways I could manipulate situations like Frank Underwood, much to my horror!). Moreover, what makes a person worthy of following?
This is the core reason we have David Ruis as our next webinar guest. David, much like John was for me, is a worthy person to follow, someone we should emulate. As the church in Philippi was exhorted to put into practice Paul's behavior, I would like to suggest we here in the Northeast look to David.
David is an awesome mix of world-class songwriter, artist, champion for justice, pastor, preacher, and a good hang. Let's spend an hour with him learning, receiving, and hearing from him. I promise you won't be disappointed. You'll be inspired.
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