Leading by Letting Go — YM360


How good is your imagination? I want to put it to the test. Imagine this scene: It’s a beautiful autumn day, and delicate leaves gracefully descend from the trees, gently carried away by a soft breeze. You are standing there in awe of nature’s transformation, and you start to contemplate the profound lessons you can glean from the ever-changing seasons. Just as the leaves surrender to the wind, we, as leaders, must learn to embrace the winds of change when it comes to guiding worship experiences for middle and high school students. Envision yourself on a mountaintop, ready to embark on a new expedition. At this juncture, you face two choices: tightly clench your fists, adhering to a predetermined path, or open your hands, placing your trust in God’s guidance. Leading worship for young minds parallels standing at this precipice. We carry the significant responsibility of shaping their spiritual journeys, yet we must acknowledge that God’s plan often surpasses our own. By opening our hands, we create space for God to work in extraordinary ways, leading us and our students on a transformative adventure.

Throughout the Bible, we encounter numerous instances of leaders who live with open hands, embracing God’s guidance in their lives, e.g., the story of Moses, as he faced the daunting task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Overwhelmed and feeling inadequate, he opened his hands to God, relinquishing his doubts and fears. As a result, God empowered him to perform miracles and lead his people to the Promised Land. In the same way, we find young David, a shepherd boy, who defeated the giant Goliath not through his own might but by placing his trust in God. Their stories serve as powerful reminders that our strength as leaders resides not in our own abilities but in our willingness to open our hands and trust God’s leading.

To effectively guide worship experiences for middle and high school students, we must cultivate a spirit of humility, acknowledging that we are not the sole architects of these encounters. We are co-creators with God, allowing His Spirit to inspire and move through us. Proverbs 3:5-6 offers us guidance, encouraging us to trust in the Lord wholeheartedly, not relying solely on our own understanding. By humbly submitting to God’s guidance, we position ourselves to receive His wisdom and lead in a manner that profoundly impacts young hearts.

Flexibility is another vital aspect to embrace. The needs and preferences of middle and high school students can rapidly evolve, much like shifting seasons. Their desires, struggles, and questions are ever-changing. To effectively lead worship for this demographic, we must adapt and foster flexibility. When we open our hands, we create space for God to shape our worship experiences in ways that genuinely resonate with the unique hearts and minds of our students.

Let’s foster a culture of active participation in worship. Leading worship isn’t a one-way street but an invitation for the congregation to engage. Encourage students to actively participate, creating an environment where they can openly express their love for God. By providing space for students to share their gifts, talents, and testimonies, we empower them to take ownership of their faith journey.

Just as the seasons transition, our role as worship leaders for middle and high school students demands adaptation and growth. By opening our hands and embracing the winds of change, we allow God to work through us in ways that surpass our expectations. Remember the metaphor of open hands, humbly surrendering our plans and trusting in God’s divine guidance as we embark on this awe-inspiring journey of worship leadership.

If these thoughts resonate with you or if you have experiences to share, I want to encourage you to reach out and let me know. I want to hear about the moments when you’ve been pleasantly surprised by the incredible things God has accomplished when you’ve chosen to live a life with open hands. Don’t hesitate to share your own remarkable encounters, and let’s continue this conversation about the wonders of a life lived with open hands.

Share your thoughts with others in our YM360 community:

  • What’s the hardest thing for you to relinquish into God’s control? Why?
  • How do you practice opening your hands and letting God move? How do you teach your students to do the same?

 

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