Deep Hunger

‘The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.’ —Frederick Buechner
My Bible Study facilitator shared this quote with us last week, and it struck me profoundly. When she asked us to discuss its meaning, our meeting space was filled with a reflective silence. We had been talking about calling and purpose, and I immediately thought of my own calling as a worship leader. Could I look at my work and ministry as “deep gladness”?
Without a doubt, I knew the answer was yes. Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed about sharing my music from the stage. As I matured, God led me down a difficult road of pain and discovery, and I found that I was no longer drawn to a life of fame lived out on the stage; I was called to lead worship. To this day, I can definitely say that I enjoy my work. I joke with people that I get paid to sing all day, which is true. But there is more to being a worship leader than just singing all day.
There is a great deal of relationship building, which was an element of the job that created uncertainty when I was first hired. Sure, I have friends and enjoy spending time with them, but I wasn’t sure how to interact and identify with the set of volunteers I led with each week. It was uncomfortable for some, I think, when I was hired to the paid position. We had all worked as volunteers together, and now suddenly I was technically a step above them in terms of rank.
But as the years moved forward, I found this to be less and less of an issue. I look at the volunteers, particularly our piano players and accompanists as valuable equals in this ministry. As I built my OneVoice team, I felt a closeness and camaraderie that I had never experienced before. There was a kinship and understanding that existed between us that created a unique sort of friendship.
This fall, I faced a bit of uncertainty in my ministry roles. I had decided to no longer lead the two Bible Studies I had been facilitating. The teen center had also closed, so my week-day nights were now more open. I had also begun to turn over leadership at YLF to the new director in training. So my question was: what do I do now?
In the past few weeks, I have begun to piece that together, and I think it all comes back to relationship. I have found a few new connections in our music department, and my mentoring and shepherding heart has come alive. I feel particularly burdened and motivated to invest in a few relationships that I have neglected for too long. Oftentimes, it is so easy to spend more time with the people who are in your inner circle— in my case Vanessa and some of the first girls to join OneVoice. But in many ways I have neglected the newcomers to OneVoice and those from other worship teams.
I could easily say that leading worship is all about the music, but there’s more to it than that. If I am going to make an impact on the local church and the Kingdom at large, then I need to invest in those who are traveling that road with me. That part of the quote that talks about “the world’s deep hunger” had me stumped for awhile. Could I say that the world is hungry for God-honoring worship? Can I satisfy that hunger in some way? Certainly, God is hungry for our worship. But could I be satiating some of the hunger as I go beyond simply singing to delving into deeper relationships?
If we can commune together as worship leaders and find common ground through a deeper connection, perhaps the congregation we serve can be drawn into a deeper relationship with Christ. It is only in coming together that we can truly worship Him as one, unified body. Are we hungry for that communion? Are we hungry for Him? We should never seek to just be satisfied but to constantly seek after that deep hunger that rises from our calling.

One thought on “Deep Hunger

  1. There is no perhaps, Worship music ABSOLUTELY draws me closer to GOD so yes dear one your deep gladness and deep hunger are meeting! Can I get an AMEN?!!

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