I was rubbish, yet called
When I first started going to a Christian youth group I didn’t know what it meant to engage with God, to encounter his presence and to truly rely on him. I started attending a city centre youth club to meet a girl that I heard had taken a liking to me. Things with the girl didn’t work out, in fact I don’t think anything even happened in the end, but when I was sat in that basement room listening to truth being spoken and songs being sung, it told me more about the character of God. I knew that I would stay.
I’ve always had a passion for music and so when the opportunity to get involved in the youth band arose, I jumped at the chance. I’d fumble along playing chords that I wasn’t confident playing, trying to blend in so that no one noticed me either playing the wrong thing or not playing at all. After playing electric guitar in the band for a year, I was asked to sing some backing vocals as well to harmonise with the worship leader. I had no idea how to harmonise and so I just sang along trying to sing a different melody to the same lyrics whilst keeping in tune with the band. Sometimes it’d go really well and sometimes it would go catastrophically wrong. The thing I loved was that I had a great leader who gave us permission to fail. We were messy and sounded sketchy sometimes, but it gave us things to improve on and kept us reaching for more, trying to excel and to give God the best we could.
When I was 15, I attended a different youth group with a friend of mine as I was staying at their house that night. Whilst at this youth group, the youth pastor invited new people to come forward to say hi and to receive prayer. I decided to go up, I don’t remember why I wanted prayer specifically but there I was, face to face with the youth pastor and he started praying. It all sounded like mumbo jumbo to me and I realized that this was this “tongues” thing I had heard about. He suddenly stopped and told me to open my eyes. I looked up and he asked if I played guitar, I said yes, he also asked if I sang, I said yes but that I wasn’t very good. He then said that I’d be leading worship in a year and that God had given him a vision of me leading musical worship in a church. A few weeks later, the leader at my church pulled me to one side and told me that he felt God was telling him to train me to lead worship. I was astounded, scared but couldn’t wait to get started. A year later, at 16 years of age, I was leading worship for the evening congregation at my church and felt God guiding me so clearly that I knew this was what he was calling me to pursue full time.
My own fear kept creeping in though and I kept allowing doubts to knock me down. I would always feel like I wasn’t good enough to be leading God’s people in sung worship. One of my youth leaders answered this concern with a simple question. Who is good enough to lead God’s people?
Since then, I’ve been pursuing God’s call on my life knowing that nobody other than Jesus is good enough to lead His people. I try to lead from a place centred in Christ, being led by the Spirit and all as a response to the Father.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”