Lessons from Kenaniah

In I Chronicles 15, we read of Israel making preparations to move the Ark of the Covenant to the temple.  I believe verse 22 of that chapter provides some important insight for us as worship leaders.  The writer informs us that “Kenaniah, the head Levite, was chosen as the choir leader because of his skill.”  Let’s take a few minutes together and explore this verse and mine for its treasures.

First, we notice that Kenaniah is named as a Levite.  The Law of Moses teaches us that Levites were priests, responsible for service to the nation of Israel.  They were the ones who led the people in responses of repentance, praise, and consecration to the Lord.  On a regular basis, the Levites would interact with the most holy items of the temple and intentionally come into the presence of Jehovah.  As worship leaders, it is crucial that we remember that our role in the congregation is much more than just a job or assignment; we are performing a solemn responsibility of assisting our community to respond to a Holy God!  Let’s ever be mindful of the task we have and the necessity of spending personal time in the presence of the Lord in order to prepare for corporate worship.

Next, we see that Kenaniah was chosen as the leader.  If you are like me, this may be one of the most difficult parts of music ministry.  As musicians, we often struggle with our personal issues of self-esteem and feelings that others are constantly evaluating our performances against some undefined standard.  We also know that musicians can be cruel, disguising biting comments as constructive criticism.  The fact remains, however, that in order to have a choir, orchestra, or any other type of team there must be a leader — someone given the authority to make tough decisions.  Will everyone agree with the decisions you make?  No!  Are there multiple ways to do the job?  Of course.  Regardless of how you feel about your skills as a leader, recognize that you have been placed in your current ministry position by God Himself and not by man.  Take comfort in realizing that our God specializes in making something great out of nothing.  Just as Christ fed a multitude with a boy’s simple lunch, we trust that He will feed His children spiritually through our offerings….no matter how meager they may seem.

Lastly, notice that Kenaniah was placed in a position of leadership because of his skill.  In a constantly changing musical world, it is imperative that we continually pursue excellence.  Never allow yourself to buy into the lie that the status quo is good enough.  As ministers, we must constantly evaluate ourselves for spiritual maturity, musical growth, and leadership development.  We are human, so there will always be a need to improve in all of these areas.  Ask the Heavenly Father today to point out the area that He wants to begin developing in you and follow His direction.  You may find that you need to spend more time in prayer and study.  At another point, you may feel an urge to align yourself with a fellow musician in the area, to read books (or blogs like this one), or to enroll in a class of some sort.  Whatever the personal call in your pursuit of excellence, know that the investment of your time will ultimately bring great reward to your ministry, yourself, and those you lead.

Music minister, walk this week in the confidence that you have been called by God Himself to lead His people in worship.  He did not choose you to mold you into the image of another leader, so stop comparing yourself to others around you.  Seek His face and allow Him to point out areas that need attention and development as He also delights in you as His favored creation and the apple of His eye.

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