Everyone has something they can be excellent at. I mean truly excellent. This word can become confused with a lot of things, and I’ve seen a lot of people let becoming excellent mean that they just want to be the best for the sake of being better than everyone else. The confusion here falls with confusing the excellence with proficiency.
This is not Godly excellence, and the difference comes in the motivation for wanting to be excellent. You have to determine what your focus is, and use that focus to strive for excellence.
In terms of becoming a worship musician, as a gift, there are a lot of people who get sidetracked in proficiency, and that then becomes their only goal, whereas in actual fact there are a number of contributing factors to excellence that can be easily missed. Let’s apply this to an example, and use the guitar to highlight what I mean.
Guitarists want to get faster, more dynamic (or more accurately, louder), have the best tone, the latest pedal and a whole host of other things that are designed to make them become excellent. Some practice 3 to 4 hours a day, locked in a room with a book of modal scales becoming ‘excellent’. But when you step back, all you might see is a proficient guitar player who knows his instrument extremely well.
Excellence encompasses many other things, and this is our attempt at trying to define some of them.
This part of excellence is quite prominent and is why some people just become completely overtaken by it. Being good at what you do or play is really important, and the want to get even better is how we are designed. Proficiency means you can play your instrument to a standard where it’s not your main focus. If 90% of your time is spent concentrating on changing chords, then your own personal worship is down to 10%.
Excellence is also achieved through having a good attitude, this needs to be a positive and be an attitude of service. Particularly as a musician, often times you’ll be in a situation with other musicians, and if everyone has a massive ego and a sour attitude, then the whole thing won’t work. Clashes, arguments and bad times. A good attitude means you can work properly as a group, serving each other and the music.
Having this attitude does not mean being a pushover to those who have a bad attitude. Being strong and being sure means that you can be more equipped to deal with a strong ego or a bad attitude. Think of it the same way as ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ – if everyone does it, it works.
3. Be Awesome.
Act with confidence and the assurance that a step in faith is the greatest way to be excellent. Unsure whether a certain lick will work in a worship song? Do it, but do it in a faith. Don’t wimp out half way through because people will notice and it will distract them. Be sure of your ability, and sure in the knowledge that God is listening to the message you’re trying to convey between the chorus and the bridge of that particular song.
Those flairs are your heart song, a message of salvation through your guitar, your voice, your drums, your keys. They are vital to bringing the essence of God to a session of worship, but only with the purest intention. It’s not to draw attention to you, but to God.
Keep your ego out, play what’s on your heart and worship completely.
Excellence is achievable, but only with a heart for God and a determination that surpasses all obstacle. Remember, God has removed sin and fear so that we may achieve excellence through faith in Him.
Be proficient. Be humble. Be awesome. Be excellent.