Can You Take This Challenge?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how critical are you?

Sure, some of our personalities are more prone to it. And being critical isn’t always a negative trait. Critical people don’t settle—they possess high standards of excellence.

But that’s not today’s topic. I’m talking about the kind of criticism that can keep us from the presence of God. The kind of criticism that is always looking in from the outside, looking down on others and keeping us from being the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

Nervous? Here we go.

For starters, I loved this article from Desiring God. I’m challenged because all too often I don’t lean in, press in and worship with my whole heart. I lay back and criticize. I compare myself to other musicians and different worship leaders and how much better I am than they. I don’t often press in because I love God and want to be near Him.

But we’re all guilty of this. A day doesn’t go by where I don’t see a new Facebook article on the sad state of modern worship or some type of slam against how a ministry is doing it all wrong and ruining the church. But what I love about the article is he mentions only those who are leaning in as worshipers that have something to say about its reform.

You could put it like this:

“Until you’re pursuing the heart of God and laying bare your heart in abandoned worship, you have nothing to criticize. We don’t need reformers … we need worshipers.”

Let’s be real. Churches don’t just need your feedback (sure, that can be a good thing). More importantly, your church needs your worship.

Your leadership down front.

Your abandoned heart.

Your all in attitude.

The Zero Criticism Challenge

So I’m offering a challenge to you … to me … to anyone who is up for it. For the next month, no criticism of anything. Unless you’re a service programming director or a worship leader whose job it is to make your worship services more effective. Outside of those meetings, zero criticism.

For just a month, I know you can do this.

• When you listen to worship music, don’t analyze and chop it up. Worship God through it.

• When you attend a worship service, don’t compare yourself or judge the musicians. Lift your hands, dance and sing at the top of your lungs.

• When you see what another church is doing, applaud them. Don’t think about how you could do it better.

• When you hear a sermon, don’t just judge the theology, slam the topical sermon or complain about how shallow it is. Instead, apply what’s being said without judgement.

• When you volunteer on your worship team and are frustrated with the church or how leadership runs things, show up and give your all.

• When you’re with your friends and church gossip starts to spring up, be the first to shut it down.

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David Santistevan
David is a Worship Pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, PA.