We had the honor of hosting Nathan and Christy Nockels, of the band Watermark and the Passion movement, at our Essential worship conference. During a Q&A session with them, they had the opportunity to share their testimony and pass on some of the truths they have learned on their journey. This wonderfully humble and passionate couple left a lasting impression on me so I thought I would pass on some of the encouragement I took away, in the hope that it will encourage you as well! Christy shared that through her desire to grow in effectiveness as a worship leader, God impressed a significant truth on her heart as she was reading through Deuteronomy and studying the role of the Levites in the temple. She also blessed us with a glimpse into her dialogue with God as she prepares her heart to lead worship. Deuteronomy 10:8 “At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.” (KJV) Christy described three things which she took away from this passage that help to define her role and responsibility in leading worship. 1. We are carriers of the presence of God. I don’t know about you, but I need to sit on this one for a minute… or maybe a lifetime. This is a hard truth to receive since I tend to identify myself with my sin rather than with my new nature. When my identity is in my fallenness, the idea of carrying the presence of God is almost an impossibility in my mind. I don’t deserve that honor! I’m too unholy. But He has defined me differently… made me new. When He looks on us, His children, He sees the righteousness of His Son. (Romans 2:24-25) 1 Cor. 3:16 says “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” In the same way that the Levites carried the very spirit of God in the ark of the covenant, we, having become His new temple, now carry the very spirit of God in us. 2. Our first responsibility is to minister to the Lord… It is our calling to allow others to see and hear us genuinely worship God in spirit and in truth. Christy explained that we do this by being willing to allow others “into our familiar with God.” This takes vulnerability… humility. This calling holds us accountable to know God intimately in our own lives. When we know and practice the benefits, healing, and authority of His presence in our own lives, we are left with only one response… “I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.” Psalm 145:1-2, 21 …and as we respond, it is our hope that others will look on and be compelled to seek and respond to Him with us. 3. …then to bless others in His name. As we recognize and believe that we carry the presence of God, then respond by ministering unto Him, we have the opportunity to declare the truth over those whom God has set before us. We bless them in His name as we sing His truth over them and sometimes even get to declare it on their behalf. I love these three reminders so much. These truths not only equip us to be more effective worship leaders on stage, but also define our everyday role as followers of Christ.