5 things I learnt from Superman

Posted by Phil Loose on 1 August 2014

Spiderman had a cool theme tune, Batman had the best gadgets, but Superman had the outfit. And because my friend and I had a shed roof with a well placed heap of grass cuttings on the ground, there was no contest which superhero we were going to be. So we worked out how to wait until Mum’s head was not looking out of the window, climb up onto the roof, run and jump into the pile of grass whilst pretending to be wearing tights and red pants. Rock on. We were so cool.

Imitation of this level was de rigeur for true fans. Sadly, it was the late 80s which meant that some of my mates were true fans of Wham and decided to style themselves 100% on them, which was even more embarrassing than walking around town with half a ton of grass cuttings sticking out of your hair.

But imitation is not always a bad thing.

Try reading Ephesians 5:1-2.

‘Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.’

If you’re a part of a worship team, I’m convinced there are five great lessons we can get from these two verses:

1. If you’re going to leap, make sure you know where you’re going.

That means that you need to plan well. Know your songs, rehearse your team, have your Bible with you, expect the Spirit to break through – and have a plan. Not to say you can’t deviate from it, but if you’ve got a clear idea of where you think God is leading you, everything will flow better. And remember this: planning happens in the heart too. It happens in discipleship, in Bible reading, in prayer and over the years that you spend following God.

2. Underpants on the outside could be a good thing.

Vulnerability, transparency and authenticity all help to build trust in those who look to you for leadership. Being real develops a sense that we are all in this together – and that us worship leaders are not untouchable by sorrow, free from failure and somehow separate from those we serve. Try to be vulnerable and let people in to your humanity, and they will see God through you. Be wise about what you share – how you share it. (Oh, and the underpants on the outside is a metaphor. I thought I’d just point that out.)

3. Steer clear of kryptonite.

Garbage in means garbage out. If you spend too much time doing the things that you know you’re going to need to ask forgiveness for, don’t expect it not to show when you stand up to serve. The fine details of our lives matter. The extent to which you imitate the Lord matters in the seemingly insignificant and anonymous day-to-day things just as much as it does when you lead on a Sunday. So, outside church, how do you act? Are you a Christian just on Sundays or is this a 24/7 thing? Check yourself on what you fill your time with, what you spend your money on and what websites you visit. It really does matter.

4. Flying is great fun and the views are amazing, but…

Leading worship is not all about flying skyward, picking up damsels in distress and saving the day. Leading worship is about connecting people in the pew with Jesus Christ. Some are young, some are old, some are happy and want to rejoice, others are sad and need to be carried. Some need songs of lament, some need to be lost in wonder love and praise. Some suffered tragedy last week, some lost their jobs, others have much to celebrate. Spring Harvest has made a great habit of getting its worship leaders to start by saying ‘please stand if you are able’. This really values and respects people, acknowledging that not everyone’s needs are the same.

5. Superman saved the world, every week. You don’t have to.

We can all be tempted to get carried away with ourselves from time to time. We can start to assess the quality of worship times (as if any of it was about us anyway!) and believe that we hold some kind of major influence over the final outcome. Instead of that, trying reflecting on the truth that music and songs are made up of space interspersed with well guided music and words. And so it is with worship: we were made to do it and we do it a lot more often than just the times when we sing our little songs with each other. Sung worship is great, but don’t kid yourself that you - or even the songs you song - are at the heart of the action. It is your job to be obedient to Jesus – and sometimes, silence is what is needed. Give His church time to respond, to bring a word, to pray, to listen and to rest a while in His presence.

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