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“Servant Leadership” with Guest, Jordan Jobe

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Tim [00:00:07] Welcome to the Worship Made Simple Podcast. We are a worship resource to offer support and guidance so you can confidently lead your congregation into a deeper, more intimate worship experience. I’m Tim Brown your host and I’m so glad that you joined us this week. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with my friend Jordan Jobe who leads worship at Cottonwood Church in Dublin Texas. We talked about what it looks like to lead worship with a servant’s heart, and how we can better serve our congregations through music. So without any further ado, here’s our conversation.

Tim: [00:00:45] Welcome to the podcast. Thank you. Glad to be here. First, tell us just a little bit about yourself and then we’ll get right into it.

Jordan: [00:00:52] Ok, so I’m Jordan Jobe and I grew up close to the Dallas area. I grew up in church, grew up actually as a drummer. Starting out my dad was the youth worship leader, and so that’s kind of how I started. I stayed with it for a while and was always singing and eventually picked up the guitar in college. I did some internships at a couple of churches for worship leading, and I actually just started officially as the worship leader here just six weeks ago. So I am not… Thank you. I am not an expert by any means so I just want to give that disclaimer right off the bat.

Tim: [00:01:34] Well we are the “Worship Made Simple” Podcast, not the “worship experts” podcast. Good, good because I am just a simple leader.

Tim: [00:01:43] There you go. So talk to us about the role of a worship leader as a servant, serving your congregation.

Jordan: [00:01:50] Ok so I had this thought the other day about the story of Martha and Mary. So this comes out of Luke 10 starting in verse thirty-eight. So I was thinking of this passage in light of being a servant leader. We have a tendency anytime we were given any kind of authority so whether you when you were a teenager or worked in fast food and were given like you know the shift manager position or in school you were put in charge of your group assignment for your science project or anything. We have a tendency to as soon as we get that authority position we let it go to our heads just a little. And out we have to fight that in a way to remain humble. And so our position as worship leaders shouldn’t be viewed as this great position of authority but rather should be a servanthood thinking more along the lines of In the Old Testament when Daniel was elevated to a higher level of servant. He’s still a servant. He is put in charge of others but he’s serving. Right and that’s what we’re doing. We’ve been given a position to serve in a way that fits how we were designed. And so I was thinking about this story and I was wondering what if looking at it a different way. What if Martha had the vision that Jesus had ahead of time. She was a disciple for a while as we are as worship leaders. She knows the vision of Christ and knows it well. So the story plays out a little differently. So Jesus and His disciples come. Jesus comes and Martha’s getting everything ready. She has many tasks that she’s handling. And Mary actually comes to Martha and says, “Martha, is there anything that I can help you with?” And instead, Martha having the vision of Christ says, “No, Mary I’ll take care of this. What’s most important is that you are at Christ’s feet right now. You have time with Him, hearing from Him.” Yeah, that’s really good.

Tim: [00:04:00] You know a water hose gets wet too right? So as we’re worshipping we’re in the presence of God too, you know and so we get benefited and blessed. But our primary role if you will when we’re leading worship is not to be blessed as much as it is to make a way or to present to create an atmosphere for people to meet with Jesus. And so I really love that analogy – what if Martha had turned that around with the vision ahead of time, that the most important thing is for Mary to sit at Jesus’s feet. And so I’m going to serve so that you can sit at His feet and learn from Him. Man, that’s really good.

Jordan: [00:04:39] Good. That’s really really good. I love it. Yeah God just spoke that to me the other day. I was just reflecting on that and how great a picture that is. That’s super powerful. Thank you so much. Yeah absolutely right.

Tim: [00:04:51] Tell us what else has the Lord been saying to you?

Jordan: [00:04:55] I kind of want to talk a little bit about practice, rehearsal, and worship in that context.

Tim: [00:05:03] Oh know… practice, rehearsal…Those are curse words. Let me tell you a quick story. This is funny. And I don’t believe this. That’s my preface. When I was growing up they told us this.

Tim: [00:05:14] I mean I heard this a lot. People would say “practice? What are you practicing for? You don’t need to practice. Just get up there and the Lord will anoint you.” The anointing enables you to do what you can’t do on your own.

Tim: [00:05:26] It’s the Spirit’s empowerment. And the Lord will anoint whatever you give Him. If you give Him a penny He’ll anoint it and make it better. If you give Him a nickel He’ll anoint it and make it better. If you give Him a dollar, He’ll anoint it and make it better. If you give Him ten dollars He’ll anoint it and make it better. Whatever you give Him, He’ll anoint it and make it better.

Tim: [00:05:42] But if you give Him more to work with He can make it go farther. So I often say when it comes to rehearsing and practicing, you know, give Him something to work with. He’ll anoint whatever you offer Him. Give Him something to work with. Yeah, absolutely.

Jordan: [00:05:58] So thinking of it in terms of encouraging your people about practice and rehearsal which is a hard thing to do. How do you encourage people to practice? You flip it on on them in this way. They are worship leaders. Anybody that serves with you plays with you sings with you… these are not exact definitions of these words but it’s a good point to think about. So practice for ours the way we do things here is what you do on your own practice is you on your own. Learning a song making sure you know the chords know the melody. Know your part and how it goes in getting that down. Rehearsal is when we all come together and figure out how those parts fit together. Yeah. Okay. And then worship is the aim. That’s the Sunday morning or Wednesday night or whenever it is that you do your worship service. The performance if you will. Yes, so to speak.

Tim: [00:06:54] We don’t like to use that word. We realize it’s not a show, it’s not a concert. But for our use here, there is an element of a performance. You are doing it in front of people. Yes.

Jordan: [00:07:12] This is the moment you’re actually putting the food on the table and still allowing Mary to be in Jesus’s presence and to eat with Him; to consume the fruit of the Spirit, to consume truth, which is what we’re after in our services. But getting back to the practice rehearsal and worship time, I would say strongly, and this is debatable I’m sure you could argue this, but I would attest to you that these three things must happen in that order. And this is where I think a lot of problems occur is that if they have to happen in order and you don’t practice on your own when it’s rehearsal time you are then practicing. And when it’s worship time you are then rehearsing. And when people are rehearsing during worship they become a distraction. And we live in a world of good full of distractions. And the last thing we need is more distractions in our services. We don’t need that. And so in that way you can encourage your people that the goal is that people would meet with the Lord that you have time with the Lord and they would have this experience worshiping him hearing his truth. So the whole service is not just music and a sermon but it’s music and sermon it’s the whole thing together. And if that’s our goal distractions become a tool of the enemy. And so we don’t want that to be our part our fault. We don’t want to have any part of distractions.

Commercial: [00:08:56] I want to take a minute to talk to you about our worship weekend’s events. This is a time where I come to your church to hold a weekend-long worship seminar for you and your worship team, or really for anyone who might be interested in learning more about worship. It’s comprehensive with a full day of workshops on Saturday. And then Sunday I lead worship with the worship team. We would really love to work with you and your team. So why don’t you give us a call today at (817) 873-8804. Again that’s (817) 873-8804. Or you can go to WorshipWeekend.com.

Tim: [00:09:38] We’ve been talking about the role of the worship leader. We’ve talked about servant leadership, and not being a distraction, being prepared when we come together. But we’re going to hear something that may be completely and totally unique. Maybe you’ve never heard this before. We’re going to compare music and style of music with milk and cereal. So listen up here real close. Cause I don’t think you’re going to hear this anywhere else. Take it away, Jordan.

Jordan: [00:10:08] So what I want to talk about is style preference. So I am making the reference to milk and cereal so I’ll start there. Cereal is a very common breakfast for everybody. And the milk that you buy is really based on how you grew up. So in our house, we drank or used 2 percent milk in our cereal. That’s how we grew up. That’s how it was. And then there’s this whole health food nut craze of all these different nut milks and hemp milk and super high protein. You know the list goes on and on and on of all these vegan milks and soy milk and you know there’s all these varieties and we have that within our music styles and churches. And so what you have to do though is you have to understand your background where you come from and your church needs to understand that whoever hired you or asked you to come on as worship leader at your church needs to understand your background first of all and needs to be understanding of that as well as your congregation. And you need to understand the background of the church. So if you take a church that’s a 2 percent milk church so to speak and you’re coming and you’ve got hemp mil, you know a totally different thing. So let me draw the comparison. So you got a church that’s hymns.

Jordan: [00:11:37] We do hymns we’ve done hymns forever and that’s all we want to hear and that’s all we want to do. And you come from a church that does Planet Shakers with all the brand new like hyper electronic dubstep backing stuff and loop tracks and you’re playing with a metronome in your ears. Maybe that wasn’t the best hire of that church, to begin with, but let’s move past that and really think about. You’re there. Yes. How can we bridge this gap how can we go from one to the other? Well, hopefully, the obvious thing is that getting in a huge debate and breaking up a church over the milk preference in your cereal. OK so to speak is a terrible thing and it needs to stop happening. This is ridiculous but it’s also not fair for you as a worship leader to come and say look it doesn’t matter you’re still getting the cereal I’m going to do things my way because that’s not a humble servant leader. Right. And so we have to find a balance between the two. You cannot change your background. There’s no way that suddenly you can become some concert pianist if you’ve grown up a drummer. This is true of me. I can’t sit down at a piano and read out of a hymn book.

Jordan: [00:12:55] I do not have that talent. So if I’m coming into a church I can’t just become that. So the church needs to understand that. You need to understand that about yourself. However, this church is used to that and that’s how they want things. So you can draw simple comparisons so you can figure it out on your own. The whole point is just that you find this balance of here’s my background here’s the church’s background. Let’s find something that works for both of us. Ok? This is a 2 percent milk. I come from hemp milk. Maybe we can meet somewhere and be skim. I don’t know. Yeah. So just to sum all that up your music style and your background and your church’s music style and their background is just as simple as milk and cereal. So let’s not have conflict and make a huge fuss and get all upset over something that simple. So we get a little hung up in our own musical backgrounds and what we grew up with. And so it can create a lot of conflict because probably in your church just like ours you have a huge array you have people in your church that are teenagers who recently became saved and they’ve grown up on pop music with all the electronic and drumbeats and all that kind of stuff in your services along with people in their 70s and 80s who have only sung hymns and only know the hymns and that’s what they prefer.

Jordan: [00:14:26] And so we’re talking about just trying to find how do I find a balance in the midst of that. And so I would say try to get out of the realm of thinking of your narrow style preference and start thinking about music in terms of culture. So culture to me means any group of people that have a tendency to think a certain way and has a particular view of the world. Now many will say culture in terms of countries or continents and yes that’s true they do have a different culture say in China than we have here obviously but cultures are much more narrow. You could even call each individual family a culture of its own. Because they think a certain way. So thinking back to our preferences and those kinds of things let’s not get hung up on. I want to do the latest and greatest. I want to do the things that just came out last year that had the new album. I want to download the loop tracks and I want to play those loop tracks to a click and have all the new electronic sounds and start a big fight and get people upset.

Tim: [00:15:34] We’ve talked about this before on this podcast, that worship at its core, is not music. Worship is not defined as music. Worship is defined as me connecting my heart to God; being in connection. And worship goes beyond the quote-unquote worship service on Sunday morning or Wednesday night, or whenever the corporate gathering is. Worship is something that I express to God on a daily basis. Just my act of being whatever it is that God created me to be, doing what He called me to do, these things are acts of worship. Because I’m offering my life. And so if we can think of worship in those terms then it really erases a lot of the difficulty, in terms of music style or preference and culture, to refer back to what we talked about previously about the milk and cereal. I mean, if your style is, you know, modern contemporary rocking you know hard guitar and drums and all that and you’re in a church environment that their style is hymns with a pipe organ, this kind of erases some of that tension when you approach worship as more than a style of music or genre or music at all. Worship is my expression of my heart to God being in connection with God. And then when you take that into the global perspective you’re in another country. Why do you have the right to be able to say that they’re not worshiping because they don’t sound like you? Well God created the whole human race in his image according to his likeness. And so every member of the human race in terms of when they offer what they have as worship, of course, we’re keeping that within the context of worship obviously. But when they turn that to God and offer it as a song of worship to their Creator, Whom whose image they were created, who are you to decide that that’s not pleasing to the heart of the Father? That’s not your job. That’s not your place. You have made yourself God in that instance. And we didn’t come to worship you. We came to worship Him. We came to worship the Father. And so genres, styles, cultures are very fluid.

Tim: [00:18:15] From one, as you mentioned before, even from family to family. Not just nation to nation. It’s a very fluid concept. Ultimately what we want to do is enter into the culture of heaven. That’s what we’re attempting to do in our worship is to experience the culture of heaven here on Earth and to ascend or transcend into that place. So if that’s our goal, if that’s what we’re shooting for, then let’s not get hung up on the itty bitty tiny technical differences between your color and my color, or your fragrance or my fragrance, or you know… I am using those as allegorical terms not specific to anything in particular but because that’s what that’s what we were created to do is to connect with God and to be connected with one another. One of my favorite scriptures says that how can you say that you love God and who you cannot see and hate your brother whom you can see and the principle within that is to say that if you are really connected to God then you’ll also be connected to people. And so I would rather approach it as bridging the gap, the gap of the differences between my culture and your culture. I would rather approach that from the perspective of to really be connected to God.

Tim: [00:19:49] I have to be connected to you. And I don’t mean that in the sense of I have to, it’s a drudge. But you know what I’m saying? We need to love our churches. We need to love our people.

Tim: [00:19:56] And I think when you approach it from that perspective, I think that really just dissolves all of that tension, and you know, I don’t know this for sure because I’ve never been there, but I have this hunch that when we get to heaven there’s going to be all of the music from around the world and throughout the centuries. All of it will be in heaven because all of those people that created that music were created in the image of the God of who’s Heaven we are going. We’re created to be creative in that way.

Jordan: [00:20:34] Yeah yeah.

Tim: [00:20:35] So that’s really good. Let’s not get hung up on the technical differences between us and let’s really just resolve that tension, approaching it from the perspective of we are together connecting our hearts to God and we are also connecting to one another. And so however you express your heart of gratitude to the Father, who am I to tell you that that’s wrong? I was just thinking about when Mary brings the alabaster jar to Jesus breaks it and pours the oil over His feet and cries and dries His feet with her hair. And Judas is enraged at this.

Tim: [00:21:25] And Jesus receives it as a beautiful offering of worship and He says this very powerful statement that whoever has been forgiven of much loves much. And whoever’s forgiven of little loves little. I don’t think that what He’s saying is that that’s an excuse for you if you don’t think that you’ve been forgiven of much then you don’t have to love much. I don’t think that what Jesus was saying. I think that what He was saying was all of us, regardless of what so-called action that we have done, have sinned.

Tim: [00:22:04] I mean, the sin that Adam and Eve committed was eating a piece of fruit. Yeah I mean it’s not a sin to eat fruit but it was a sin in their case because God told them not to. But the action itself was eating a piece of fruit. That’s what got them kicked out of the garden. That’s what started this whole mess. OK. So let’s not get so hung up on the action of sin. Regardless of the action, the sin itself is strong enough to kill you. It’s it’s strong enough to separate you from God. Yes. And so what I think Jesus was really trying to communicate with this situation with Mary and Judas is that when you have a realization of how much it is that you have been forgiven, when you come in a humble heart and realize that God the Creator of heaven and earth loved you enough to not cast you away but He forgave you and He has redeemed you and He’s brought you back into fellowship and made you accepted the beloved – when you have a realization of the greatness with which God has loved you, His rich mercy, then you have the capacity to love Him much. And when you’re coming to the Father in an attitude of gratitude, when you’re coming to the Father with a humble heart, when you’re approaching Him with a realization that you need Him, He is your source of life and so you’re you’re connecting to Him, who am I to say that the way that you said “thank you” is not good enough. How dare I. How dare I. And so I think if we’d approach it from that perspective, again that would just release that tension and that would make it so that we can come together in freedom to have fellowship with our Father. 

Jordan: [00:24:11] And that’s not for you as a worship leader, whenever someone does approach you and say that “I really don’t like the songs that you choose I want to do hymns” don’t say “how dare you!” Because that’s not going to go over with you, I promise.

Tim: [00:24:20] No, no. That’s good. Yeah, I just meant that flipped the other way. How dare us as worship leaders. But yeah that’s a good tip – “tips from Jordan”. Thank you so much for joining me this week. Yeah. I appreciate your insight. I’ve learned some stuff listening to you. I hope that our listeners have gained some things as well.

Tim: [00:24:47] Hey I hope you really enjoyed my conversation with Jordan on servant leadership. I have a couple of takeaways from this episode I want to share with you and I’d like to get you to think about. First, as worship leaders, we are to serve our congregations by creating an atmosphere that they can sit at the feet of Jesus and receive from him. This is not the time to be selfish and be thinking about what’s in it for me. Secondly, we need to come prepared so that we won’t be a distraction from what God might want to do in this service. So I’d love to hear from you. What is something you plan to do this weekend to implement what you’ve just heard. Would you go to worship weekends dot com and leave a comment on the page for this episode and let us know. We sure would appreciate it. Well, thanks so much for listening and again my special thanks to Jordan Jobe for being my special guest this episode. We’ll see you next week right here on the Worship Made Simple Podcast.

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