Something I’ve been putting some thought to lately is the dynamic between commitment and obligation.
Obligation is usually an engine fueled by guilt, and unfortunately, it is driven at high speeds in many church environments. In the last few years, I have had the chance to mentor and help some really great worship leaders in environments other than my own, and I have found “obligation” to be the motivator behind many worship ministries. Worship leaders can be tempted to remind volunteers of their “obligation” *insert nasal-sounding, nit-picky tone here* to Jesus in order to get them to do more, show up earlier, stay later, or basically sacrifice more than really should. I actually heard this from a worship leader in Tennessee, who told me his pastor had told him to instruct his worship team to arrive three hours before a worship service to work on one song - after all “Jesus died for their sins, so what’s a few hours of their time in service in return”.
Shoot me now.
I’d rather talk with my leadership and the volunteers I have the privilege of leading about….COMMITMENT. Where obligation is guilt-driven, commitment is inspiration-focused. I like to ask the following questions of myself and my teams…
1. What are you committed to seeing improve right now?
2. What are you committed to giving in order to see this kind of improvement?
3. What are you willing to commit in the future to sustain this improvement?
The answers to these questions are usually colored by inspiration, whether big or small.