How much do your read and study your Bible? I ask this, because as a musician and worship leader, I know how easy it can be to spend all of your time preparing for worship musically and very little spiritually. Now, this isn't a slam on musicians or worship leaders/teams/choirs. It's just the truth. We get so wrapped up in the "experience" of worship that we neglect to spend time with God in Bible study and prayer. And I get it. Music is what moves and motivates us. It's an emotional experience. But there is a difference between being moved emotionally and being changed spiritually.
In Matthew 22:37 Jesus said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind."
When we only focus on the emotional experience of worship, we put all of our focus on our "heart". But Jesus also wants us to love God with all our "soul" and all of our "mind". To do that, we've got to spend time with Him in Bible study and prayer.
One of the things that I believe that musicians and worship leaders need to understand is that worship and Bible study (or theology) go together. They are not opposites. They work together to make us better followers of Christ. The more we know God through His Word, the more genuine our worship will be. And the more genuine our worship is, the more we'll desire to seek God in His Word. It's a circle.
To take it a step further, I believe that our "experiences" help solidify and strengthen what we study in the Bible and what we believe to be true about God.
In 2 Peter 1, the Apostle Peter is writing about the "experience" that he, James, and John had on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus. Jesus' true glory was revealed, Moses and Elijah showed up, and God spoke from heaven. If ever there was a worship "experience", this was it. And here is what Peter wrote about it in verse 19:
"Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets."
Because of their "experience" they believed the message of the prophets (Old Testament/Bible) even more. And the same holds true for us. When we worship God in Spirit and in Truth, not only should we experience the presence of God, but it should also reinforce what we have learned about God through our study of His Word.
So, this week, don't just prepare musically. Make sure that you are prepared spiritually as well.