Learning a Grace-Filled Approach to Ministry: Gratitude
It’s a time of rants, cynicism, and reactionism. Our world needs to be introduced to grace. At the same time, our churches need to be reminded of grace. Are our ministries characterized by grace? How can we grow in grace in such a way that it leads everything from our staff meetings to Sunday morning interactions with hurting people? This is Part 2 of a series on learning a grace-filled approach to ministry (see Part 1). Although my area of focus is worship ministry, these ways of grace can be applied to just about any arena of ministry.
Entitlement is a word that we’re hearing a lot these days. I believe that a grace-filled worship ministry will exude gratitude over entitlement. Gratitude enables us to worship God freely because we are not bound by our unmet expectations. Gratitude helps us see that we have already been given everything we need for life and godliness in Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:3).
A grace-filled worship leader will constantly let her volunteers know how she is grateful for them. Years ago, I began writing handwritten thank you notes every week to volunteers on the praise team. At first, it was simply a discipline in gratitude so that I did not allow entitlement to fester in my heart. Over the years, it has grown to be more of a blessing to me than it is to the people who receive the notes.
I love this quote from Matt Papa’s book, Look and Live:
“What we must begin to understand is that the gospel deconstructs a man before it reconstructs him. First it teaches him he is entitled to nothing, and then it gives him everything.”
Gratitude will also help the worship leader keep his heart in the right place when he receives compliments for the Sunday service. Gratitude enables him to not only receive a compliment graciously, but then in the privacy of his own heart, give that compliment to the Lord; grateful he was used by God’s grace to impact that person’s life.
The Bible teaches that gratitude serves as the solution for much of that with which we struggle.
Gratitude is the solution for our immorality (Ephesians 5:1-4).
Gratitude is the solution for our weariness (Psalm 69:29-30).
Gratitude is the solution for our bitterness (Hebrews 12:3-29).
Grace-filled worship ministers will help God’s people enter into His presence with thanksgiving (Psalm 95:2). Keep gratitude at the front of your approach to ministry and you will naturally disciple people in the school of God’s grace.
 Matt Papa, Look and Live: Behold The Soul-Thrilling, Sin-Destroying Glory Of Christ (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2014), 154.