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January 9, 2012 / joelmalm

Am I Really Helping Anyone?

Every Sunday I get up and play my guitar and sing for a bunch of people.  Here’s what’s going on in my head:

I get nervous
– Even though I’ve done it hundreds of times, sometimes right before we start I get nervous.  It happens a lot less now that I have the choir. I know the small army behind me has my back.  It’s comforting.

I’m really insecure about my voice – I’m a musician.  Not a singer.  I sing out of necessity.  (This isn’t me fishing for compliments.  Please don’t write me and say, “Oh Joel you have an amazing voice!”  If you do it will show that you really don’t know what you are talking about.)  I sing because that’s what you do to lead worship.  My crummy singing actually turns out to be a good thing though.  As soon as I start to feel fairly confident about myself my brother will show me the video of the previous week’s service.  Ouch!  It keeps me humble.  J

I often question the value of what I’m doing  – I look out.  Some people are singing their hearts out.  Others are standing with their arms crossed looking miserable.  Some cry.  Some raise their hands.  Some play Angry Birds.

I know the stories of lots of folks in the congregation.  Many of them are in the middle of tough situations.  How can singing some words on a screen to pounding bass and distorted guitar really do anything for them?  To be honest, I don’t know.  But I do know this:  We were made to glorify God.  Singing is one simple expression of that.  So I regularly remind myself that in some tiny way me playing guitar and doing my best to keep my voice on pitch can help people connect with God.  Then he steps in and does the supernatural part.  That’s humbling and it’s a real honor that I get to do it.

Whatever you do you are going to get nervous and insecure at times.  You’ll probably even question the value of what you are doing for the world.  Know this:  If you are doing it to the best of your ability to glorify God – that’s enough.  You do what you can and he’ll do what only he can.

“…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31)



Leave a Comment
  1. Alex / Jan 9 2012 8:21 am

    My guitar isn’t always distorted. It gets clean every now and then lol 😛

  2. Orlando Barrera / Jan 9 2012 12:34 pm

    Thanks for the reminder bro, sometimes i feel like this with my translating for mission acapulco.
    But all for the glory of the gospel 🙂

  3. Karrie / Jan 9 2012 6:23 pm

    Joel, I just want to encourage you, right where you are, 🙂 to realize that you do help people connect with God in a big way. Your love for God is so contagious that even those playing Angry Birds can’t avoid it. 🙂

  4. kassc / Jan 9 2012 6:46 pm

    I’m glad your up there Joel, we all know you would rather be on a mountain somewhere in some other country, but your here…being obedient to what God has called you to at this moment. You are a blessing to so many peeps!

  5. Lonnie / Jan 9 2012 8:51 pm

    “Am I Really Helping Anyone?” Yes Joel, yes you are, and thank you. 😉

  6. worship2012 / Jan 9 2012 10:19 pm

    Well said… I would like to sing Praises to our God! I too dont hve that grt of voice… However, It lifts me up… If I can do that for others… I will! Each time I go to the Summit, on Sundays… I look forward to the Worship & Sermon. The Worship helps me forget about everythng! It is my time to Worship God & be in his presence. I leave knowing I can tackle anythng! God uses you, in that manner, & the Choir… U hve an Amazing Gift God has Blsd U with… The little time I hve been going… I get exicited ea. Time! Going through Base Camp is a Blsng! Leading Lives to Christ is what its all About! That is what I hve learned the time I hve Been attending… Worship is 1 of the main things that connects us with God! U & ur Team Bless alot of lives… U & ur Team hve Blsd mine…. Thnk U….

  7. Duane Rod / Jan 10 2012 5:48 am

    I’ve seen some really good singers lead worship, but the presence of God doesn’t flow throught them, and without that it’s just a performance. God has chosen to use you as a vessel to move through to bless His people through intense worship; if they chose to enter in. You have built the worship team into an amazing group and you are at the center, with God, holding it all together as a close knit instrument. I personnally would also like to thank you for your obedience to God’s calling, and don’t worry, He’ll let you climb a mountain or two every now and then!! Oh, and by the way, your singing isn’t that bad dude; actually it’s pretty darn good. And you got to looove those butterflies before each set!!!!

  8. John Rios / Jan 10 2012 10:48 pm

    Joel, you surely are impacting many souls! When I watch you at the 10:00am service, you truly are a radiance of Christ! You give me hope. You are doing great! Keep serving Him! 🙂

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