The quality of skillfulness in any endeavor is a never ending process of a desired disciplined delight. I say that not esoterically, but specifically, as the basic method to obtaining the necessary parts that produce excellence of ministry. I call this endeavor the Three D method.
You take your absolute red hot desire, you go through some Godly discipline, and it will become an awesome delight! I’ll share more about that later.
Pause a moment and meditate on the following quotes in regard to pursuing your goal. The famous Green Bay Packers coach, Vince Lombardi, welded these powerful words into his team members on the football field and made champions out of mediocre players:
“The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor. The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”
There’s an anecdotal story of the famed Spanish composer/cellist, Pablo Casals, about his commitment to developing skill. A young reporter asked him, “Mr. Casals, you are ninety-five years old and the greatest cellist that ever lived. Why do you still practice six hours a day?” The humble cellist responded, “Because I think I’m making progress.”
"Because I think I'm making progress."
Since your goal is excellence in music ministry, with the emphasis on music, for the moment, let’s look at a historic rock and roller, the shepherd boy, David. You know the Sunday school Bible stories of his protecting the sheep for dad and having to kill lions, tigers and bears. Oh my. You know something about his amazing trip out to the battle field to carry some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to his brothers and his ultimate encounter with the giant, Goliath. David caused a riot and Goliath lost his head that day. You’ve heard the story of King David leading the historic parade returning the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and his outrageous rendition of Motown’s, Dancing in the Streets, before Martha and the Vandellas even recorded it.
I’ve always been intrigued by the wonderful scriptures that describe David. With the Book of Psalms, he became the largest contributor to the school of music for the Kingdom of God. These next references are a foundation for you today and your commitment of excellence in developing skill in your craft. Look at these verses,
“He chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds…” (Psalm 78:70 KJV)
“Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.” (1 Samuel 16:13 KJV)
“Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him.” (1 Samuel 16:18 KJV)
The Amplified version of 1 Samuel 16:18 reads,
“One of the young men said, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who plays skillfully, a valiant man, a man of war, prudent in speech and eloquent, an attractive person; and the Lord is with him.”
Note the way scripture describes several elements of his character. First of all, they knew that he played skillfully. Evidently his musical reputation was widespread. King Saul’s high court staff even knew about him and his music. And it’s apparent they knew that he was valiant, had great warring abilities, and could communicate well. If that wasn’t enough, he was an attractive, good looking young man and—here’s the best—the Lord was with him.
Is the Lord with you? Are you with and doing what you are doing for the Lord? Do it with all your might, and do it skillfully!
I remind you again. Every musician or singer needs to take the commitment that ninety-five year old Pablo Casals had on practicing. You keep doing it because you think you’re seeing progress. All in all it’s important that you prove yourself, and prove to yourself, that you are a psalmist, a vessel of honor—prepared to do every good work—a skilled singer/ musician. Now go back out to the hillside and crank up some development of more skill. The sheep are waiting and will be very glad to hear you. They really do enjoy you.