- Interview with Bobette Jamison Harrison
- with Aaron Adams
the moment I met Bobette, I knew that
all the rumors were true. She is, in
a word, alive. With her contagious laugh
echoing through the halls here at Maranatha!
and the enthusiastic greeting she offered
everyone she met, it became clear that,
for Bobette, life is not a trial to
be endured, but a treasure to be embraced
and that joy in Christ is not an abstraction,
but a reality.
we were able to settle in, Bobette and
I spent over an hour discussing her
passion for worship and her desire,
above all else, to see worship teams
rally themselves around a lifestyle
that reflects the praises they sing.
The question may be a bit broad to open
with, but what does worship mean to
you? Boiled down to its essentials,
what is worship?
I have been studying worship. I've been
on a worship journey for two years.
I think, in its most basic form, worship
to me is literally prostrating, bowing
down, before God; humbling ourselves
before God and recognizing that He is
the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
We can worship God in our daily walk.
Just what we demonstrate on a daily
basis, how we disciple others, how we
evangelize others, how we fellowship
with others are all modes of worship
to God. For me, worship is literally
humbling myself before God and just
waiting for His Presence to show up!
Our readers are, like you have been,
involved in some capacity of worship
ministry in their local congregation.
What would you say is the most important
characteristic for a worship team member
I would have to say that the key would
be an understanding of their dependence
on God, the necessity of prayer and
of living a life consecrated unto Him,
and the foundations of humility and
You mentioned a dependency on God as
a vital characteristic of a worship
team member. Can you explain that idea
more fully and how it may relate to
One of the most important things to
understand is that we as worship leaders
can become stagnant in what we do, because
we do it all the time. It becomes second
nature - it's almost perfunctory. I
think we should do it and be excited
about it. Every time we lead worship,
we need to literally consecrate ourselves
before we go before God's people and
minister because, in most instances,
they feed off of us. We need to saturate
ourselves in the Word of God. We need
to hide His Word in our hearts so that
we can facilitate and demonstrate Christ-likeness
as we lead worship.
You could say then, that leading worship
extends beyond the platform on Sundays.
Definitely. For me, and I can only use
myself as an example, I use worship
for a lot of different things. I fight
battles with worship. Satan is the prince
of the air, so when he comes after me,
he's gonna' hear me singing the blood
of Jesus! Literally, worship and singing
are a part of my every day life. I get
up and I'm singing praises, I cook eggs
and I'm singing praises, I'm driving
down the street and I'm singing praises.
In order to be one with the Holy Spirit,
we have to be consecrated before Him.
We have to have worship in our lives
every day so that we can recognize His
presence. It's a matter of the life
you've been living.
Our readers know that no worship team
is exempt from problems and struggles.
In your experience, what has been the
most difficult struggle you have faced?
Okay, I'm going to be honest. The thing
that bothers me most is when I work
with people who are lackadaisical about
giving God their best. You have to be
good at what you do. I think you literally
have to put your heart into it. If you
know you have worship songs you need
to learn, someone has given you sheet
music and then you come and you don't
know any of the songs, that irritates
me. Just like the Bible says: "study
to show yourself approved," you
should prepare yourself. It's not a
problem with a particular individual.
All the people I've worked on the [Worship
Leader Workshop] teams with, I've gotten
along with very well. There are times
though, when I work with individuals
who I know haven't put in the necessary
time. I'm very serious about when I
get up there before people to lead worship.
If a conflict arises between team members,
I think the rapport should exist that
allows the parties to meet together
one on one - not involving other individuals
- and lovingly discuss the issue. Go
straight to the source. Talk to them
about it. Fix it, pray about it and
That brings up an interesting point.
Many worship leaders have expressed
a felt tension between the desire to
professional and technical excellence
alongside the ultimate desire to have
God have His way in a worship service.
The idea there seems to be that too
much rehearsing and striving for musical
excellence shifts the focus from God
and His movement in a worship service
and puts it onto ourselves. What are
your ideas about that struggle?
To me, those are two separate entities
altogether. Because I can prepare myself
and know I am giving God my best, I
don't have to worry about not singing
the right part. Let me tell you this,
because of the expertise that most of
us have, we should literally prepare
ourselves and give God our best. If
someone was hiring you to work in some
other facet of the music industry, working
on a music score or whatever, you would
prepare because of the amount of money
you're going to make. But now we have
the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords,
the Author and Finisher of our faith,
the Alpha and the Omega. . . and we
just give Him what we have left. So
I say those two entities are completely
separate. You practice and prepare yourself
so that you don't have to worry about
that area when you get before God's
people. Now you're ready to worship
Him. When the Holy Spirit decides to
do what He wants to do, let it go. But
I say give God your best.
Thirty years ago, we would never have
heard of a conference or workshop devoted
totally to worship. It has been said
that God is doing a new thing in the
Church through worship. Why don't you
tell our readers a little about what
you sense God is doing in the area of
I think He is redirecting our attention.
He is teaching us we need to refocus.
Because it's not about our temporary
surroundings and the situations around
us, it's about Him. I believe that God
is redirecting our attention to what
is important - and it's Him. He made
us to glorify Him. And people are empowered
when they worship God. I really believe
and see that there is a revolution going
on today in worship. It's powerful.
There is victory and praise.
You've been one of the clinicians for
Worship Leader Workshop for the past
two years. You've been able to worship
with thousands of men and women from
all over the nation. Some of our readers
may have been to these workshops and
some may be considering attending the
upcoming conferences. What is the single
most important thing that these individuals
take home with them from the workshops?
When they leave, they really understand
who they are
supposed to be in Christ. We're supposed
to be role models, we're supposed to
demonstrate Christ-likeness, we're to
know the Word of God, if we are to disseminate
the Word of God to others. An important
realization is that I need to get my
personal life together. I need to step
up. It's not about me, it's about the
Lord. It's not about me standing up
there, feeling like I need recognition
and homage for the things I'm doing
for the Body of Christ. God is blessing
me just to choose me to stand there
and do that. It's a humbling experience.
To understand that the confidence is
not in you, the confidence should be
in what God can do through you. I think
they leave with an understanding of
who they should be as worshippers leading
others into the presence of the Lord.
It's a heart thing.