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Worship
Clinician Spotlight
- Interview with Bobette Jamison Harrison - with Aaron Adams


From 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.

Once 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.

WLW: 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?

BJH: 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!

WLW: 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 to possess?

BJH: 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 Christ-likeness.

WLW: 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 our readers?

BJH: 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.

WLW: You could say then, that leading worship extends beyond the platform on Sundays.

BJH: 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.

WLW: 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?

BJH: 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 move on.

WLW: That brings up an interesting point. Many worship leaders have expressed a felt tension between the desire to maintain
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?

BJH: 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.

WLW: 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 worship.

BJH: 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.

WLW: 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?

BJH: 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.

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