Here’s a conversation Pastor Priji has with Pastor Amit Kamble a worship leader and a Pastor on having a heart of worship.
Pastor Priji : What is ‘worship’ from your perspective ? How would you define ‘worship’ ? Since God has been using you extensively in this area.
Pastor Amit : Well, if we have to go into the technicalities or linguistic definition of ‘praise and worship’, we definitely have many things to refer to. But I believe that the meaning of worship or praise becomes more personal when we have a more closer relationship with God.
For one person, worship might mean one thing, but to me, worship might mean something else. But according to me the general terms would be that,
‘praise’ means I’m telling something about God to the world, which entails that I’m actually standing near God, with God, and proclaiming to the world of who God is, is the meaning of ‘praise’ for me, that is more public than personal. But ‘worship’ is more personal than public, it’s actually heart-to-heart with us & God.
How my heart beats in matching with God’s heart beat is worship for me.
It’s a conversation of two lovers being at one place.
Pastor Priji : When did you discover your passion for worship ?
Pastor Amit : I got saved in 9th grade, my aunt invited my family to her house for house-church, I was reluctant to go but then when I was sitting there, they were singing songs, and at that time I didn’t know what praise & worship was but those songs actually touched me and i gave my life to God. After that I said, whatever these guys are doing I too really want to do, because I knew I could sing, and they were singing, so that connected, so God used the talent portion of my life as a bridge to come to Him, to come to this area, the zone of praise & worship. After that I started knowing who God is that brought the light to me and that’s where I really started opening up and worshipping.
If I have to tell about worshipping and where I started, then, in the church is where i got a platform to just sing and worship, in house groups, cell groups, where there are 2 people or 4 people, I didn’t really bother about it and just grabbed an instrument and just started worshipping Him.
Pastor Priji : So how did you become a Pastor? I understand that you were into worship, that you had a heart for God, that you had a heart for loving the Lord, so how did the transition come into place where you even started ministering to people, where the Lord started using you as a pastor, as you’re a pastor in your church, how did this transition take place?
Pastor Amit : I didn’t actually really come to know that the Lord was preparing me in the Pastoral ministry since many years. But when I was leading worship, I used to get connected with people, with lives, with situations of the people, so after worship people used to come to me to talk and I used to just try to be a good friend to them, maybe give them a good counsel, support or maybe just be with them. So while doing this, I didn’t actually know that God was actually preparing me into the pastoral ministry, all of these things bring out a ‘father’s heart’ inside of us, that’s what a pastor needs, a heart of the Father.
Then there came a time when many men of God started prophesying over my life, and I was actually not ready for this ministry, I was running away from the word ‘Pastor’, I was reluctant to take the responsibilities of a pastor, but I asked for a sign and God fulfilled the sign in about 6 months. God said ‘ you asked Me a sign and I gave you one ‘. So in the same church where I grew in, I became a pastor there. It’s been 6 years now.
Pastor Priji : Coming back to topic of worship, you mentioned that worship is personal to you, worship is expressing your love for God, worship is also different from person to person because it depends on the revelation that that person has had. So if I’ve not had that revelation of God, if I’ve not seen Him in a different or unique light, I might struggle to worship God. So what would you say is someway, new believers or people who haven’t had a revelation of God, can come to a place where we have new revelations of God everyday? What can be done from our side? I understand that God is the one who gives the revelations but what can be done from our side to be open, receptive, to go to Him to receive a revelation?
Pastor Amit : What I started doing in my early days was I used to work in the church office as an accountant, did that for about 6-7 years, so what I used to do was maybe an hour early and just sneak into my office where there was nobody there. Lock my office and just sit with God. Because there was a hunger in me of knowing God, I began doing that, start spending time alone with God, started reading the Word.
I still remember I had a small notebook with me, and my Bible, I used to read the Word and whatever I couldn’t understand or doubts I had, I used to write them down and bring them up with my pastor.
My point is, you need to make an effort to know your God, the more you know God, the better you worship Him.
Your worship is measured on how much you know God. If you really don’t know Him, it’s okay, God will understand but He will expect us to take steps to get close to Him, and the closer we go to Him, the more He reveals to us of who He is and the more we understand who He is, the better our worship becomes.
Pastor Priji : One of the first few songs that you wrote, ones that touched many hearts, the song ‘Shukriya’, what was your heart behind writing this song ? What were your circumstances when you wrote this song ? How did that song come to you ?
Pastor Amit : Many have asked me about the story behind this song, and I’m not very proud of the story behind this song, it’s not very holistic but I believe it was just a day to day life event that was happening with me when that song came out.
I was a teacher in a school and we had to supervise for examinations happening for students. Some subjects had 2 hours of exam time and some had 3 hours. We couldn’t read books or do anything but just sit there and supervise. So what I started doing in those times was just sit and pray. So one fine day I just decided when I was getting ready to go to school, there was this one exam for me to supervise and it was a long exam so I decided ‘ God, today, I will use all of that time to thank you, for every small thing that I can remember in my life. I will try to remember every small thing and give you thanks in that examination hall. ‘
So with that in my heart, I went to school. Sat down in the exam hall, exam started, and I started thanking Him for everything, every small thing, everything in my life.
So that’s when the Holy Spirit told me ‘ pick up a sheet of paper, and start writing everything, write something about thanksgiving ‘. (Shukriya means Thankyou)
The Holy Spirit started helping me and I wrote down everything, the entire song sitting in the exam hall. While moving in the aisles is when I got the tune of the song, and I was just waiting for my exam-relieving-teacher, then went to my staff room, picked up my guitar and sang the song about 10 times so I don’t forget it. (Didn’t have a recorder back then)
So that’s how the song came, it took birth with a thanksgiving heart.
Pastor Priji : I have seen this, so many times it’s not that we have not received from God or that we don’t have reasons to thank God but sometimes we just stop ourselves, short of beginning to express it out, short of just letting it go & giving our best to God. There are many people who ask me ‘ I want to worship God, but I don’t know how to express it, I have it in my heart but I don’t know how to bring it out, how to articulate my worship for God ‘. Could you just say a word for those people who struggle to express their worship for God ?
Pastor Amit : When you try to find something to thank the Lord for, and they might not get something, then there’s a verse in Psalms which says ‘ I will praise you for you have knit me in my mother’s womb and you have made me like you. ‘
So even if I don’t have anything to praise Him for, there is this one thing that I will praise Him for, because I am made very special, that ‘ You are fearfully and wonderfully made ‘.
For me, this one reason is more than enough to come to God every time and worship Him.
So I encourage all the listeners of this podcast that if you find difficulty in picking up a reason, then just pick this reason up that ‘ God made you, and He has wonderfully & fearfully made you, 9 months He knit you closely ‘.
Sometimes, worship is not about expression, it’s not about whether you lift your hands or come on your knees or stand straight, but sometimes it’s just about sitting quietly in a room with God.
Even if your emotions aren’t picking it up or on par, just be there in the presence of God, and know that your heart wants to love Him.
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