You Need to Sit with Jesus Offstage

Nothing affects the way you sing to Jesus more than sitting with Jesus.

Guest post by Jon Thurlow.

The time you spend sitting with Jesus offstage, directly impacts your worship leading.

Because yes, when you lead worship you’re leading a room of people, but the primary thing both you and your room are doing is singing to Jesus. And you’ll sing to Him differently if you’ve been sitting in His presence.

Today I want to share a handful of ways to sit with Jesus offstage, to help you cultivate that connection with Him that so significantly impacts your worship leading.

#1 – Sit with Jesus in Silence

What if you took part of your daily time with Jesus and sat there in silence? What if you took even 5 minutes to sit before Him in stillness?

When you carve out the time to sit with Jesus in silence where you’re not reading, not praying, not journaling, but just sitting there with Him, there’s an opportunity for your heart to become present to Him. 

And once your heart becomes present to Him, you realize He is present. When this happens, this holy exchange is like breathing air or drinking water. You realize that being present to Him is something that you were designed and created to do.

Nothing compares to it, nothing replaces it, and the peace and perspective that forms within is part of what you carry when you step onstage to lead a room in worship to Jesus.

#2 – Sit with Jesus as You Stare at His Story

Remember that just like any person, Jesus has a specific story (from Genesis to Revelation). The more familiar you are with that story, the better and deeper you know Him. 

The better and deeper you know Jesus, the closer you become to Jesus, which impacts your life simply as a follower of Jesus. And then it overflows into your worship leading.

What does it look like to sit with Jesus, and stare at His story? Read the Word, and as you read, identify and pay attention to anything that looks like it might connect to the person of Christ. 

Examples would be Genesis 1, Genesis 18, Deuteronomy 18:15, I Samuel 2:10, Psalm 2, Psalm 16, Psalm 45, Isaiah 61, and Daniel 7, to mention just a few in the Old Testament

But then don’t just read the passages of Scripture. Sit with Jesus as you read, by talking to Him. In other words, take the passages that point to His storyline, and pray the passages, ask Him about the passages, and meditate on the passages.

As you connect with Jesus through the Scriptures that highlight Jesus, you will build a relational history with Jesus that is Gold; a history that touches both your life as a believer and a worship leader.

#3 – Sit with Jesus as You Stare at Your Story

Think about the internal battles and struggles in your life, the issues you wrestle with. Where do they come from? Isn’t it fair to say that at the very least, some portion of it is substantially impacted by your literal story?

In other words, not just your personality or temperament, but the family you grew up in, and the educational environment you were immersed in when you were young, these things are not disconnected from the way you currently function as a person. 

This would include your strengths, your weaknesses, your blind spots, and your perspective—it is connected with your story.

And part of how you heal, grow, and mature as a person is by looking backward with Jesus, to make sense of and to understand your own story.

As you sit with Jesus and stare at your story, your heart will become more vulnerable and transparent with Him.  And that vulnerability and transparency is one more thing you carry with you when you step onstage to lead worship.


I’ve hit some major points here, in just a short overview format, but I hope that it’s caused you to see that it’s so important for us as worship leaders to slow down enough, to really sit with Jesus.  To become present to Him, to know Him better through His story, and to know both Him and ourselves better through our own stories.

We will lead worship differently the more time we spend sitting with the Man we sing to.

Written by: Jon Thurlow

For almost 20 years, Jon Thurlow has led worship for different churches and prayer ministries. During that time he's also led worship for gatherings and events all over the globe, serving and writing with worship leaders from Bethel Music, Maverick City, and others. 

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