Psalm 100 is one of my most favourite psalms. Maybe it’s one of yours too. I’d like to share some insights about leadership I had while reflecting on this psalm recently. In this post, we’ll look at verses 1,2, and 4:
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100: 1,2,4 (NIV)
Psalm 100 is stuffed full of exuberance: Shout with joy! Worship with gladness! Sing joyfully! Give thanks! Praise his name! The psalm describes a jubilant celebration!
It says to celebrate:
- Whoever and wherever you are (“all the earth”)
- When you are out in the world serving – the Hebrew word translated here as worship is translated as serve in some other versions. The idea of the Hebrew word is that serving the Lord is an act of worship. So, serve the Lord with gladness.
- As we come before his throne
Sing! Shout! Even dance! Abandon yourself in the goodness of God.
This may never have happened in real life, but these verses brought to my mind the image of a colourful festival in a medieval village with throngs of people filling the streets with joyful shouts, songs, and dances as they progress towards the lord’s manor house. The whole village is celebrating the goodness of their lord’s rule!
God is like the good lord of the manor, creating great joy for his villagers who are all thriving under his wise and beneficial rule. As the lord looks out on the crowd, he wells up with pleasure at the wonderfully full and rich lives he has given his people the ability to build. And as the villagers serve their lord, they realize they are really serving each other, because the lord returns all the fruit of their labour to them for the continual betterment of their lives. The villagers come through the manor gates and into the manor’s courts, proceeding to the lord on his throne. We see at this point that the lord and his villagers are one, perfect, community.
In the same way, God wants us to remember, rejoice and revel in the truth of his goodness to us in all our circumstances, to tap into the joy he wants for us as we focus on his goodness. Enjoy God!
The kind of joyful celebration I’m thinking of is captured really well in two places:
- In 2 Samuel 6: 14-15 when King David brought the Ark into Jerusalem.
- The River Is Here by Andy Parks. Listen and enjoy a few minutes of pure joy.
You Be a ‘Good Lord’
As we lead our ministries, we need to consciously lead by joyfully remembering who it is we serve. Knowing God and being in relationship with him is life-giving and liberating, so as a leader, your leadership should likewise be life-giving and liberating.
A Leader’s Commitment
As a leader:
- Lighten up!
- Be joyful in the office – in conversation, in correspondence, in demeanor.
- Lift other people up with encouragement and help.
- Develop a habit of giving thanks and praise to God throughout the day for the people he has called to serve together with in your ministry.
- Trust more than ever that God is good, faithful, and kind toward us, and show the same traits to your staff.