Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a worship leader? There is a delicate balance between performance and creating an environment for people to be able to experience God. In this episode, Angela shares how surrendering is such an important part of being a worship leader.
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Ep 61 - Experiencing God Through Worship - Angela Pitnikoff ...
Transcript is auto-generated
worship, worship leader, lord, presence, surrender, god, reclaimed, podcast, heart, angela, shift, people, moments, church, experience, singing, connect, meet, hear, leading
Angela P., Denisha Workizer
Denisha Workizer 00:00
I used to believe that the people who lead worship at my church were too cool for me. And I think this goes back to the feeling of rock stars being really cool, and we can't get to them. So once I was on staff at our church, I realized that our worship leaders are so very kind. And they've really connected to what it means to surrender to God, and that is beautiful. Today, you're going to hear from a worship leader as she shares her heart for experiencing God during worship and gives us a view on worship from her perspective on platform. And before we get started, May is here it is Mother's Day in graduation time. And we would love to help you find the perfect gift for your mom or grandma. What better way than to give them a piece of jewelry that expresses their identity in Christ, maybe something that says I loved significant lovely, there are so many amazing pieces of jewelry at reclaim story.com. And we have a code for you for listening to this podcast. You can use the code 10 off for me, the number 10 The word off the number for me to get 10% off and we'll even ship it to you for free. And now to this episode with Angela Pittman cough, Welcome to Living the Reclaim life Podcast. I'm Tanisha We're glad you're here for conversations that revive hope, inspire healing and encourage you to live a vibrant life with Christ. So grab a cup of coffee as we chat with today's guest. If you've been listening to the podcast for a while, you'll remember I my friend Angela Pitkin off. She is a pastor's wife, a mother of three boys lives in Northern California. And she's also a worship leader and a podcaster. And you guys, I have to tell you, I love Angela's heart and just her heart for women, her heart for leading worship and to help people know the heart of God understanding the power of the Holy Spirit, and receiving the love of the Father in a deep way. So I am really excited Angela to have you back on the podcast today. And and just see where God's gonna take this conversation today.
Angela P. 02:11
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I'm glad to be back.
Denisha Workizer 02:15
It's gonna be fun. Well, I've mentioned that you're a worship leader. And I think a lot of times, you know, we can as I cannot sing, let me just tell you that okay, I remember one sermon, I'd say funny story, you're gonna laugh because you dancing. But I did it. I preached a sermon. And I think we had like an altar call or something in the middle of it, where we had a song. And it was a song that I loved. And so I remember telling the tech guys, I was like, Okay, you have to promise me that, because I had to sort of step back for it. And then the worship team came out, and then I stepped back up. And I was like, if I accidentally sing back there, you've got to promise me to mute my mic. Because I was like, singing is not my gift. But I loved this song. I think it was what a powerful it is, what a powerful name it is, I was just saying, We were singing. And I remember thinking, I'm gonna belt this. And if they have my mic on, it's gonna ruin the whole service. And so I can't sing that. Here's what I really appreciate about worship teams and our worship leaders is, you know, we sit in the audience, and we watch you and I'm mesmerized by worship leaders, I'm just gonna say the way that the giftings that you have to call us into the presence of the Lord to call us into that piece. I mean, it just feels like I can come in carrying all the weight of the world on my shoulders. And the minute a worship leader starts ushering us into the presence of the Lord, like it's just gone. And I so appreciate that in our leaders, I only know what I can see from my seat. I only know what I can see. I know there's a whole lot of technical stuff behind there. There's mics and there's ear things. There's all the technical stuff. But even more important than the production, if you will, there's a heart of worship. And so I would love if you would share with us just your heart for worship and how did God call you to be a worship leader? And what is worship mean to you? And yeah, let Can we just unpack that? I would love to hear your heart. I'd love to hear that perspective of from yours versus my seat.
Angela P. 04:17
Yeah, absolutely. So funny story about me is I grew up singing My parents always. They used to call me I don't know if you if anyone remembers the show taxi, but they used to call me was it Latka the one that he kind of just, he didn't You didn't know what he was saying. He just was you didn't understand him or something. I don't remember the show, but that's what they used to call me. Because I would sing without talking. So I couldn't talk but I was humming. So just blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But it was a song. And so they always said I was singing from the young age. So I Sang Sang Sang. I love singing. I sang in my youth group worship team, but I never had the desire to be a worship leader. I actually remember saying that out loud. I do not want to lead worship I that's not my I don't want to do that, like when I was really young, you know. And then I married a pastor. And so you know, that kind of changes a lot there. But it was, I think it was because I looked at singing as a gift I didn't look at, I wasn't looking at worship as connecting to the father at that time. Because if you look, listen to the other episode, you'll hear me talk a little bit about how I grew up in a performing kind of mentality. And so I think I didn't connect worship to connecting to him, and actually connecting to him. I just thought of it as I'm singing, and I'm worshiping Him, and I'm using my gift for him. And that's it. So it wasn't until I started really understanding who he was in my life, and that he loved me. And that worship could connect me to him in deep ways that I begin to see, oh, my goodness, I'm so grateful that God because when my husband and I got married, we were youth pastors, we were in our mid 20s. And I just automatically got thrown into leading the worship at the youth group and raising up kids to help with me and everything. And but it was more like a job. It was like, Yeah, this is my thing. I love worship. And I'm starting to see like, Oh, this is really fun. And I love worship and, and everything. But it wasn't until I started really seeing God move and seeing what the Holy Spirit could do through worship, and then experiencing him in my own worship, that I was like, wow, this is next level, like worship is key to connecting with our father, I really believe that there is a reason why we start services with worship. It's because a lot of times, I think we come in with a lot going on. And worship centers us for one thing, it slows us down, it gets us focus takes our focus off of ourself, and focuses us on him. And so that shifts our perspective around and in those moments that we're able to do those things, it opens up our heart for what God's gonna speak to us. So I believe there's there's a, there's a reason and there's a purpose to that. But yeah, I I love worship. And my journey there is that when I connected with him, and when the more I spent time with him, the more I worshipped him, and gave my gift to him. The more he showed up in my life, the more I was able to know Him and hear him more clearly, and really meet with him on a personal basis. So it it definitely is my heart. I love I love to worship, and I love to experience seeing what he does and others from the stage. Not not because I've done anything, but I'm just saying I get to be like a part of what God's doing. And so it's awesome to see God, healing people and ministering to people and, and loving on people and giving peace and letting restoration happened during worship. For my perspective, it's such a blessing that I get to be a part of that, and helping us you're in his presence in that way.
Denisha Workizer 08:29
So and you can see that from the stage. Like you can see how do you see that? So you're standing up there you look out amongst the congregation? And how do you see that healing that ministry that restoration? What does that look like? For
Angela P. 08:45
I mean, it looks different every time. But usually, there you can see a breakthrough in someone's face in in them standing and watching and then all of a sudden, they're either crying or they're raising their hands or there's a shift in their stamps. When someone's dealing and crying out to the Lord. When even when you see just someone just crying in there. See, you just know like Holy Spirit's moving and doing something God's shifting something around. I truly believe it comes from us just coming in and saying, I surrender Lord, this is your time to come, like just come and have your way in this place. And so, a lot of times for me, I have to be intentional about saying, Okay, Lord, what are you doing? Because I get so wrapped up in my own worship onstage and so I'm like, just in my own worship, and then I'm like, Okay, wait, I don't want to miss like what you could be doing also. And so I try to like listen, like Okay, Lord, tell me when Tell me when to slow down so I can kind of see what's going on. Because I don't want it to be performance. Like I've learned that in the many years of doing this because there was a shift over me performing and singing Well, to me, entering into his into his present as a worship leader, there is a difference because anyone who's listening, I'm sure you've experienced the difference of going into a worship set that is just singing. There's a difference between people that can sing and play well, and people that are leading you to the throne room. And that's a hard place to be as a worship leader, making sure you're not, you're in the right place, that your heart's in the right place, that you are seeking the Lord and that you're listening to him. Because it really is all about him. It's not about us, it can very easily especially in this culture, be about us. It can be about how great of a worship worship leader we are, and how great our voice is, and how musically talented we are in it can very easily turn towards us, as worship leaders, but we have the burden, or we have to carry that and say, No, this is about the Lord, this isn't. We're not a band performing on a stage. We are Levites we are here to help bring the presence of the Lord help to assure his presence in welcoming him and help his presence be able to do what he wants to do in the space. And if we sound good, that's awesome. Because we we do want to bring our best worship to Him, we do want to use the tools that have been created to make it the best experience possible. But we don't want it to be about us. When it becomes about us, then we've shifted the focus to ourselves instead of to him. And that means we're pointing people to us instead of to him. So it's it it's a fine line. You have to you have to balance out for sure.
Denisha Workizer 11:56
Yeah, it sounds like it. I love the peek into just what it's what it's like and, and how you I just see such a submitting. Like you're submitting that time to him. you're submitting your talents. I love what you said about giving your gifts to Him. Like that's what leading up to it like leading up to Sunday morning, right the time like, here it is. Yeah, what is what is your week look like in preparation? What is your heart, your time with the Lord preparation wise just look like for your heart to enter that space? Because we can't I don't know, for me, I know for sure I can be so driven towards that performance. Like, you know, when I'm preaching, it's like, okay, I want to give the best message, I want to have the most impact, and I have to really slow my roll sometimes and go, Okay, no, I'm gonna show up with the message. I feel the Lord's given me and trust him to do what only He can do, like you said, and so there's like a preparation. I know, I had to go through in my heart. What does that look like for a worship leader? Yeah,
Angela P. 12:57
I think it comes down to getting in a habit of surrender, the constant surrender of just saying, Let it not be about me, Lord, let it be about you helped me to point people to you. This isn't about me. Yes, I want to give my gifts to you. Yes, I want to sing my best I want to play to the best of my ability. But I need this to be about you. Because for me, I don't like that feeling afterwards, when, because I've been there. There's a difference in how you feel even for me, when you just perform, and what happens. And when you surrender to God and what happens. There's a complete difference in what happens in the room. I personally want to be a part of the place where I surrender, because I get I get to feel the Lord in a deep way to like, I get to experience him in new ways. And he speaks to me that way too. But when I'm only performing there, it's I mean, God always shows up, don't get me wrong, like he doesn't need me. He doesn't need us. He could show up anywhere, you know. So he always shows up. But personally, when I'm not in the right mindset, because I know a difference. You know, I usually leave going man, I missed the mark like I missed it, I could have experienced God. And even like I said, God still moving, but I'm not experiencing it. Because my mindset is has not shifted to surrender. I'm kind of I'm more worried about what I'm what I sound like or what the band sounds like, or there was a mistake on one of the notes or whatever. And so when that happens, I know I've missed it because I'm seeing Oh, God's moving, but I'm too distracted by what what the details, you know, and so I'm missing I'm missing it. So for me, I usually I've experienced both of those things and So in my mind, I'm like, I need to, I want experiences every week I want to meet with God do because, yes, it is kind of a job. You know, worship leading is a job. And it's, you know, we're doing that thing, but I don't I want to be able to experience God in, in my worship leading to I don't want it just to be, this is my job and I this what I'm doing so that everyone else can experience Him, you know, I want to be able to experience what he's doing. And I want him to use me in new ways because I as I've partnered with him more, and as I've grown in my gift, and as I've surrendered that gift to him, he's been able to open up new gifts in like speaking a word that he's putting on my heart during worship. And just two weeks ago, or last week, I was leaving in there, we have three services right now, because we're in construction, but we usually only have two, but the first service guy heard God saying clearly to me when I needed to speak and share as I shared, and second service. I was like, okay, am I supposed to say the same thing, because sometimes it's the same, but it was completely different. And I was like, Okay, and so I said it. And afterward, I had one of my friends come to me, and she said, Oh, my goodness, what you had to say was meant for the person that was next to me, because there's this whole long story that goes with it. She said, It was meant specifically for them. They needed to hear that from you. And I was like, Thank you Jesus, like, you know, and so, but I won't be able to hear from him, I will miss those moments with him and miss what he's doing if I'm not surrendered to His presence. And so it comes, it just becomes a daily thing. In our last episode, again, we talked about habits, and that's been on my heart recently on my podcast is talking about just getting into daily habits with him. And disciplines. And it's the same with worship, it's the same with worship leading, getting, we have to daily surrender, surrender to You, Lord, this is about you. And when I worship I need it doesn't matter if I worship by myself on the piano in my living room, or in front of 100 people or 1000s of people, I have to surrender that time to you, no matter what.
Denisha Workizer 17:11
That's just a beautiful way, even if we're not leading worship, to go about our week, right to like surrender our parenting, to surrender our, you know, our relationships, all of that I really appreciate the way you're just sharing so authentically that that is so neat to see kind of behind, you know, behind what your week looks like, and, and what leads us to what we see on Sunday morning. In one of your episodes, I thought this was really interesting. From your perspective, you mentioned that you had visited a Church. And so you are now not on the platform. You are now in the seats with us. And do you mind sharing? What did you experience and kind of what was odd speaking to you, as you as you had that, like moment of realization? Yeah,
Angela P. 17:55
we like to visit other churches when we're out of town and stuff. So my husband and I, it's just fun to experience other places and what God's doing. It was awesome. The word the worship was awesome. It was interesting, though, because I have a tendency to, I really have to fight through it. Because again, it goes back to my worship, my worship part, and I'm like, Oh, look at that. And, oh, that guitar sounds really good. Or oh, look at these lights, or, Oh, that was a really good singer, or whatever, you know, and so I have to be like, okay, learn, let me not be distracted, I want to see these things and learn from it. Because we can learn from each other too. You know, I could say, oh, I don't want to do that. Again, I don't ever want to do that. Or, oh, wow, that was really good. I want to, I want to partner with that, you know, but I also don't want to miss what God's doing in the moment for myself, because I get to actually enter in and not, you know, give out. So there's a fine line there. But I took a moment and I was just kind of looking around. And I noticed that like 75% of the room was just like standing and watching. And it made me really sad. Because I was like, man, engage. If you engage with the presence of the Lord right now, you're going to experience like something so awesome. But if you just stand there and stare, you're you're missing what's going on, you're missing the presence of the Lord. Like, it just got me thinking about how our culture is very consumer driven. We are we consume consume, consume, like very quick things. Things have to be like fast interface and we are fat or fast paced, driven. And we just consume TV, we consume internet, we consume podcasts we consume, you know, all our social media, and it just it's all these things. And most of the time, we're not interacting, necessarily. We're just taking all of this stuff in it's comedy and entertainment and these things and we like to be entertained, right? And but that is not that's not the purpose of worship. That's not what God intended for the time of worship, and we can get into, like ritualistic things where it's like, oh, you get 20 minutes of worship, and you get this and you get this, you know, we can. That's a whole nother story. But he intended for us when we do get into worship and whatever that looks like for each church for us to meet with him to experience him. And like I said earlier, there's there's a reason that we come and we surrender to the Lord, and it changes our heart posture. And it shifts our perspective from ourselves to Him when we engage when we do those things, because God's a gentleman, he does not force Himself on us. And so when we come into worship, it's our job to say, Okay, Lord, here I am, I surrender. He's not just going to be like, boom, here I am. You know, I mean, sometimes he does do that to people. And you do hear those experiences, because I think there's certain personalities that need that. But for the most part, he's saying, I'm just waiting here for you to surrender to me. And when you do, get ready, because I'm here, and I want to move in you and I want to, I want to do things. But when we only watch what's happening, and sometimes I feel like a lot of that comes from the fact that sometimes churches are a little bit too theatrical. That's just my own personal opinion. When we become too theatrical, then there's a lot to look at. And so you end up kind of looking around a lot. It's not a bad thing. I think it reaches different people. Everybody has, every church is different. And our churches like that sometimes do but because there's a lot to look at. Sometimes I think people think, Oh, I'm at a concert. This sounds really good. And this looks really good. I'm at a concert kind of, you know, and they have that mindset. But it's not, we are worshipping the King of kings. And we need to come in there with a heart to surrender and a heart to meet with the Lord. I was listening to Robert Morris, he's pastor in Texas, I think, on a podcast, and he was talking about the difference between hearing the Lord and meeting with the Lord. And in worship, we can, we get to experience both those things, if we engage with him, we can always we can hear from the Lord when we engage with him. But there's something great about worshiping, because he comes in he meets with us, he comes a meets with us. So like the difference between being on the phone with a friend and having coffee with a friend, there's a difference there, right? You you're on the phone, you still connect, you still have you have interaction, but in person, you get to hug that person, you get to look them directly in the eye, you get to have a little bit of one on one intimate time together, whoever that person is in your life. And that's the same with the Lord. There's a difference between hearing him on the phone, there's a difference between hearing his voice and like experiencing him and him meeting with us in worship. And I can tell you from experience, like meeting with the Lord is what you want to do. What you want to do what you want to experience. And if you've ever experienced that, you know what I'm talking about. There's there's just something so beautiful the relationship that has built there in the heart that comes like you can feel God's heart when you meet with him and experience Him. But again, it comes back to us our heart posture coming into a worship set and saying, Kay, Lord, this isn't just me checking off my list. I'm going to church again this week. And I'm going to sit through worship, and I'm going to be here. And I'm doing the right thing by being here. It's using Okay, Lord, I'm here. And yes, maybe part of me is saying it's because I need to check this let off. But I'm going to choose to step into your glory today because your glory is here. And I'm going to choose to say I surrender to you, Lord, and I want you to meet with me, come and meet with me. There's a there's a complete difference there. And I believe when we do that, God's ready. Like he wants to meet with us, like he were his kids or his or his daughters, he loves us, you know, or his beloved, he wants, he wants to have that bond with us. He wants that relationship with us. And so when we surrender to Him, and when we say yes, come and do what you're going to do, Lord today, man, there's a shift in the atmosphere in and all of a sudden to, you start to realize, Oh, I'm not distracted by my friend sitting next to me anymore. And I'm not thinking about all of this anymore. Because we've again, we've shifted, we've taken the focus off of ourselves and focused it on him. And so that just shifts our perspective as well. I'm sorry, I could I could talk about this. I love
Denisha Workizer 24:48
it, girl. Keep going. I love it. Well, and I know there's times when I've been in worship where I've been very distracted, you know, been very distracted by what's going on around me or Oh, looks Oh, so and so just out here, and so and so for a while, or, oh, I need to talk to that person. And you know, I don't think that's just ministry life. I think that's, you know, just like a church, right? Oh, there's my friend. Oh, hey. And there's a lot of squirrels that follow me sometimes. But then I also know that there's been those moments where I've gotten my eyes are closed for me, I just that eliminates distraction for me. And I've gotten so lost in the worship songs where I've opened my eyes and been shocked that everybody is still in the room. Right. And like, those are the moments where I just I got lost, like, I just felt like I was I was lost, it was just me and daddy. And that was it. Those moments, I think, are just some of the most beautiful ones. But when I'm in the distraction mode, I can forget how beautiful that is. So I think you just the way you described it, put a hunger in me for like, I don't want to be distracted, I don't want to be like, Oh, I gotta talk to her, I was, oh, I have a book to give her. Like just just sit, close your eyes, whatever way you connect, and just meet with him there. So I, I really, I really appreciate you sharing just all of the behind the scenes and just your heart for worship, because I think it's so good to hear that. And just to know that, if we've experienced it, we can keep experiencing it. And if we've never experienced it, it is possible. And I think that is a beautiful place to be.
Angela P. 26:22
It's okay to be distracted sometimes, like we're not going to always get it right. Of course, you know, I have to I always have to say that because I'm like, we're not going to get right. There are some times I have to choose to worship, like, I have to choose it as even as a worship leader, I've had a bad week. I haven't had enough time with him. That morning has been rough. Maybe our rehearsal was just a disaster, whatever, you know, and I have to literally say, I don't want to be here, Lord, I just honesty with him, you know, and that's another thing that builds relationship. He's not mad at me for saying that. Like, if you're, if you're close to someone, and they tell you, they're truthful with you, you're not going to hate them. Right? You know, you're just gonna love them through whatever. God's just like, Okay, I got you, you know, and I have to say, I don't want to be here. I'm totally distracted, this is happening and whatever all about all the things that have gone wrong or whatever. But I have to, it's in those moments where we have to be intentional and say, Lord, whatever you have for me today, I'm exhausted and I am distracted. I'm exhausted. I don't have it in me. But I know you're you could still move. I know you can still. I know. You can still give me peace. I know, you can still do what you're gonna do, like, so just just do that. You know. So don't feel bad if you are distracted or don't feel bad. If you do come to deflate it. You know, we every week is different. But my encouragement is trying to come ready. Try to come ready to jump in. Because when we do, he needs us. And it's good. It's good.
Denisha Workizer 28:05
I love it. I love it. I'm wondering, would you be willing to pray for our listeners and for me as just to pray for our next Sunday experience that we would be able to pass to our hearts with that anticipation that he will meet with us. They're like, would you just pray that over us? I think that would be really powerful.
Angela P. 28:24
Yeah, absolutely. floored. We just are so grateful for you. And just Your goodness and Your faithfulness guide and the fact that you never leave us You love us through it all guide and I just pray that you would build an expectancy in our heart for what you want for us, Lord, for a hunger, Lord, for more of you for more of your presence and more of your glory. God, I pray that over the next few days, or weeks leading up to the next time, we're going to be meeting with you, Lord, that You would just birth new things inside of us. a hunger and a desire to enter in to your presence word for you to move in as to shake us to stir us up for you to birth knew things inside of us. And for you to meet with us that we would step into the service hungry for you, expectant for your presence and just wanting to meet with you in full surrender and full abandon God and just wanting to be with you. And I pray that as we go into the service with that heart posture, hunger for you that you would meet with us, Lord, that you would do it only you can do by that you would heal what needs to be healed and give peace where peace needs to be given and joy would be released and your presence would fill our hearts and that you would make the adjustments that need to be made Lord and our hearts and our minds and that we could just experience your presence in a new and fresh and amazing way. Thank you God that we can ask for the these things, thank you that we can come to you and that you have the desire to meet with us that you have the desire for relationship with us, God. That's so, so overwhelming and exciting at the same time, Lord, and so we're just so grateful for that. And we just we asked for this in your name Jesus, and we just give you all glory and all the praise and we love you and your precious Name.
Denisha Workizer 30:21
Amen. Angela, thank you so much. Thank you. Okay, friend, how can we find you you have an awesome ministry, a podcast? You have some great devotionals out there. Tell us how we can find you.
Angela P. 30:35
Yeah, so my podcast is the kingdom daughters podcast. So you can find me on any of the listening places for that. But the easiest place is to go to the kingdom daughters.com. And that has all my free resources on there, and also a link to my podcast on there. So that's the easiest place for me. And you can find me on Instagram from there, too. That's where that's where I do all my, my fun stuff on there. Oh,
Denisha Workizer 30:58
fun. Okay, awesome. And I'll be sure to put those links in the show notes as well.
Angela P. 31:03
Thank you. All right. Well, thank
Denisha Workizer 31:04
you so much for being with us today. And we hope that you found encouragement in just seeking God's presence and, and the possibilities that await from him. So Angela, thank you so much, and we'll see you same time, same place next week. Thanks for listening. I pray you found hope in today's conversation, and maybe even feel a little less alone in your story. Stay connected with us on Facebook and Instagram at reclaimed storey. Want to learn more about living a reclaimed life and how you can be a part of our growing community ever claimers? Check out our website at reclaimed story.com. All of those links and more will be in the show notes. And if you enjoy this inspirational podcast Be sure to subscribe rate and review. Not only will you be the first one to know when new content comes out, but it is also a huge help and helping us reach more people to live the reclaimed life.