Who Are You Holding the Door Open For?

In Psalm 84, David writes “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked”.  I love David’s resolve in these verses for two reasons.  

First, David’s desire simply to be in proximity to the Lord reflects the true heart of a worshipper.  This is a repeated theme in David’s psalms most clearly seen in Psalm 27 when he writes, “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple”.  

Second, I love the image of being a doorkeeper in Psalm 84.  A doorkeeper is someone who regulates who comes in and out of a building.  In many cases a doorkeeper stands at the door and simply opens it for others.  

Worship leaders ought to be doorkeepers.

Who’s held the door open for you in your life?

I’ve been the beneficiary of so much blessing and opportunity because of doorkeepers.  Men and women who saw past my faults and opened doors of opportunity so I could learn, grow and even “fail forward” in safe places.

The church I grew up in was filled with beautiful door keepers.  It was a church where everyone was welcomed.  Right or wrong, it wasn’t the most polished place with the most polished people (we met in a warehouse!), but it was real and everyone had a place to be rooted and grow if they desired it. Perhaps you’ve been a part of a church like this?  If not, I am sure you know the kid of church I’m talking about.  

I specifically remember my Youth Pastor opening the door to provide a place for me to discover and use my worship leadership gifts.  He paved a path to let me and my friends start a worship band and an inter-denominational worship night called “Cutting Edge Praise” (aptly named in honor of one of our favorite worship bands, Delirious). For a season, this Sunday evening worship night drew more people than our church’s Sunday morning services.  God added his blessing but it started because my youth pastor saw the potential in a tall, thin, wild and expressive kid (who was very green) and held the door open for them.

Later in college my life intersected with a man who would become a significant friend and mentor who, with his life, modeled what it means to add value to others.  I travelled across the States for three and a half years on a ministry team and this man was our staff authority. With no credentials whatsoever, I requested that we be allowed to record an album of original music.  He held the door of opportunity open and the project we recorded yielded a song I wrote that would eventually become a number one song on the Billboard.  From there, the trajectory of my life radically changed because this man saw past my intense zeal and held the door open for a transplanted Canadian.

I want to be like David.  I want to be like my youth pastor and college mentor.  I want to be the doorkeeper for others because my life has been changed by their simple obedience and willingness to hold doors open.

What young person in your church needs an opportunity to play with the “a-team” of musicians so they can grow in their craft?  What timid vocalist needs a shot so she can discover her voice?  What yet-to-be-great worship leader needs more reps to develop their platform leadership and stage presence?  What budding songwriter needs an opportunity to debut their song to their peers in their youth group as an encouragement to keep writing?

We are where we are today because someone held the door open for us. 

Who are you holding the door open for?   

Being a doorkeeper isn’t always easy.  There’s always risk involved.  Without a doubt I’m sure I disappointed a lot of doorkeepers as I grew in my social maturity and learned to yield my temperament to the Holy Spirit.  I know I frustrated many with my intensity and tenacity.  Being a doorkeeper requires patience and the ability to see past one’s present condition and to the potential inside.  Some doorkeepers don’t see the full fruit of their labor, but rather are a link in the chain of opportunities that grow men and women into their calling.

Speaking of calling, I love how that image intersects with a doorkeeper.  Doorkeepers “call out” things in others they can’t yet see in themselves.  Think of those in your life who held open a door for you.  If you were like me, you may have been sheepish or even frightful to walk through the door of opportunity they were holding open!  But they stood there at the door – faithfully – calling out to you in order to call things out within you that were dormant, waiting to come into season.

I am sure as you’ve been reading this God’s brought to mind some of the doorkeepers in your life.  Can I make a suggestion?  If possible, reach out to them and express your appreciation.  Articulating your appreciation and recognizing their impact is good for the soul.  

Next, become determined to be like them.  

Consider those you have influence over.  Take an interest in their dreams, desires and destinations.  Look for intentional ways where you can you hold the door open for them and by doing so, model the behavior of David, who forsook the lure of the wicked to be in proximity to His Lord and serve others simply by holding open the door.


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