*This is an excerpt from Charlie Hall’s main session talk at The Austin Stone Worship Conference. Click here to download audio and video from the conference.

We all have costumes

Whenever I was a youth minister, one of my youth interns and I would dress up in these massive sumo wrestler costumes and bounce into each other. The costumes were so burly and restraining. Eventually, you’d get used to the costume and could use it to defeat your opponent, but it wasn’t pretty.

[pullquote]Our costumes are the things that we put around us to insulate us and to keep people from getting too far inside.[/pullquote] We wear them so that we can put on our best face put our best foot forward. We wear them to deflect people from getting inside of our guts.

A lot of times we put on costumes because so many things have happened to us that we’re scared of more bad things happening to us. We just put on these costumes and over and over that’s how we start to interact. So if you think about of a group of five people that are all wearing these costumes, all they’re doing is bumping against each other, never knowing each other, always deflecting.

We also have canyons

We have these canyons where on one side we’ve got our anointing, our skills, our abilities, our gifts, everything that’s visible to everybody. All the things that people applaud, pat us on the back for. On the other side, we have the invisible things. We’ve got our character, our heart, our devotion, our love for Jesus, our pursuit of Jesus, our growing in Jesus, all the invisible things that nobody sees.

You got this canyon between the two. You’re wearing these costumes and if we live like the endgame is all about promotion or a raise, or a better stage, or more security, or more visibility – if we live like everything is external then we’re missing the whole aim of what Jesus did and we’re unable to really serve the church.

Tweet This: If we live like the end game is all about promotion & a bigger stage then we can’t serve the church. @charliehallband

I set my sights on trying to be known and hang out with a certain guy. Then once I’m hanging out with that dude, that dude’s the next guy and that guy can set me up with that guy, so I’m going to use that guy. That’s not serving a church. It’s using costumes. It’s uses canyons between your abilities and your gifts.

Psalm 86:11, says, “Give me an undivided heart, teach me a way O Lord, that I might walk in your truth, unite my heart to fear your name” and we have to be saying that behind the scenes, in the invisible places where no one sees you. You have to be saying that a lot more in front of people. We want to mush the canyon down, where our gifts, our abilities, and our anointing are resting on character and devotion, love for Jesus, pursuit of Jesus, all the invisible things that nobody sees.

Tweet This: We want our gifts, abilities, and anointing to rest on devotion, pursuit and love for Jesus. @charliehallband