Cheering On the Least

The Gospel concert held great promise. New material. Top-level auditorium in Houston, Texas. Visiting songsters from Uganda. An enthusiastic volunteer support choir. The best of musicians. The excellent exhorter's vision of Michael W. Smith. CD recording and DVD opportunities.

The theme was A New Hallelujah. Something is taking place; is about to break for the glory of Jesus throughout the world.

In the title song Michael names a number of locations around the globe and the continent that are ripe for revival. The pace was upbeat. But when he named Houston, the homecrowd exploded in cheers and applause. Not for China or for Africa, but for Houston.

Listening to the recording, my spirit went clunk. We in North America appear so self-absorbed. It is all about the Home Team. "Yeah we have it all together. Our programs and opportunities are the best. Jesus is glorified here. What a comfort to have the goods."

I know...I KNOW that the Saviour saves His applause for the day when we set aside self and cheer for the least. We cheer for their need; we cheer for their opened ears; we cheer for their baby steps; we cheer for their adolescence in the faith; we cheer for their full discipleship."

And here is the kicker. As we come to know some of these remote areas we will realize that their straightened circumstances have given them spiritual hunger and thirst that makes our outlook and efforts suddenly pathetic and small.


  1. I found your blog via the Fellowship of Christian bloggers, and this post caught my attention as I read. My husband and I actually really appreciate the music and ministry of Michael W. Smith, as we began sponsoring through Compassion International, a ministry that has profoundly affected and changed our life and perspective, at one of his concerts. We have the very CD you are referring to here, and I never thought of the cheering and applause in this light until now. My absolute favorite part of this entire CD is the children's choir from Uganda. Incredible! My husband and I certainly cheer on the least of these, and we hope to encourage others to do the same through our involvement with Compassion.

    As a worship leader, I have struggled with our Western example of worship, as I personally believe we have watered worship down to a cultural norm, imitating the popular music of today rather than simply focusing on the true reason for which we sing--and live. I am encouraged when I find fresh worship that doesn't cater to the pop culture. Thanks for such an insightful post.


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