Eight Steps to Riding a Bike

I still remember the feeling of learning to ride in a parking lot next to our house. It was a full-body, nervous-emotional, hyper-focused experience.


My five-year-old self warned my Dad NOT to let go of the seat as I wobbled forward. I pedaled for a bit, still sure of his steadying hand on my bike seat, only to look back and see him smiling twenty feet behind me. I was RIDING BIKE!!


Do you remember when you learned how to ride a bike?


Let’s take a quick refresher trip down memory lane on how to ride a bike. Here’s a list from wikihow.com/Ride-a-Bicycle:


1. Begin on a flat surface.

2. Adjust the bike seat.

3. Test the brakes.

4. Plant one foot on the ground.

5. Start gliding.

6. Keep your eyes straight ahead.

7. Start pedaling.

8. Dismount from the bike.


You probably didn’t need that refresher, but I wanted you to feel the mechanics of the process.


I think number six may be the most important one. If you stare down at the front tire, you’ll likely lose your balance, and worse, you’ll run into that tree! You have to look where you are going.


You have to focus on where you’re heading, on the path ahead, not just the ground you’re rolling over.


Of course, everything we do over and over becomes a habit. Habits are crucial to survival! It’s a matter of efficiency.


Well, I should say GOOD habits are crucial to survival.


I’m going to apply the eight steps of riding a bike to being a worship leader. Ready?


1. Begin on a flat surface.

Your foundation matters. Research what the scriptures say about being a worshiper and worshiping according to God’s design and desire.


2. Adjust the bike seat.

You’ll never look tall enough in the funny-mirror of comparison. Be inspired by what others are doing, but be who God called you to be.


3. Test the brakes.

Don’t try to lead 50 weeks a year. Be offstage at least once a month. Make sure you have planned breaks. Know when you need to stop. Just this morning, I asked the scheduler at our church to take the month of November off so I can focus on rehabbing the house we plan to move into by Thanksgiving, LORD willing.


4. Plant one foot on the ground.

Stay centered. Balance is required. What keeps you grounded? Keeping grounding habits will keep you from falling over. And nobody likes scraped knees.


5. Start gliding.

Begin with who the LORD has provided and seek to add to it. Establish critical mass, then build. The momentum is your best friend. 


6. Keep your eyes straight ahead.

It’s easy to stare at the thing that goes round and round. When we focus on Sundays, we’re staring at our front tire. And we’re probably about to hit a tree. When Sunday is all we see, we can miss discipleship. When we hyper-focus on Sunday, we neglect our spiritual, emotional, physical, and relational health. When all we do is plan another Sunday setlist, we can miss the beauty of the journey.


7. Start pedaling.

Do the Dew! Set your face like a flint! Run the race with perseverance! With all your heart, soul, mind, and strength! As unto the LORD! Offer your body as a living sacrifice! Run, Forrest, Run...until your leg braces fall off! (Sometimes I like to bookend scripture with cultural references.)


8. Dismount from the bike.

End the song already! (That was for the pastors reading this…LOL) But seriously, you need to know how to begin AND end songs and sets appropriately. The dismount can feel like it nullifies the depth of the set. Carry people’s hearts as you close one moment and open another.


Enjoy the ride where the rubber meets the road...or the offroad!


(ps. yes, that's a pic of me)