Last week I wrote a letter to all the worshipers of the Lord everywhere. This week I write a letter to all my fellow worship leaders who are leading God’s people in worship week after week.
Dear Worship Leader,
You are leading so you must serve.
God has placed you in a place of leadership and you must serve your people. You must love them. You must care more about their experience than your musical ability.
You must take charge and then you must let go and let the Holy Spirit lead you and guide you. It’s not about you. It’s not about your music or your riffs. It’s about God and his people meeting and you must, you must get out of the way. I know. Because I am a worship leader and I have screwed up and missed God’s message by getting in the way of what he wants to do.
The temptations are great. We are tempted by pride. We are tempted by whether people are engaged. We are tempted by compliments or the lack thereof. We are tempted by our musicality or the musicality of the people on our teams.
But when we are humble and hungry for the new work of God in each moment of each Sunday or Saturday or whatever day you stand before your church and lead, we can touch the presence of God. Then we need to step back and let God touch the people you are serving.
It’s not about how many new songs you can write or sing or introduce. It is about letting a song get into the fiber of your church and let them own it. It’s about letting it become their cry to the Lord. It’s about letting the song become their heart’s anthem. It’s also knowing when to retire a song so it doesn’t become words sung by rote memory. It’s about knowing the musical ability of your church so that you pick songs that are singable so that more people can be bold enough to engage. It’s about their experience with the Holy Spirit moving in your midst. We as worship leaders can help or hinder that.
If I may?
It’s not about us. As much as we are in the spotlight, we must aim the spotlight to the One who we are worshiping. So we must stay aware of our own weaknesses and tendencies and counter them with humility and hunger. There are times that I write ‘S.H–S.H’ on my hand before I hit the stage on a Sunday morning, especially if I have been in battle with my pride and insecurity that week. Stay humble. Stay hungry.
And when we do, watch and see how the Lord moves.
With much love and appreciation for all you do,
a fellow worship leader…..