CHURCH LEADERSHIP SERIES LESSON FOUR: WORSHIP LEADER
One of the things we love so much about gathering together as Christians is the time we sing praises to the Lord. From the old hymns to the new praise songs, it’s a glorious time that warms our hearts and gives us the glow of the Spirit. (Psa 147:1) Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful. And how we appreciate our worship leaders who are so talented with their instruments and voices. But can anyone just go up to the microphone and lead a group in worship? What does the Bible say about what it takes to be a worship leader in the church?
- TALENT: (Psa 33:3) . . . Play skillfully with a shout of joy. It would be nice to say that just anyone is able to lead worship in the church but that is just not so. You don’t have to be a professional, but you do have to possess a certain level of proficiency without being a distraction by being offbeat, etc. A worship leader, then, has to practice and strive to be the best he or she can be for the Lord. Some are self-taught while others will need music lessons.
- CHARACTER: (1 Cor 11:1) Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. Worship leaders must keep in mind that they are in front of others and therefore need to be an example to the believers both at church and out in public. They are to be humble as they use their talents and avoid the pride that comes with being in front of people playing music. Remember Satan used to be the worship leader in heaven before he fell. The old quote says it well: “When Satan fell out of heaven, he fell into the choir loft.” In other words, the devil seeks to puff up those leading worship. This tendency must be resisted since we are to be servants, not celebrities.
- SUBMISSION: (1 Pet 5:5) . . . Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Worship leaders are to submit to the leadership of the church and not be resistant to direction. They are to be open-minded when the pastor or leader directs them in a way they don’t agree with. For instance, if a leader says to play a hymn when the worship leader doesn’t really like hymns, he is to yield to authority and do it as unto the Lord.
- COOPERATION: (Psa 133:1) Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Musicians can be moody and independent of spirit. But when you lead worship with others, you must be open to other people’s ideas and be willing to yield. Don’t be a know-it-all when it comes to music. There is a lot of give and take in worship ministry.
A note to pastors: Always place character above talent. It is better to have an average musician who is humble than a gifted and charismatic worship leader who is proud.
Verses to ponder: 1 Sam 10:5; 1 Chr 25:1; Psa 96:1, 150:1-6; John 3:30, 4:24; Eph 5:18-20.