How often have you attended a worship service and feel as though the worship leader wants you to react to how great of a leader he is and not to God? Or how often have you, the worship leader, planned a service designed to be musically perfect, the songs highlight your vocal and musical ability. They bring out your passion, because they are your favorite songs? I’m not trying to communicate that having a musically great band and a high standard is bad. What I am trying to communicate is that’s not the most important thing on a Sunday. The question that Joe Crider of Liberty University has asked the worship students is this: What is at stake every Sunday morning? It’s not how good we look, its presenting a true and authentic image of God in worship. A picture that is not skew by who we are, but is true and biblical, a God that wants to know them, a God that wants to save them. The worship leader must realize that the most important thing about them as a worship leader is not how great they are at guitar, how beautiful their voice is, or how passionate they are about the worship song, but what their view of God is.
How a worship leader views God impacts the songs they pick, and in turn impacts the way that the congregation views God. To often worship is relegated to a time filler, a thing that we do before the sermon. The reality is both the music and the sermon is worship. In addition, people are more likely to remember the lyrics of a song, and thus the theology from that song, then the words of a sermon. I am not trying to discount sermons, they are important as well, but music is just more memorable than oration. The worship leader needs to remember that: their congregations view of God is at stake every Sunday morning. This should challenge them to be extremely intentional about the songs that they pick, how they support a positive and honest view of who God really is, and how they support the sermon as well.
My challenge to the worship leader is to remember what is at stake every weekend. My challenge to the congregant is to support a positive view of who God is for the worship leader, and challenge them to be intentional.