Sunday, August 4, 2013
This is a message to all worship leaders. This includes the music director, choir members, praise band members and yes, even the lay person who has chosen to join the musicians in leading worship from your seat. The key word here is “leader”. If you are leading another in worship, you must keep in mind that your authentic worship is going to be contagious. However, since you are “leading” others, even your lack of authentic worship will also be contagious.
I have been called out in the past because at times, my worship can seem to be a little much to some and I understand how they might think my freedom of worship is to draw attention to myself. There could be nothing further from the truth. I am convicted about my worship. If I want to raise my hands and I hold back then I am worshiping horizontally. What I mean by this is that I am worshiping the opinions of others. If I worship to gain the attention of others I am also worshiping horizontally. This is called idol worship. It is either worship of self or worship of others but it is not worshiping God.
Whether I raise my hands or move or bow my head, or do nothing particularly noticeable at all - it must be done to bring glory, worship and attention to Almighty God.
False humility is another thing to consider. It is difficult to get up and use your talents and gifts to honor God and not desire to receive praise or attention. However, to stand expressionless at the end of a song in order to not draw attention to you is just as noticeable (and perhaps even more noticeable) than taking a bow. It still draws attention to you instead of God. When I see worship leaders go from deep worship to blank stares or even sometimes looking bored or angry after a song, my heart sinks a bit. I wonder how a person can in just a moment; go from singing praises of the wonder of God’s majesty to standing there with no sign of joy on their face or in their countenance. Were they just performing or where they actually worshiping? Sometimes, they sing with an apparent lack of joy as well. They look as if they are there by force, or perhaps just wish they were someplace else (perhaps they are in their minds).
It’s a tough job being a worship leader because like it or not, you are being watched. The attention is on you even if the focus is on God. You will be seen. You will be an influence. You will influence the mood in some way. You will influence the level of worship that others will experience. That is why you are a worship leader. You have a gift from God to lead others (through the power of His Spirit) into a place of worship. So, don’t let a fear of drawing praise to yourself keep you from expressing the joy that comes when you praise God in your heart! God knows your heart and His approval is what you want to gain, and His glory that you want to project. It’s okay to smile! It’s okay to even clap or shout when you finish (or even while you are still singing) as long as you are doing it for the glory of God. It’s okay to smile and share the joy you are experiencing as a worship leader. If you say you are not wired that way, then perhaps you should seek to serve in another capacity. If you are called to be a worship leader…you will be wired to lead others in worship with your voice, your body, your mind, your face, your expressions, and your mannerisms. You will lead worship with all of you. How your worship comes forth paints a picture to others of what is in your heart and/or Who is Lord over your heart. If God is in His rightful place, you will know that false humility has no place. When the people clap and shout, you know that God has moved so it’s okay to clap and shout with them…For HIM! Others ARE watching and YOU can make that joy of worship contagious! You can clap and smile and still give all the glory to God at the same time.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Amen.