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THOUGHTS FROM A WORSHIP LEADER

6 DON'TS OF WORSHIP

Photo courtesy of Texas Wedding Photographer, Matthew T Rader

The warnings against idolatry – putting anything above GOD – are hard to miss in scripture.  Yet I believe it’s easy to do just that even as we purport to be in the act of worshipping.  There’s a fine line between appreciating an element of worship and making it our focus. Here are a few things to be aware of so we don’t displace GOD in our corporate worship service.

DON'T WORSHIP THE MUSIC 

What song rocks your world? Maybe in the 80s you marveled as Sandi Patty sang “We Shall Behold Him”.  In the 90s “I Can Only Imagine” enhanced your view of Heaven and comforted you in the loss of a loved one.  Even this week I barely made it through “Ten Thousand Reasons” without choking up.

I love my cordless drill. It makes jobs around the house quicker and easier.  It reminds me of all the jobs I’ve done through the years that made my house more stable and attractive.  But in the end, it’s simply a tool.

Songs, beautifully crafted works of art, should be enjoyed. Absolutely.  But when they’re used as tools to worship God, the object of our attention and our appreciation should be on Him.

DON'T WORSHIP THE EXPERIENCE

“I was so blessed by our worship today!” We’ve all said it.  And we should be blessed by it.  How can you encounter GOD and not feel it?

But what if you don’t feel it? Does that mean you didn’t worship? Some folks would say yes.  I would remind us that worship is an act of the WILL, not an act of the FEEL. And we’re not doing it to make ourselves feel good; we’re doing it to make GOD feel good.

DON'T WORSHIP THE WORSHIP LEADER

So you believe your worship would be more effective if you were led by Chris Tomlin every week instead of Brother Music Minister. Or maybe it’s the opposite.  You just can’t worship when your guy or gal is on vacation and someone else is filling in. 

Your worship leader would tell you that he or she loves the support and encouragement.  But I guarantee they would agree with this: GOD must be the target of your attention and affection.

 

DON'T WORSHIP YOUR OPINION ABOUT THE WORSHIP LEADER/MUSIC

 This is actually the opposite of the previous point, and other worship leaders and musicians are especially vulnerable to this.  As the worship music begins most of the congregation focuses on GOD and begins to sing His praise.  But you turn into a “worship critic”.

He seems pretty young to be doing this.

The drummer missed that fill.

I would’ve cut that intro in half.

She needs to engage the congregation more.

You’re probably pretty smart, but if it’s not your duck pond, don’t be taking any shots.  It’s not a rehearsal, it’s a worship service.

 

DON'T WORSHIP BEING THE WORSHIP LEADER

Some of you are, in fact, responsible for leading the worship at your church. Here’s your slap in the back of the head.  You know this, remember?

 But in case you haven’t gotten it, here you go: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!

The heady rush of recognition can pollute the most dedicated soul.  Here's a more extensive statement about the danger of the bite of fame for worship leaders in one of my other blogs - WORSHIP LEADER:Servant or Star?

DON'T WORSHIP THE WAY YOU DO IT

 One of Scott Williams (www.churchleaders.com) signs of ministry arrogance is that you think your worship style is the only way someone could possibly connect with GOD.  Whether you use predominantly hymns, modern worship, Southern or Black gospel, or masses and requiems, the most important thing is the heart offering you are making to GOD.  It’s not the OFFER-ING that is most important, but rather the heart of the OFFER-ER (see Cain and Abel).

DO YOU HAVE SOME “DON’T”S TO SHARE (in the spirit of kindness of course)? 

Comments Section

Great points, Neil. I have known quite a few WLs who thought the church would surely fold w/o their masterful touch. While I do appreciate most highly the raw talent as well as the developed skills of WLs, as in all ministry aspects, true humility, is most useful to the Lord's work. Thanks for your words of wisdom.
Matthew, I apologize for failure to credit, and will do so immediately. Thanks so much!
Hello, I noticed that you are using a photo of mine in your post: The photo of the Broken Piano Keys. I don't mind at all and I'm glad you found it useful to use on your website. Can you please credit me as the photographer of the photo beneath it or some where on the page like this: Photo by < a href = " http : // matthewtrader . com " >Texas Wedding Photographer, Matthew T Rader< /a > Thank you
What's also true is that these warnings to worship leaders can also apply to those of us in the congregation. I've had moments when I'd switch from singing melody to harmony, for instance, in singing along with the congregation, and actually caught myself thinking "I wonder if this makes the song more enjoyable for those around me?" (Sheesh!!) We are all vulnerable to the danger of making worship about ourselves rather than about God, and it's a slippery slope. Thanks for your post. :)
 

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Neil Stephens Worship

This site is about worship, worship music, worship lifestyle and . . . worship.  It's what believers do.

  Listen to samples of the songs from the new worship album.  Download the (free) album, get some charts, and use them in your church.  Check back for new worship songs. Read some thoughts I have from time to time about worship and following Jesus.  

Music from "Every Time I Breathe"

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