When you are leading worship, are you doing it for yourself or as unto the Lord?
Worship leading for an audience of one
Leading worship is one of the greatest privileges in the church today, but many times we miss out on the blessing of pure servant based worship because it comes to us disguised as hard work.
However, when you make a conscious decision to do everything “as unto the Lord”, you start to obtain a different perspective when it comes to the role that you off fulfilling in the church.
As we have said many times on this praise and worship leader website, leading worship is not about singing a selection of songs in a given order but rather it’s about leading people on a journey from wherever they are right through to the throne of God.
The fact is, your true motivation needs to be one of total service for the Lord rather than promoting yourself, your taste in music or any other hidden agenda that might cloud your vision.
The fact is that the Lord can look right through whatever we present to people to our heart. This means that if we are offering something that is motivated by our own selfish desires, opinions or preferences, the Lord is not fall for a moment and can see right through to our true motivation.
But how can you lead worship with a pure heart as unto the Lord alone?
The first step is to make sure that you are spending time with the Lord each and every day. It is not enough to pray only on Sunday before you lead worship, but worship should be a reflection of your daily walk with the Lord. If you are not spending time every day with the Lord in devotions, then your effectiveness as a Ministry will be reduced, and the purity of your motives be brought into question
However, even if you are spending time in a quiet times during the week, it is still tempting to use your skills, abilities and talents to promote yourself or your own agenda will stop in fact, musicians and singers are amongst the worst people in the world for self-promotion!
You only need to attend a Christian music festival, or hang out at a Christian battle of the bands to see pride, arrogance and self-promotion right before your eyes.
As worship leaders, I do not believe we should ever pursue self-promotion. Unless the Lord builds the house we labour in vain (Psalm 127:1), so if we try and promote ourselves all the time, we are building something our Ministry in vain.
While many praise and worship leaders don’t promote themselves actively, they still promote their preferences and musical tastes ahead of the members of the congregation. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a praise and worship leader doing songs that they have chosen which the congregation simply have no interest in. It’s not only ridiculous, but it is the height of arrogance to pursue the songs we like at the expense of being servants.
Many praise and worship leaders also use their skills and talents as a means of intimidating and controlling other members of their team. Perhaps the true measure of a servants heart in worship leader is how they react when a more talented person joins their team.
How do you react when someone who is more talented than you is on your worship team? Do you embrace them, build them up and allow them to become everything they can be for the Lord, or do you put them in their place and make them do things your way because you’re the boss?
No, worship leaders, if we truly are servants and if we truly are leading worship as unto the Lord, we need to put the Lord first and worship to the audience of one rather than fulfill our own selfish desires and preferences. Also, we need to serve our congregations, doing songs that they prefer rather than the ones we prefer, making sure we lead them in true and righteous worship, rather than teach them a bunch of new songs that we like.
Leading praise and worship in church is one of the most incredible privileges I have in my life, and I’m sure it is the same for you. However, we must be certain that we do not abuse the privilege but rather see it as an opportunity to serve bless others, because the only way to lead through praise and worship is as unto the Lord.