Worship, Lead, Grow
This blog is about a journey we are all on. It’s my experiences, ideas, passions, victories and failures as a Worship Pastor, Husband, Christian and artist. My hope is to encourage and motivate those on the same journey and hopefully have some fun along the way.
Defending the 99%...of Worship Leaders
I've only been seriously blogging for a few months now and before that I didn't really spend much time in the blogging community. Now I subscribe to a number of blogs and read various blogs that I find out about from twitter and other referrals.
Mostly I love reading about other people’s perspectives on issues and getting to connect with other leaders around the country. There is one thing however that has made me cringe a little bit. That is, the amount of blogs and comments that make gross generalizations about worship leaders in a negative way. Here are some examples and these are not exaggerations, of post titles and comments I have seen.
"Worship Leaders, Quit dressing like girls""Worship Leaders, you are not rock stars""We want a worship service, not a concert""Why we use worship songs with horrible theology""Worship leaders are more focused on themselves then on God""Worship leaders use emotion to get a response"And so on….
The list doesn't stop here, it seems that worship leaders attract these negative criticisms. I'm not saying that these are never true anywhere. But I do think these are only true in a small percentage of worship leaders.
I want to respond to these comments and others on behalf of the other 99% of worship leaders who do what they do because God has called them to use their gifts and creativity to enrich the church and draw people to Christ. Here goes:
- 1. Worship leaders, thank you for not conforming to the way other people think you should dress, how you should do your hair, what shoes you should wear and for not covering up that tattoo. God has given you this creativity and I encourage you to express it in every way possible, even the way you look. When people don't understand they judge, and when people are jealous, they judge. Be who you are and keep your focus on your source of creativity and unique personality!
- 2. Worship leaders, thank you for striving for excellence in everything you do. Thank you for trying to engage all the senses in worship. Thank you for making worship visually creative. Thank you that your music and band is so good it rivals what we might see at a concert. Thank you for doing all you can to make people who don't normally come to church, feel comfortable in your church. When they walk in and see a "concert" they decide to stay and because of that they begin to open their hearts to the one we are worshiping.
- 3. Worship leaders, thank you for devoting your lives to ministry. We all know that you don't do it for the money or fame. If money and fame were what you wanted you wouldn't be working in a church or ministry. If you wanted all of that you would be out writing songs for teenagers and trying to get them on MTV. The church is blessed to have your talent and heart. Thank you for answering the call God placed on your life, possible giving up earthly riches and fame, for the glory of God.
- 4. Worship Leaders, thank you for singing songs I can understand. Thank you that if I accidentally mispronounce a word it doesn't sound like "prostate" :) (get it? Postrate?). Thank you that the lyrics you sing come from your heart and are pleasing to Christ.
- 5. Worship Leaders, thank you for leading, thank you for taking the place at the front of the crowd and humbly leading us into the presence of God. Do not shy away from the position God has put you. Some will say you are focused on yourself and that you make worship more about you than Christ. The fact is that they don't want to look past you, because if they do they may experience a true real worship that will force them to examine their hearts, which can be a scary thought. Keep leading boldly and without apologies. You are the lead worshipper!
- 6. Worship Leaders, Thank you for not leading dry worship. Thank you for putting your heart and soul and emotion into every note you play and every song you sing. You give the worship experience a depth and richness that only comes from emotions that God has given us. Don't be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve. The emotions you show is the only way your body can express the feelings and experience of being in the presence of our almighty God!
Now some of you might say, "talk about a generalization!" and yes I am also making a large generalization but I guarantee you that #1 this is a more accurate one and #2 this generalization is a lot more edifying and uplifting than the ones designed to tear down and muffle.
The Church is blessed with worship leaders that want their church to experience the fullness of God, that's their heart. They may use different avenues to get there and different tactics but I believe we can rest easy that all we want is for God to invade our church and our lives.
If you are from my church, Grace Community, and are reading this, know that this is not spurred from anything that has been said or done at Grace Community, in fact, I should brag that for the most part all I feel from you guys is love and acceptance, and a freedom to lead. So for that I say thank you and I love you.