Years ago I had a meeting with a minister associate after serving together in a Sunday morning service; I lead worship and he preached the Sunday sermon. We met the following morning, both of us pleased on how well the worship service went. With excitement he commented on how worship was so awesome and I myself was also excited about what God had done through worship that day. It was a great service. Without taking time to edit my words, I said something like, “Worship was great, but I want to get to a place where we can get on stage, and all I have to say is ‘lets worship God’ and the congregation just goes in full force worship.“
He then looked at me and repositioned himself in his seat. After editing his words, he says something like, “You know, we can’t look at the response of people as a level of our success. Take me for example, I have to prepare the Word of God for the people of God. There may not be a lot of ‘hooping and hollering’, and when we have an altar call, there may just be four people who come forward. But you just have to know that you have done what God has told you to do.”
His response let me know that he did not understand what I was saying; and worse off, I was perceived as wanting more of a response because I was up front.
Now if you know me, I am a thinker. I always think before I talk. (My strength and my weakness) So as I was taking a moment to try to figure out how to respond, we move on in conversation. My failure to respond bothers me to this day. So I thought I’d write a letter clarifying my response.
I left our last meeting not being able to forget about the conversation we had concerning ministry. I said to you “… I want to get to a place where we can get on stage, and all I have to say is ‘lets worship God’ and the congregation just goes in full force worship. “ Your response let me know that I was misunderstood. So I am writing to say it in a different way.
I want corporate worship to get to a place that I could loose my job.
Now that sounds just as crazy so let me back up. Your response makes it sound like we have a similar job in ministry. We don’t. What you do is what we are all commissioned to do; direct people to Christ, make disciples, be disciples.
What you do is ultimately what we are all called to do. We may not all be called to preach or teach, but the end result for all of us is the same. I am called to lead worship. Most people are not called to be a worship leader, however we are all made to worship and called to worship God. There are some times I feel like my job shouldn’t be considered as important as man sees it as. Sometimes the fact that there are always churches looking for worship leaders makes me think that we have put our emphasis a little too much in the wrong place.
As a worship leader, my job really is to remind us to worship God, and to remind us to praise Him through whatever is on your mind or whatever is going on in your life. For the sake of conversation, if the the audience is filled with nothing but believers, the worship leader is there to remind us what we probably already know. The worship leader is the cheer leader; the hype man, and unfortunately at times times the rockstar. For if someone sees the worship leader as one of these things, it shows that worship is apart of their Sunday, but not apart of their day to day life. We have subconsciously or consciously made the stage, the lights, the chords, and the sound the definition of worship. And if our congregation has this misconception, we as worship leaders have failed, and failure means we still have a job.
Therefore, getting fired would be progress. Getting fired would be proof that there is a healthy understanding of what worship is, and the affect it has on your life.
Ok, now that you understand what I mean by “fired”, I’m sure the real word is probably “laid off”. Also, if a worship leader was “laid off “ in this context, it also means that no one is leading babies to Christ. If there are no babies, then of course that would mean we have another problem. The problem of not sharing Christ and being Christ to others. As long as the harvest is being tended to, there will always be people who needs to be encouraged to Praise and Worship God on an intimate level. But my major thought here is we need to be worshippers, and understand that worship has nothing to do with the music or the worship leader, who happens to be in front of us. It has all to do with giving God a posture and an understanding that our worship is life, and the only posture that God responds to.