• May1Wed

    Worship Leader or Lead Worshipper

    Moving away from being a lead worshipper towards a servant worship leader. May 1, 2019 Simon Gough

    I remember as a singer in worship teams when I was starting that there was a lot of focus on being the "lead worshipper." It was the intention to lead by example and worship God fully as I lead others. The thought was this would be so infectious to the congregation that they would be drawn into their own worship experience as I was having mine in front of them. As I have grown in my leadership and developed my own understanding of what worship leadership looks like, I feel myself moving more and more away from this lead worshipper idea and more towards being a servant worship leader. 

    Simon GoughI believe our main function as worship leaders is to facilitate a space for the congregation to interact with God through our spoken and musical leadership. I personally find it difficult to focus fully on worshipping God while at the same time managing all the aspects that go into leading the congregation. 

    A blessing of our role is that as we serve, we are still connected and involved in worship while being sensitive to the Holy Spirit as He prompts and guides us. But the guidance we are looking for should not be for our personal worship, it should be for the good of the congregation that we are serving.

    I realize the tightrope I am walking on as I write this, but I believe that we have many worship leaders who can be focused on their personal worship at the expense of the congregation that they are meant to be serving. An example could be if we lead with our eyes closed for a majority of our time in front of the congregation, we automatically cut out 50% of our feedback from the congregation. I am not saying you can't close your eyes as a worship leader, but I think that as servants, with an intent to be working with the best interests of our congregations in mind, the ability to receive feedback from the congregation is essential to doing our best. In these moments of leadership, the worship time is not about us. We are the facilitators. We need to balance being involved and in tune with the worship going on around us while also being conscious of the practical matters of leading a band, playing an instrument or singing, listening to the Holy Spirit’s direction, thinking about our next transition, and a host of other things that pop into your head as you lead. 

    Leading by example is excellent. Letting people see that you are openly worshipping as the worship leader is not confined to the stage you lead from. Worship happens every day in the world we live in and it is there that your congregations see as much, if not more, of the way you truly worship. Being an active and positive member of the congregation you lead can give you as much license to lead the worship time as any musical ability you possess. 

    As worship leaders, we need to take care to find our own space to worship God and not rely on the time in front of the congregation to be our time with God. If we truly desire to be servant leaders, then our attitude to this time will be different and our attention should be split in a way that allows us to on others. Make sure you find time in your schedule to worship and connect with God. It is out of this time that you will hear from Him and will become a better leader because of it.

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