That person bears a unique burden. Remove religious phrasing from the description and we would say that the preacher bears the burden of creating an fresh, original “speech” each week. That preacher uses resources in that speech, but is creating a complete work nonetheless.
Worship leaders don’t do that.
Unless you only do original material and you continually add even more original songs each week.
Which you probably don’t.
(And probably shouldn’t.)
As worship leaders, we use way more “resources” than the pastor does. We download songs and print out charts, buy videos, quote from books. We take in a ton of information and then use that info to guide our people in congregational praise.
But not all those resources are right for you. In fact, some of them can be detrimental to what you’re trying to do when you stand up to lead. And that stuff – you gotta’ fight.
Every person has their own “big issues” – the monsters of philosophy or theory that a person feels a compelled to destroy for the good of all men. And since I’m a person, I have those monsters, too.
Your monsters may not be the same as mine, but these “things worth fighting against” are important to every one of us.
The Disappearance Of Scripture
As much as I love worship songs and hymns, they weren’t written by perfect people. Some are awesome and some are terrible, but none of them is a suitable replacement for God’s Word. In many churches, scripture is becoming a rare thing during our worship, both being read aloud and evident in the lyrical content of our songs.
Fight this. Dig for scripture to read in between your songs and check your next song service to see if the stuff you’re singing matches up with what God’s Word says.
The Glorification Of Worship
I don’t know any worship leader who would say, “I wish my people weren’t so into worship!” We love it, right? But we have to understand that worship always points to something. And in some churches, worship often ends up pointing to itself.
Fight against the tendency to honor the act of worship over the subject of it. In every song and every prayer and every other potential element of the corporate gathering of saints, ask yourself, “Who or what are we doing this for?” I’m afraid the answer might sometimes surprise us.
The Exultation Of Excellence
In addition to leading and loving your congregation and pastoring those that serve in worship, you also function in a quiet, but important, way.
Quite simply, you teach people what excellence is. The way you plan and lead and respond and adapt speaks volumes about the attitude we should have in bringing praise to God in the congregational gathering. Too many of us think that excellence means perfection, but it doesn’t. It’s always baffled me that the same worship leader who says, “Nobody’s perfect” while off-stage can be a dictator with his or her team, demanding note-for-note, flawless playing. Demanding that says more about my insecurities as a person than it says about the musicianship of the team.
Fight against the temptation to impress others and fulfill your idealistic dreams of stardom. You can play excellently without being perfect. And grasping that will radically change the entire outlook of your people!
The Cult Of Personality
In a lot of churches, Sunday morning is the “front door” where people most quickly and easily interact with the church at large. As much as we might like to change it, people in the congregation are going to connect with the traits and personalities of those that lead them. This is not a bad thing, but it is a tricky thing.
Fight against this phenomenon of being larger-than-life by being plugged into the congregation. Attend a Sunday School, be a part of a small group, have a weekly accountability time with some people you trust – being a part of the congregation will benefit you tremendously and will quickly squash any flights of fancy when it comes to being “known.”
. . . . .
I’m convinced that these trends can be found in churches of any size and doctrinal ilk. I intended to finish the post with a “application” section where we talked about how to war against these philosophies, but then I wondered what would happen if I let YOU, the readers chime in with that. Consider your “worship leader continuing education exercise” for the week.
What others things are worth fighting against?