When I read the Bible, I don’t see worship leader anywhere.
I wish I did.
Believe me, I’ve looked hard.
I even tried submitting a verse for the next ESV Study Bible update:
“And King David continued the rest of his earthly ministry as a worship leader, making bank, and writing songs on his harp for the people of Israel to declare in battle.”
Nobody wanted to use that.
I wish it was mentioned in the Bible because it’s sort of what I do. In one way or another, my life revolves around being a worship leader.
Worship Is My Life
I write worship songs. I sing worship songs. I lead worship services. I lead worship bands. I write a worship blog. I listen to worship music. I talk about worship. I attend worship conferences. I read worship books. I worship God. Some might even argue that I worship worship.
If Pastor Rick Warren suddenly announced that worship leading was no longer necessary and that churches should fire their worship leaders, I’d be a bit depressed. If that happens, you might find me hanging out under your local city bridge, scavenging for some grub, holding a sign that says “Worship Leader For Hire”.
Help me out, please.
In all seriousness, why is worship such a big deal these days? We have a music industry surrounding it. We have worship pastors who have it as their job. We have songwriters who make a fine living because of it.
Why is worship leading such a big deal?
While being a worship leader isn’t specifically mentioned in the Bible, you can bet your life it has Biblical precedent.
I believe worship leaders can function within any of the five-fold ministry gifts.
- Pastoral worship leaders – approach worship leading with a sensitivity to the people they lead. They have a heart for their development as worshipers.
- Evangelistic worship leaders – have a heart for those ‘outside’ the church. They may go where others won’t in order to bring the lost into the presence of God.
- Teaching worship leaders – feel a strong sense of the “why” behind the “what”. They want to ensure the congregation understands what they are doing – the meaning behind corporate worship.
- Prophetic worship leaders – clearly hear the voice of God for their congregation and speak or sing it over them.
- Apostolic worship leaders – break new ground and release other worship leaders into their calling.
Let’s face it.
As long as we have the Church, we’ll have worship leaders.
As long as God is glorious on the earth, we’ll have worship leaders.
It’s a sacred privilege and responsibility.
But life is too short and God too glorious for us to merely entertain the Church with our talent.
We need leaders who:
- Direct our focus to Jesus
- Write songs that give expression to the church
- Love Jesus with all their hearts
- Have a passion for spreading Christ’s fame
- Help us experience God in a deeper way
We don’t need leaders who:
- Steal God’s glory
- Distract people’s attention
- Worship worship
- Don’t know God
- Are all about themselves
Worship Leader, we need you. We need you to rise up in your holy calling – to decrease as the glory of God increases through your ministry.
Now it’s your turn. Why is being a worship leader biblical?