I’ve been leading worship for 12 years. And whether I’m on stages with lights and haze and hundreds of people in attendance, or in living rooms with 6 people and acoustic guitars, I’m constantly learning one thing:
Worship is not about me.
I have to learn that lesson often; because, full disclosure, I love applause. I love the stage. I love creating music. I love performing. I’m an artist. Many worship leaders are. And that’s where it gets tricky. When we step up to lead worship, we have to learn to play the background, even though we’re standing in the spotlight.
See, it isn’t my stage or my show. It’s a community gathering to praise our Savior, and I happen to be part of the community that knows how to sing. It’s not about creating the coolest sound or playing the newest songs. It’s not about singing that one chorus until you get a reaction. This is about Jesus. We have to be careful to create worship services that focus our attention on Jesus, not on ourselves. We have to be careful that we aren’t falling in love with the moment, the crowd, and the music, instead of falling in love with Jesus.
So here is some encouragement for any worship leaders who may be a little bit like me, battling the struggles of performance-powered worship services. Whenever I get the privilege of leading worship, I take a minute to surrender to God my want for recognition, my love for approval, and my desire for attention. I may be the one on stage, but I am only there to point to Jesus. He’s the One who saves, He’s the One who rescues, and He has never let me down. When I let Him be the ultimate worship leader, when I listen for His voice, when I give all the admiration and adoration to Him, amazing things happen. In my experience, the most powerful worship moments I’ve ever been a part of had nothing whatsoever to do with my performance. Be excellent, yes. Be intentional. But above all, be about Jesus.