Confessions of a Worship Leader

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As a worship leader, I'm not always comfortable on stage. I've struggled with this my whole life. Unlike my extroverted husband, I don't like being the life of the party, the one everyone's looking at. I dread the thought of people analyzing whether my skirt matches my tights as I lead them in the worship of our Savior.

To be fair, I'm sure most people aren't judging my hosiery. I fabricate most of these perceptions. And awhile ago I realized I've got more important concerns during a service, so I prayed that God would take my insecurities that I might focus on the fierce power of worshiping Christ as his church.

I know God has gifted and equipped me for this ministry, but that doesn't always mean it comes easily—or naturally. I make many clumsy mistakes as I grow into these gifts that, like ill-fitting attire, often feel cumbersome and awkward on my frame.

I used to long for a behind-the-scenes ministry, to serve where nobody but God would notice. In my purest moments I wanted to be rewarded by God alone, like Jesus talks about in Matthew 6. Surely this would make my life easier, my ministry "holier," I believed.

Sure, it's healthy for me to serve in other ways that don't involve me being on stage. But had I mistakenly created a hierarchy for gifts? Did I believe that behind-the-scenes service was somehow better than what God had made me for?

I've been learning that a true worship leader recognizes their role of humble servant above everything else. What is more humbling than leading the church in the adoration of Christ? Our hearts should quicken at the very idea.

This is not a position of flashy power. Worship leading is rarely glamorous, and most of our ministry doesn't even happen on stage. The hour-long service on Sunday morning is informed by many hours of prayer, fasting, choosing songs, administration, and ministering to our team. These behind-the-scenes moments of openness to the Holy Spirit are often what matter most when we open our mouths to praise Jesus.

A life of transparency and service is the greatest gift we can give our congregations in worship. Worship leaders need to be present and authentic, and, at the same time, our greatest desire is to disappear that Christ might be the center of our praise. I found that this paradox is the beauty of our calling and the reason we are free to love, serve, and praise Jesus—even in the midst of our insecurities.

February23, 2010 at 8:43 PM

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