The Rock Star Worship Leader

When first given the opportunity to lead worship, I confess to being starry eyed at the thought. In the last couple of decades Worship leaders have become confusingly similar to the rock star* fraternity (although there’s nothing wrong with Rock Stars who are being Rock Stars to the glory of God). I was young when I started out, I loved music and from where I was stood it looked like this was the pinnacle. In fact at times it looked so high that my thoughts often swung in the other direction; God couldn’t possibly have called me to such a high and privileged role? I imagine that this confusion will get worse as there’s a generation of kids who will be leaders in our churches in the next two decades who have been weaned on the stage-focused hype-fest of X-Factor.

Whilst worship leaders certainly play their part in the confusion (you know- the diva behaviour, the strutting, the weird affectations) I think we (the catholic with-a-small-“c” Church) often load the role of Worship Leaders with unnecessary cultural baggage and certainly I felt the weight of this mantle on my shoulders. Worship Leading in particular is an odd shaped area of service (and service is a helpful word in this context!) as it is loaded with high importance in our Churches whilst not being a specifically defined role in the Bible. Now I’m learning to  see it in terms of biblical leadership.

Some leadership has specific qualification in scripture (1 Tim. 3:1-13 and Tit. 1:5-9), but if Christ has called me to do something, he can certainly equip me (Heb 13:20-21).  Similarly, feelings of inadequacy are defeated by His sufficiency.  The crux of what I’m learning is that every call from God is a high call. I used to think that worship leading was not as holy as being a missionary or that working for the church trumped being an accountant. But that missed the point; whatever it is that God has called you and me to do specifically is a very high calling indeed (Phil 3:12, Eph 2:10). This has become all the more apparent whilst I’m on a break from worship leading.

So worship leaders read Romans 12:3 and be humble! Churches be thankful for people in all areas of service, and to the guys who don’t get any plaudits but pack up after the meeting at my church, thank you.


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