Every so often it’s good to review. To look back, to look forward, and to look over the state of things as they are. I think the time has come for that in the evangelical church. The role of worship leader has changed in many churches, tribes and denominations, but often those groups have not changed with it.
It used to be that a church’s music was provided by one faithful saint, who played an organ or piano. Numbers would be placed on a board or placard indicating which hymns were to be sung that day and in what order. The congregation either say without a leader or at the pastors leadership. There would be a few songs at the beginning of the service, with a possible solo piece and a short song at the end. Often, these songs were chosen by the minister, or in the case of larger congregations, by the cantor (old name for music minister). In many denominational churches today, something like this still exists. But for many churches, what I have described above is completely foreign.
In the 1970’s a new style of worship (contemporary) emerged from the Jesus movement and churches of that era. The Maranatha/Vineyard song books were the hymnals of a new generation of believers. Sunday services were now largely divided in half between the message and the singing. The position of worship pastor was born. The Worship Pastor now picked the songs, lead the band, and lead the congregation. This has lead to an unintended influence shift in the church, that in many churches has gone unnoticed, and it’s worth reviewing and addressing.
What do worship leaders who and why does it matter?
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