“The Problem With Worship Leaders”

I recently stumbled across a post on the Reforming Baptist blog from a couple of years back called “What Bothers Me About Worship Leaders”. I’m sure the guy who writes the blog is a super nice guy and if we were having lunch we’d probably have a good conversation. This is not me finding a blog another Christian brother wrote and ripping on him or his position on my blog. The concerns he raises are one’s I’ve heard other places and I think they’re worth addressing. The truth is that, aside from his 1st point, all of his concerns have some validity, and he’s expressed them better than most. I think they’re points worth addressing. You can read the original post HERE

1. THE POSISTION OF WORSHIP LEADER IS A MODERN INVENTION

This isn’t on his list but it is found in his opening paragraph and it’s something you hear every so often from certain corners of the Church. The concept of a worship leader isn’t a new thing, no matter what anyone says. There have always been people who God has called and gifted with talents in writing and creating art and song for the purpose of delclaring the praise of God. It has looked different over the years, but the intent has generally been the same. Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant of history or is just basing their statement on the relatively recent history of their tribe of churches. WorshipLeader has a quick run down of the “History of Worship Leading” HERE.

That being said, even if the position of Worship Leaders were a modern invention, that doesn’t mean that they are wrong or evil. A “missions pastor” is a new invention, but a church being orgainized and intetional about missions isn’t bad right? What about an “Outreach Pastor” or a church IT guy? Let’s not forget my current position of College and Youth Pastor. Those are all new positions that have been created out of cultural need or an attempt to have better or more effective organization. All are new, none of them, on their own, are bad.

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TEACHING IN WORSHIP (1 TIMOTHY 1:2-11)

In this series we will study Paul’s 1st letter to Timothy, who was pastoring the church in the city of Ephesus. We will specifically key in on applications and lessons that apply to worship ministry and worship leaders. Today we will look at our calling as worship leaders.

“To Timothy my true son in the faith:

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.”

1 Timothy

ARE WE TEACHERS?

Recently a friend of mine asked me if worship songs were supposed to teach people things. Without hesitation I shot back “well, we’re fooling ourselves if we think they aren’t.”

The truth is that most of us don’t remember what was taught in the sermon 3 weeks or 3 years ago, but we remember the songs. Timothy was charged not only to refute false teaching, but to instruct the people with sound teaching. I believe my pastor does this each week from the pulpit, and as worship leader, part of my job is to assist and support that teaching with songs that are based on sound doctrine.

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Does The Worship Leader Have To Sing?

For someone out there, this is going to be a mind blowing, revolutionary thought. So by all means, feel free to sit down for a moment and catch your breath.

For the rest of you, who hopefully get the playful spirit in which I wrote the above sentence, this is a valid conversation for us to have.

In some church traditions, this is a pointless conversation with an obvious answer: of course not. But for many evangelical churches, the question I posed would mean a complete paradigm shift. The worship leader is ALWAYS the person singing. Whether they sing on their own, or if they are also the piano player, guitarist, or even bass player, the worship leader always sings. I’m going to propose that maybe this thinking is why your church’s music ministry is struggling.

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“Let’s Sing That Again”: Vocals Cues In The Worship Service

Last week I was at a Pastor’s Conference where many different worship bands and leaders served leading us in worship before the sessions. Almost all of them fell victim to the trap of overusing vocal cues in their leading. What is a vocal cue? Why would someone use them? How can someone overuse them? Well, let’s talk about it.

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The Electric: Chord Voicing

In this series I try and address different aspects of the practical side of playing electric guitar in church music. This week we’ll talk about chord voicing and how they can be used when playing in the church band.

 

THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO PLAY THE G CHORD

A while back I was asked to play electric guitar at the last minute. The church had an electric and an amplifier and that was it. No overdrive pedal, no delay, the amp  had some reverb but the options were pretty much just “on” and “off'”. What’s a guitar player to do?

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Leadership

Proverbs 29:18 tells us that “where there is no vision, the people perish.” In Mark 6:34 Jesus has compassion on the people because “they are like sheep without a shepherd.” Ephesians 4:11 tells us that it was God “who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,” and I feel safe in saying that worship leaders fall somewhere in their too. I could give more examples but the point is that the Bible teaches that godly leadership is a great thing but a lack of leadership is a very bad thing.

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The Accidental Worship Leader

LET ME TELL YOU A STORY

I had a friend, who we’ll call Phil. He was a theatre major who began to feel God calling him to full time ministry.  You would think that Phil would start or join a drama ministry or maybe with his degree he could work as a christian educator. Prehaps God was calling him to work in a “missional way” in secular entertainment, or since he was good on stage in front of an audience maybe he was supposed to be a pastor. But the ministry position that he was offered was facilities, God was calling this theatre major to be a church janitor.

The problem was that he didn’t know what he was doing. He could use a vacuum and he knew how to change a light bulb, but beyond that he wasn’t the handiest of men. Now he was in charge of the facilities and maintenance needs of an entire church. What was he supposed to do now?

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