Leading Worship: 7 Deadly things that Worship Leaders Say

(or at least are thinking…)

1. I have the “spiritual gift of music,” and I’m called to be on the team.

First, is music a gift? Raw talent and the opportunity to learn and grow – yes, those are gifts from God. But I don’t personally don’t believe that music qualifies as a gift of the Spirit like the other New Testament gifts (Rom 12/1 Cor 12/Eph 4/et al). I believe music is a tool to be used in conjunction with the spiritual gifts.

There’s a danger in identifying musical talent as a “spiritual gift.” It gives the musician a false sense of entitlement: it’s my gift, thus this is my ministry.

2. I really don’t need to practice that much anymore.

Ever thought that? I have. Here’s what I needed to hear: Don’t let your talent get in the way of being great musician.

3. I could lead the team better than this.

You maybe could. But you aren’t the leader. God is probably less concerned with how you think you can lead than how you will actually follow.

This is a leadership lesson I learned the hard way. Robert Clinton, in his classic leadership book, The Making of a Leader, said (and I paraphrase), “if you struggle submitting to authority, God will probably place you under someone you find difficult to follow.”

I did. And He did.

4. We don’t need to add anymore musicians–I think we’re fine just the way we are.

This is classic turf-protection. It’s natural, but deadly. Possessiveness will slowly choke your team’s forward progress. Decline will inevitably happen to your team unless you regularly work towards new growth-cycles. That means, among other things, new people.

5. I don’t need a metronome.

I’ve often heard this one spiritualized: “we just need to be free to flow with the Spirit.” The truth is that we’re probably just don’t want to face the truth: a click is an unforgiving mirror reflecting our timing. And our timing dictates our tightness.

6. I think it’s about my turn for a lead/solo.

When worship musicians keep score, we all lose.

None of us are immune to this. Not long ago, I’ve found myself thinking why I haven’t been asked to lead for this certain event my denomination hosts. Where does that get me? At best, bitter. Neurotic and paranoid if I’m not careful.

7. I just worship so much better onstage.

People don’t recognize the arrogance and danger inherent in this statement. It says, I need a band, a microphone, a sound system, an audience to really worship.

If you hear this one, wave the red flag.

What are some “deadly” things you’ve heard from worship musicians?

How would you address some of these issues?

Article from Jon Nicol


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