Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Eph 5:21 NIV)
Are you a leader? Seriously, consider that: Are you a leader? If you find yourself on stage leading worship, providing back ground vocals, playing in the band, etc. your immediate response is probably, “Of course I am. Why else would I be up here on stage?” Well then, how do you define “leader?” Most people think of a leader as someone who is out front with others following them; the person who sets the vision that the rest of us follow. While that is part of leadership, we must not forget the command to submit. Paul tells us we MUST submit to one another. He is pointing out to us that we are NOT the leaders. We are the followers. CHRIST is the leader. But my title is Worship Leader. Really? Who says so?
I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be called a worshiper. I might – might – even accept Worship Example if pressed to do so. The problem with considering yourself a leader is that it opens you up to thinking you are in charge and are responsible for setting the vision. I don’t want that responsibility. I don’t want to be in charge and quite frankly, I don’t have all the answers so I don’t want people looking to me to set the vision. But the biggest reason I shy away from the tile of leader is that I realize that my worship experience isn’t God’s one-size-fits-all worship experience. We can learn from each other and encourage one another into deeper and more passionate worship.
Scripture teaches us in Titus that the older men and women are to train the younger men and women. Hopefully I’m able to help instruct and set an example for following generations without sounding like, “When I was your age, we worshiped barefoot and we LIKED it!!!” It can be like walking a tight rope to help teach and train without trying to force worship to be like it was as I grew up. For example, I’ve learned that, no matter what style of music you prefer, variety is more effective than having 6 straight songs all played at the same tempo and the same volume throughout. Probably the easiest way for the younger generation to learn that is through submission.
As one who recently celebrated the 21st anniversary of my 39th birthday, one of the things I enjoy about praise music today is the passion the younger generation is bringing to today’s music. I have found that by participating on the worship team, my worship has become more passionate, more vitalized, and I’ve even begun to realize that loving God with all I have has begun to involve more than just my voice while I’m worshiping. Now I could have taken the path many of my generation have taken and reject altogether, or at best tolerate, the loud and fast music of today but by submitting to a Worship Pastor who is less than half my age, my worship has improved and expanded.
Ask yourself again: Are you a leader? Strive to submit to others in order to learn how to be a more complete worshiper. Make submission, not leadership, your goal and do so out of reverence for Christ.
Because of Him,
By Steve Parkes