Sitting in the congregation at this morning’s worship service celebrating the Resurrection, I found myself thinking back on my many years serving as a worship leader and how different it is to be in the pews.
Ideally, the worship leader serves to lead the worshiper to a greater awareness of God and to focus everyone’s attention on the Savior throughout the service, whether in song, word or gesture. In doing so, it is sometimes possible for the worship leader to personally experience richer worship, as well.
A good leader goes ahead of the followers, mapping out the best path and removing obstacles, to arrive at the goal first. The gifted worship leader is an authentic worshiper first and a leader second.
Some worship leaders are like tour guides. They point out all the highlights of the attraction being visited with a practiced enthusiasm, but without ever taking their eyes from the crowd. They have begun to take for granted what they once gazed upon with devotion. Or like some of the staff at Disneyland, they have become part of the attraction…sometimes capturing all the attention for themselves.
The worship leader has a difficult and very important role in any church service. They must be aware of the schedule and flow of the corporate worship, capture the attention of the congregation in order to deflect it to the One who is worthy of their devotion, and all the while listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit, as well.
While it is often repeated that no one needs a church or a congregation to worship God, the communion of the Spirit in a roomful of fellow believers lifting prayers and praise together is one of the great joys of this life. I think it offers a taste of Heaven for us on Earth.
I hope that many of you had just such an experience this blessed Easter Day.