Love, The Key Ingredient For Effective Worship Leading
What makes someone a truly effective worship leader? Why are some people obviously more effective in their ministries than others? I think one of the key reasons is love.
True worship leaders love God and have an intimate relationship with Him. They spend time praying and listening to God. They labor in prayer over the weakness of their flesh because they know that there is only one Source for victory. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commands” (John 14:15). What was Christ’s greatest command? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). The effective worship leader truly loves God and casts down every crown at Christ’s feet as he or she daily walks with Him. A worship leader is a worship lover. Worship leaders must be absolutely enthralled with the greatness of God and drinking from His “living water” every single day.
A worship leader must love people as well. A worship leader lovingly points the way to God’s throne. Unfortunately, many times we as worship leaders are more interested with peoples’ responses than with their hearts. We must love God’s people enough to challenge them and to speak truth into their lives. We must come off of the stage and get to know those whom God has placed in front of us. This is one of the most difficult things to do because of the risk involved. Our private times with God will impact our public times of ministry. In the Gospels we see Christ spending entire days healing and ministering to the brokenhearted, and then we see Him immediately retreat to a place of solitude to regenerate with the Father (Luke 4:38- 44). If all we do is stay locked up in our prayer closets, we have missed the point of ministry. Christ told us that God’s second greatest command was to love others as ourselves. Our vertical relationship with the Father will impact our horizontal relationships with those around us. There are far too many worship leaders today who desire to be rock stars rather than servants. Jesus Christ our Lord was a servant who loved people, especially the poor and brokenhearted.
A true worship leader loves music and knows how to express that music with honesty and passion. When you read the Psalms, you see and feel passion, desperation, and honesty. David wrote songs about his life and his love for God. As worship leaders, we need to be just as honest as David. I will never forget singing in a church where the “new, contemporary worship team” performed before we took the stage. Dressed alike, with practiced hand motions and facial expressions, and they were about as lifeless as Cream Of Wheat™ in the summer. Their presentation was safe, premeditated, and a major “disconnect” for me. True worship leaders are those who are willing to bare their souls when they sing. They are not presenting a facade of perfection, but the reality of their desire for God to move in their own lives.
We need to love Christ everyday. We should have hearts for others who are hurting and for those for whom Christ has shed His blood on the cross. We must be transparent and real as we lead. Show me a worship leader with those qualities working consistently in their lives, and I will show you a worship leader whom God uses for His kingdom.