I’m in my first seminar which is based on the book, Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin, that we’ve been reading through. I’m hoping will get some things that were not in the book, since I’ve already read that! Maybe some Q and A?
Common Misconceptions of the Modern Worship Leader
- Worship leader is a biblically defined role. Not true. Some say that the priests in the Old Testament are the same as worship leaders today. The priests carried out mediation between man and God. Jesus did that for us. So the guy with the guitar up front doesn’t mediate and is not a synonym for a priest.
- A worship leader is musically gifted. Not true. The pastor of a church is a worship leader.
He may or may know nothing about musical skill.
- Worship leader is a responsibility of a single leader. Not true. There can be multiple folks who plan and implement corporate worship.
The Task of the Worship Leader
Kauflin’s definition of a true biblical worship leader is:
A faithful worship leader magnifies the greatness of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit by skillfully combining God’s Word with music, thereby motivating the gathered church to proclaim the gospel, to cherish God’s presence, and to live for God’s glory
Again, this is all unpacked thoroughly in his book. So go get it. It is worth your time no matter what role you have in your local church.
A Faithful Worship Leader…
• Read Col. 4:1-2
• Was worship good or not? Don’t answer that with how it felt, but on whether or not we were faithful.
• Faithful means are we intentionally leading people to remember what God has done, who he is and what he has promised to do and be.
…magnifies the greatness of God…
• Read Psalm 145:1-3
• Magnify God like a telescope not a microscope. A microscope makes something small look bigger than it is. A telescope allows us to see in a clearer way something that is incomprehensibly great and huge.
• If folks leave worship saying, “I didn’t realize that God is that in charge of everything”. “I didn’t realize he is so loving”. “I didn’t realize that God was beautiful”. Then we’ve done our jobs well.
• God reveals his greatness in his Word, in creation, and what he does. So showing God’s greatness needs to come from us seeing him there.
• If we see God clearly we will naturally respond in worship.
…in Jesus Christ…
• Read John 4:23-24, 2 Cor. 4:6
• Biblical worship cannot come outside of the person of Jesus Christ. We must be obsessed with Jesus Christ. We exist for him.
• The gospel is the power of God. Not our skills. The truth that Jesus lived a perfect life, died as our substitute, rose from the dead, ascended to the Father, and lives today at the right hand of God. That brings revival and worship.
• Our worship is acceptable to God, not because it is done with excellence. As important as doing all things well is. Our worship is acceptable to the Father because it is completed and made perfect by the life of Christ.
• So, make sure that we consistently sing of the cross in a way that is accurate and compelling. It isn’t cliché. It isn’t every now and then. It is every week and done in a way that doesn’t distract or take away from the cross.
…through the power of the Holy Spirit…
• Read Phil. 3:3
• Biblical worship is impossible apart from the activity of the Holy Spirit
• We can be great at playing an instrument, but it means nothing unless the Spirit changes our hearts and reveals the glory of Christ.
• Pray every time and throughout a worship gathering that the Spirit will work in our hearts
• Don’t limit the Spirit’s working only through preaching and music or some sign or manifestation. The whole thing is under the oversight of Christ and the power of the Spirit.
• Listen and feel for promptings of the Spirit, before, during, and at the end of worship gatherings. Have a plan, but don’t ruled by it.
• Resisting growing too familiar in our routine. Mix it up.
…by skillfully combining God’s Word…
• John 4, “spirit and truth”
• Don’t just give lip service to the Bible. Read the Bible. Just read it. Big long portions of it. It’s that powerful. It will change lives more than a great arrangement. Preach the Bible. Sing the Bible. Saturate worship with the Scripture.
• When you sing a songs that lyrics are right from the Bible, read the passage. It shows us where those words come from. They don’t just sound good sung.
• Music must serve the lyrics.
- Sing songs that say something
- Adjust your musical arrangements and volume to bring out what is being sung
- Use instrumental solos wisely
- Project lyrics.
• Music should display variety
- It reflect God’s various traits
- It enables varied responses
- It helps us to hear familiar words in fresh ways
- How much depends on the resources of the church
• Music should build up the church
- Don’t just play what is most current. It may not serve the church.
- This isn’t a concert, it is to draw attention to Christ
- What can be sung with most impact and the least amount of distraction
…thereby motivating the gathered church…
• We can’t demand worship
• Don’t manipulate people with voice or instruments.
• Don’t guilt them into worshipping
• Motivate with Grace
- Present God clearly in his greatness
- Lead with knowledge and humility
- If we make commands in worship we must show them the reasons the command is there. Don’t just say praise the Lord. But praise the Lord because…
…to proclaim the gospel…
• There is nothing more important that we could sing and celebrate than the truth that Jesus died in our place for our sins as our substitute.
• We get to show them how that connects to everything in their daily lives
• We must be worshippers. We’re leading out of the overflow of our knowing Jesus more, loving him more, obeying better
…to cherish God’s presence…
• We help folks acknowledge that God is always present with us. Whether I feel it or not.
• We want to help folks pursue God’s active presence, meaning become more acutely aware of what he is doing in our gathering.
• We want to help folks look forward to God’s unveiled presence. Meaning when we can see God in his fullness when He returns or we die.
…and to live for God’s glory…
• There is no distinction between secular/sacred. All of life is to be lived for God’s fame.
• Among other things, gathering to worship should make us humble, secure, grateful, holy, loving, and mission minded.
• If we meet with God our lives should be becoming more like Christ.