A Ready Recollection

The Mind Numbing Ponderings Of A Pulpit Preacher

Worship Leaders: Who, What and Why.

There is a term that has been floating around the brotherhood for a little over two decades now. This term is “Worship Leader”.  It is a term that implies leadership and authority but, exactly what is a worship leader?  In a nutshell, a worship leader is what the old timers used to call a song leader.  I know, I know: many will argue that he is more than that in that he organizes and collaborates with the minister and others, but, really does that constitute the implied meaning?

I will not disagree that the person who guides our heart and voices in song is not worship leader when in fact he is.  But, the title is very, very misleading. To apply such a title to an organizer and song leader belittles the others who also lead worship.  Is the song leader more important that the man who guides our minds and hearts in public prayer?  Is the song leader more important than the messenger who shares a lesson or sermon?  Of course not! But the title is a self proclaimed one; it implies that “I am the worship leader and the others must follow my lead”.

I will not venture to guess the hearts and minds of those who chose to apply such a title but I would caution them to consider the ramifications of doing so. One consequence being that many people will begin to believe that singing is the most important part of worship when it is only one of several.

The reality is this:  A worship leader, as the Bible has defined, is one who leads others in the acts of worship.  Not just a song leader, preacher or teacher, but anyone who stands before the congregation with the responsibility of leading and guiding others in the acts or worship.

A worship leader would be….

  1. One who leads singing (1st Corinthians 14:26)
  2. One who leads prayer (1st Timothy 2:8)
  3. One who leads in the area of…
  • Teacher,
  • Preacher,
  • Instruction         (1st Corinthians 14:26-27)

The label” Worship Leader” has the potential to do the opposite of what may be intended by it’s use and that is to divide. Be cautious and recognize that any given worship service may have several leaders.


May 22, 2011 - Posted by | Worship

1 Comment »

  1. Outstanding thoughts, Jimmy!

    Comment by Daivd Hester | July 30, 2011 | Reply

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