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

What The Church Does NOT Need!

1. The Church Does NOT Need a “Cruise Control” Leadership

  • Congregations do not need a leadership who sits back and lets things run. Congregations need an active leadership involved in the lives of the members. Just as physical shepherds know the characteristics of the sheep, spiritual shepherds need to spend enough time with their members that they know their characteristics.
  • A “Cruise Control Leadership” often lets the work remain as it is, after all, everything is running fine. The leadership needs to step up, motivate and challenge the membership to continually grow and flourish in the gospel.

 

2. The Church Does NOT Need a “Pew Packing” Leadership

  • The age of mega-churches has sent some congregation scrambling to fill the seats in order to compete against another group. Anyone can fill seats, but not everyone can commit people to Christ. May the leadership of congregations seek to commit people to the Lord and to the salvation of souls, rather than commit them to a worship pew for an hour a week.
  • Commit them to the Lord and the attendance will take care of itself.

3. The Church Does NOT Need a “Micro-Managing” Leadership

  • While I do believe congregations need leaders who understand and see the future of the congregation, I know leaders who micro-manage congregational efforts and in turn, kill the great works of a congregation. You have ministers doing the shepherds job and shepherds doing the deacons job and so on.

Consider this question: Which is more beneficial to a congregation: Shepherds who can cut the church grass or shepherds visiting the lost sheep (missing members) of a congregation? I do not think you need any guidance on the correct answer.

  • Congregations need shepherds willing to let the deacons do their job. The deacons are given responsibilities for them to own and fulfill. Brethren, let the shepherds leave the deacons to the “deacon’s work” and let the shepherds get to leading the congregation!
  • Congregations need shepherds willing to let the ministers do their job. The ministers are given responsibilities for them to own and fulfill. Brethren, let the shepherds leave the ministers to the “minister’s work” of preaching the Gospel and let the shepherds get to leading the congregation!

4.  The Church Does NOT Need“Leadership in Name”

  • There are congregations who have made mistakes in gaining leadership because they appointed shepherds to lead the congregation based on the fact “the Bible says so.” As a result, the leadership has never led the congregation to the height of the spiritual relationship with the Lord. Congregations need to be sure the appointed leaders fit the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3.1-7 and Titus 1.5-9. Do not forget the power of Peter’s writing regarding spiritual shepherds in 1 Peter 5.1-4.
  • While “the Bible says so” is a good rule to follow, we must remember, spiritual shepherds have a job to do and not just a title to wear. Do not appoint leaders to fill a position, appoint qualified leaders to fulfill a work!

5. The Church Does NOT Need “Non Participating” Leadership

  • Congregations need to see their leaders working. Leaders need to lead and that involves being seen by the congregation in a role of public (and private) leadership. Seeing elders who will stand before a congregation to motivate them or rebuke them is a lost art in the religious world. Too many of those moments are given to the preacher to fulfill, when it is the role of the shepherds to address the congregation.
  • The minister is not the elder/pastor/shepherd and should not be expected to fill the role.
  • There are many duties of a shepherd that cannot be delegated to another and that includes the minister.

March 15, 2011 Posted by | FYI, Worship | Leave a comment

Attitudes Towards Worship

Attitudes Toward Worship – John 4:20-24

Purpose: Examine several attitudes that people take toward worship and what our attitude should be.

Wrong Attitudes to have Toward Worship

Wrong Attitude One:  Attending in order to “punch one’s ticket.”

There are many who believe that as long as they show up on Sunday mornings they are faithful Christians.To these people, religion is a one-day-a-week think.  Some simply come to take communion; not realizing that communion is no more important than any of the other acts of worship. They forget that Christianity is a way of life.

A person could attend every single service of the Lord’s church and still not go to heaven if he were not faithful for the rest of the week. If we come to worship just to punch our ticket; we come for the wrong reason.

Wrong Attitude Two: Attending worship for one’s own personal gain.

There is a dangerous doctrine being taught by the denominations which has carried over into our thinking. This doctrine says that if you worship God you will be blessed with great physical wealth.

As the basis for their beliefs they use passages like:

This is also the same attitude that Job’s friends had (Job 11:13-20).   Is this the right reason to worship God?   We should love God because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).

If all saints are supposed to be wealthy then what about:

If we come to worship to obtain physical wealth, we come for the wrong reason.

Wrong Attitude Three: Attend services in order to be entertained.

In today’s world people are use to being entertained; they’ve come to expect to be entertained. Many congregations have given in to gimmickry in order to bring in visitors. Should this be the reason that we come to worship God?  Should the preacher try to entertain us?  The men present on the day of Pentecost were not entertained but pricked to the heart (Acts). The word of God is called a two-edged sword (Hebrews). Should the singing entertain us? We should sing for the purpose of praising God (Ephesians). We should sing for the purpose of teaching and admonishing each other (Colossians 3:16). Christ should be what draws us to worship (John).  If we come to worship to be entertained, we come for the wrong reason.

Wrong Attitude Four: Some attend services simply because their family has always attended.

They don’t love God, want to study his word, or worship him. They’ve simply taken on their family’s religion. Your family is not going to get you to heaven (2 Corinthians 5:10).  Salvation is an individual thing. If we attend simply because our family has always attended, we are not attending for the right reason.

The Right Attitude to have Toward Worship

Reverence.

1. Ecclesiastes 12:13.

2. 1 Peter 2:17.

3. Job 38:4 Respect him because of his awesome power.  If we respect God we will: Not fall asleep during the service. Not talk or otherwise cause disruptions.

Humility.

God despises show-offs in his church. The Bible tells us that we are to humble ourselves before the Lord. James 4:10. We should strive to be like the publican and unlike the Pharisee (Luke 18:9-14).

In Remembrance.

In a sense, worship is like a funeral. We come together to remember Christ and all he did for us (1 Corinthians 11:24-25). We remember his death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

In Obedience.

We must worship him according to his divine instructions in order to please him. If we do not, we are not showing him respect. We are saying that we know better than him how we should serve him. This is one of the hardest ideas for the denominational world to understand. Man-made worship is described as vain 1 John 5:3; John.

In Faith.

1. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews).  Hope is our anchor, and faith is the cable that holds us to that anchor (Hebrews).

We must attend worship because we love God and want to please him.

Not because our family attends. Not because we want to be entertained. Not because we want material gain. And not because we feel we must “punch our ticket”.

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Worship | , , , , | 1 Comment