Perspectives on Worship
I believe worship is a response to who God is and what God has done. God is transcendent. He is far above all we know; yet, he made himself like us in every respect and was tempted just as we are but was without sin and his death was the final and perfect sacrifice. No more would it be required for the high priest to make animal sacrifices on behalf of the sins of the people. Now Jesus is our high priest, who offered up his own blood, and it is through him that we have access to God. In Christ our relationship with God – once severed by sin – is now restored. Those who were once far off are brought near only by the blood of Jesus. Once we understand that we are sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God, but by God’s grace we have been brought near by the blood of Jesus, what other response can we have other than worship of God for who he is and what he has done for us in Christ. What will your response be?
Theology shapes Doxology
I believe that theology shapes Doxology. There is a book entitled “Doxology and Theology” by Matt Boswell. In it he says that our theology informs our Doxology. In other words, what we believe about God determines how we worship God. What we believe in our hearts determines our actions. Therefore, it is our inward transformation that gives purpose to our outward response.
2 Corinthians 4:5
2 Corinthians 4:5 says 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. In light of this verse, it is not about the stage or anyone one on the stage, or the lights, or the music. It is about attributing to God his due praise. I pray that my life would bring glory to God, and that I would be an instrument for his praise.
Hebrews 13:15-16 says 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. In light of these verses, we see that worship is bigger than a single event. It is a lifestyle. As Christ followers, I believe that we are to live our lives daily in a way that is pleasing and honoring to him. This includes our actions and the words we say.
Perspectives on Worship Leader
Psalm 78:72 says 72 With an upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand. This verse tells us the way that David – a man who was chosen by God to shepherd God’s people – led. David led with an “upright heart, skillful hand, and was a shepherd to God’s people.” A good leader is a good shepherd. A good shepherd is someone who leads people down the right path, someone who is after God’s own heart, and understands that The Lord is the ultimate shepherd and we are stewards of the people he has put in our paths to lead.
Upright Heart and Skillful Hand
A good leader also needs a balance between an upright heart and a skillful hand. I think that leading with an upright heart starts with having a pure heart and love for God’s people and a passion to see Christians grow in faith and knowledge of who God is and ultimately to see God’s kingdom advanced. In addition, the upright must be accompanied by skill. I believe that, ultimately, what matters most is the position of the heart, but I would say that those who are leading must be skillful at their craft. Being skillful is important to me for being a worship leader for a couple reasons. If I am not skillful at my instrument then I am so focused on playing the instrument that I find it hard to actually focus on leading people in worship. Another reason is that other people look to the leader for something they can follow. So, the leader needs to confident and skillful enough to be “followable.”
I believe that a worship leader is someone who provides an opportunity for God’s people to respond to him. The purpose of a worship leader is not to worship on behalf of the people. The purpose of the worship leader is to facilitate on opportunity where people can communally and even individually encounter God. A worship leader should thus take into consideration different emotions that could meet someone where they are at – a lament, a song of praise, a song of thanksgiving, or a song of pain and hurt.
In the book entitled “Doxology and Theology it says “Since worship leaders are those that lead the people of God in encountering him in corporate worship, then above all things, we ought to study him. Therefore, our first pursuit is not to lead worship, but to worship. And as we are set ablaze by God’s truth, we become enabled to lead the people of God in life transforming worship.” A worship leader must first be worshiper before a leader of worship.