When you hear the term "worship leader" what comes to mind? You think of a professional singer and musician, on stage with a great crowd, sometimes a concert or rally experience, and figures like Darlene Dszchech, Chris Tomlin, and other high profile names.
In the past few weeks and monthes, I've been challenged to think deeply about the role of the worship leader at church, and what are the qualities that are needed of a worship leader, or a person who leads a Sunday worship service at an Australian evangelical church.
The book I'm currently reading puts it this way: The worship leader faces many challenges, including leading the singing, choosing songs, organising the team of singers and musicians, and constructing the flow of the service. However the biggest challenge is none of these things. The biggest challenge is what the leader brings to the pulpit each and every Sunday, which is not the voice or the look.... it is the heart.
Your heart shows what really matters in your life, what you love and are passionate about. Within each of us is a spiritual battle of who or what we will worship.. is it God, or something else? Someone who is leading a congregation in worship must himself be authentically and genuinely worshipping God, and not focusing on themselves or anything else.
Is God in the centre of our hearts? Do we love Him more than anything or anyone else? God deserves our all. He is worthy of our worship. He wants us to love Him. If God is in the centre of our lives, He is able to work in us and through us, using us to be His light in this world.
This applies for worship leaders too. If God is in the centre of our hearts, and we are genuinely worshipping Him as our top priority, He will work through us in all the other challenges in worship, so that His name will be glorified through us.