Confessions of a "recovering worship leader"…


I mentioned yesterday that I am a “recovering worship leader”.  This is not a “slam” on “worship music”, “worship leaders”, “worship teams”, “Worship flags”…etc.  There are a lot of really great musicians who love God and use their talents to make music in churches all across America.   These are just some of my observations about “worship” and why I have come to believe that worship is a whole lot more than 4 songs on Sunday morning…

My Confessions:

Sometimes I’m “not that into” the song I’m singing.  I can be thinking about Nascar, and as long as I lift my hands and “look sincere” you’ll never know.

I feel like my job is to be the “opening act” for the sermon.  Sometimes my boss will ask me to “get you all revved up” so I end my set with a really “up” song.  If he asks me to “set a mood of worship”  I will end my set with a really solemn, “sad” song… It usually “works”.

(The following is the reason I have never sang a song at actionchurch…I would much rather talk to you than sing…and if I did both even I would be sick of “me” by the end of the hour.)Speaking of Preachers…lots of preachers want to be worship leaders…and worship leaders (like me) want to be preachers.  When the song set has been pretty exciting…sometimes my boss will “jump in” and sing the song again himself after I have finished.  The “spirit moves him” to do this.   It’s OK because sometimes I would like to stand up after he is done preaching and say something differently myself :-) 

If I repeated “I love Peanut Butter” enough times and ended it accapella…It would sound “Holy” (provided I didn’t do it every week-moderation is the key)

Part of my job as worship leader is to “dress cool”.  You can’t be a “cool” church unless the worship leader looks a little “edgy”. 

If I suck as a singer people will complain that worship wasn’t “good”.  If it’s “too good” then people will say I am “putting on show”.  I try to keep it somewhere in the “safe zone”.

By the time I am really “sick” of a song…the congregation has grown to love it.  I am constantly torn between putting “new” songs in the set that I “like”…or singing “favorites” that get a positive crowd response.

I say “sing it with me” and “tell Jesus you love him” like I have turrets syndrome.

I don’t listen to “worship music” unless I’m looking for a new song for Sunday.

2 thoughts on “Confessions of a "recovering worship leader"…

  1. Thanks for hitting home with me….this is a really hard issue. At our old church in Georgia a number of folks went to the “3rd” service: came in late because they didn’t like the worship music, mainly for some of the points you made!

  2. I’m sure I don’t speak for all worship leaders…maybe I should have made it “Confessions of a bad worship leader”… But I do think we have probably harmed people’s understanding of “Worship” by making it all about singing.