Dear Fellow Worship Leader,
I’m not a singer-worship leader like you, although I have seen others lead worship without singing. Anyway, for the sake of this letter, we’ll adhere to a cultural definition of worship leading: the person who sings, typically at the center, and directs a song according to the leading of God’s Spirit, encouraging the congregation to get involved. Quite a mouthful. But in many places, that’s a close definition. This letter is not to criticize your role. I really do sympathize with you, via all of the memes about leading worship and the pressures you face. But, I am writing (ranting) to you today because I am tired of your excuses.
Yes. You heard me right. I’m tired of your excuses.
Look. I’m a musician. I get around to discovering a lot of different types of “Christian artists”. Many of them write phenomenal songs and others are just plain unbiblical and self-centered. They have nothing to do with focusing on Jesus and it sometimes KILLS an album for me. What gets me too, are the songs that are just AMAZING, and the person who released it just RUINS the song with excessive runs and flashy display of their talent. I only end up remembering their over-the-top singing ability and not the heart of the lyrics. Ever ask yourself why some songs skyrocket in popularity when someone else besides the original songwriter sings it? It could fall either of two ways. Either the person who made it popular is talented, or they’re anointed. I know which one characterizes you more.
So what am I tired of? I think you’re getting the idea.
I’m tired of you not writing and developing the songs God gives you. Are you not provoked to jealousy, love, and good works when you hear a BOMB song from X-Y-Z “Christian artist” and yours sits, possibly in some notebook, for no one to hear? I know much of the Psalms were birthed in deep prayer and God was the first one to hear them. But let’s just forget blessing the Kingdom, right?
Can you tell my tone is very sarcastic?
WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR SONGS. I’m writing to you in such a manner because I REALLY BELIEVE IN YOU. I want to provoke you unto love and a good work by writing the songs God puts on your heart and blessing others with them. Publish them on Instagram or Youtube or something. I don’t know. It’s gotta get out SOMEHOW. And no. You don’t need some crazy record deal in order for it to be published. Ask David what kind of record deal he had before he started sharing his songs. ALL OF ISRAEL WOULD SING HIS SONGS. We need songs that are BIBLICAL. Colossians 3:16 clearly shows us how we need songs and spiritual hymns that produce wisdom, a spirit of teaching, and admonition. But these songs aren’t separate from the word of Christ. I heard a worship leader, one a lot of people would not consider “close to Jesus”, recently state that too many people feel the pressure of having to spur up a congregation by the use of their own words and motivation. He said this, “Don’t try to get God to endorse your words. God will always endorse HIS WORDS. If you want something supernatural to happen, minister His Word in song.”
I’m not writing this letter to you because I think you’ll get a big head with doing this. I really believe many of my songwriting friends don’t deal with pride, they deal with discouragement. They think nobody wants to listen to their songs, or feel like they need some weird ethereal approval for a song to just be put out here. Why aren’t you giving yourself to that gifting God has put in you? I’ve heard it said it takes more work to bury your talent into the ground, than to actually invest in it. The Parable of the Talents shows us that the man who considered his talent insignificant was called “wicked” (Matthew 25:26). I know who you are. We ought not to fall into this temptation.
You’re frustrated, already. I know it. You’re frustrated because you’re passionate about God’s role in His kingdom, but you’re distracted by the pressures you face in having to succumb to a certain type of “worship leader role”.
You are a WORSHIP LEADER. I know you feel the Holy Spirit leading you into areas of the Spirit when you are leading and you hold back. I see right through you. I know you want to speak more things into the atmosphere of the Spirit, yet you feel like you did not lead a song well unless you got EVERY SINGLE RIFF AND LICK HIT “WELL”. I’m not here to debate praising the Lord in a skillful manner and what the Bible says about it. Since when were we called to hold instruments of praise, whether a voice or guitar, and forget BEING an instrument of praise?
I know who you are. The Kingdom needs your worship leadership. I know what you do in secret. I believe in your God-given ministry. You’re not Benita Washington. You’re not Fred Hammond. You’re not Kim Walker-Smith. You’re not Bethel. You’re not Tasha Cobbs-Leonard.
You. Are. You.
So please stop trying to be like them. Don’t you know you’re called, chosen, and forming into further faithfulness? It’s better when you lead worship. I’ll just be real plain – for X, Y, & Z reasons that you and I have discussed in private, it’s better when you lead worship.
Turn loose. I believe in you so much. Get out of your own way.
Thanks for listening to my rant. I trust you hear my heart. Let me know when you release your songs.