Worship Leader -- Calling? Gift? Talent? - Printable Version

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Worship Leader -- Calling? Gift? Talent? - sonworshiper - 08-15-2006


I was just mulling some things over in my head and one of those things was this question--are worship leaders called? Gifted? Talented in worship? What exactly makes them the worship "leader"? Is it their desire? Their musical expertise?

As for me, I was "called", actually picked out and named to be a worship leader, back when I had no desire nor inclination to be or become one. (just stating how I originally got into leading worship--not being prideful)

Sometimes I have to wonder when watching leaders at other churches and places, just how did they get into leading worship. Does anyone here know what I mean??

Thanks for reading my rants, I look forward to hearing your opinions. Bring it on Dean! (and Helena) ;-)

Blessings from Quebec!


Worship Leader -- Calling? Gift? Talent? - DeanZF - 08-15-2006

Hey Moe!

One of my favorite topics. I have so many... Big Grin

There are so many things to say about this. I've taught double sessions on it!

Can I change your question a little bit? How 'bout "Are EFFECTIVE worship leaders called?" Can that work for you?? "Calling" is of course the operative word here. If you define this as your God-defined destiny, then yes, I believe that worship leaders are called.

As I'm prone to do, let's take this apart and look at components. Three basic words, effective, worship, and leader. Everyone is called to be a worshipper. I think that it's God's intention that we are effective, but I also think it's His expectation that only some will be effective in any given moment or endeavor. Most folks can be trained to be leaders, some even leaders of worship. I have seen lots and lots of "worship leaders", many of whom were simply the person designated to the task of leading the song service. Most were at least adequate, some were quite good, some were quite bad! Sadly most of them never worshipped. Most of them did not enable others to worship. They just sang songs. They performed a task or a duty.

We've already talked a bit about definitions or philosophies of worship. For Helena & I, the understanding that worship is God-centered and God focused is paramount. If that worship activity is FROM us, not about us and how we feel about "things", that's a starting place. You can't be a worship leader if you can't or don't worship!

Lead is a fun word. I LOVE words and the play that can happen. "Lead" can mean first in a group. In this context, it implies a starting place and a destination. It also implies establishing the direction or path to be taken to arrive at that destination. It also implies (in the context of worship leader) at least some teaching responsibilities and certainly some modelling responsibilities. One cannot teach what one does not know. Robert cannot normally help others experience what Robert has not experienced, y'know? And the other thing that is implied is that there have to be followers. If you're "leading" and others are not following, are you really leading or just going through the motions? Is it your problem or theirs? If your job description is to lead others in worship, and they ain't going there, are you doing your job at all?

Now, same letters, different pronunciation (ledd or lehd, not leed): a heavy metal that is used to weigh things down, to contain things, to ward off radiation; it can also be toxic! I've known some worship ledders and I've known some worship leeders.

So in today's North American non-liturgical church, the term "worship leader" is generally pointed at the person who's leading the music/song service portion of the weekly assemblage of believers. And that is usually regardless of who's actually leading the direction of the worship at the moment! I'll follow that use for the moment, even though I try hard not to use the term in that fashion.

Finally, the word effective. This really is the critical word for me. Poor leadership skills, mediocre leadership skills, underdeveloped/immature leadership skills, manipulative leadership "skills", or abusive leadership habits, etc. are rampant in the Kingdom, IMO. Effective leadership gathers the troops, sets the direction for the journey, sets the pace so that those who are actually following (usually not all in any given congregation on any given morning!!) will achieve the stated goals in a reasonable amount of time with minimal loss along the way. Think about a multi-family trip in multiple vehicles. The most effective leader is one who has been where we're going, who knows the way, the pitfalls, the pitstops, traffic patterns, the needs of those who'll be following (potty stops, rest stops, speed constraints, ability to follow instructions, maps, or a leader! We can easily assess how effective the caravan leader is by how much hassle it was to follow the leader and if we all get where we're going when we're supposed to get there! If the leader has a heavy foot and is many traffic lights ahead of the whole pack, some may never get where the group is going. If the leader is aware of the needs of the youngest, slowest, and least experienced in the group, and makes efforts to see to it that those needs are met, the journey will be easy and relaxed. The leader makes it seem easy for the fearful, the easily distracted, the neediest, and a good time can be had by all.

Think about worship leaders in scripture. There are only a few. If you look at the notable ones out of David's tabernacle experience, you'll find four specific ones. Two of them are Cheneniah and Asaph. Cheneniah was the chief musician, and lead singer. He also gave lessons because he was skilled. David probably considered him because he was able, but chose him because God led him! Now, check THIS out. Cheneniah means "YHWH establishes!" THAT is what "calling" is about! Is that cool or what?

Asaph is the guy who gets the most notice, usually, even though Chenny was "the man". Is that because Asaph was in charge of clanging the cymbals?? B) Asaph means collector. In one sense, that's part of leadership, gathering the appointed ones and making sense out of that collection.

"Calling" can be by man or by God. How many folks called by other folks have failed miserably in a given task. Being able does not make you qualified. When GOD calls and appoints (GOD establishes!), wise folk follow. Wisdom enables us to see God-appointed, God-anointed leadership. Pride blinds us.

And like so many words, I believe there are levels of calling, just as there are levels of gifts. Many are called to prophesy, but few are "called prophets". All are called to worship, but few are "called worshippers". There are many worship leaders, many "called" by men because of circumstances, I believe. Some grow into a certain fulness in those positions. God loves faithful folks and rewards that, I believe. Our pastor regularly says, "You can make a faithful man able, but you can't make an able man faithful." How many talented musicians have we all seen in the body of Christ who simply were not faithful? Not faithful to the tenets of the faith, their spouses, the laws of the land, or even common sense in some instances?!? How many hundreds of mediocre musicians are leading folks into a deeper sense of the presence of God across the land, simply because they were faithful to take what they'd been given and use it in the way they'd been asked? Lots of them!

Does that help any, Moe? I think I've got answers to your question in there. <EMOJI seq="1f607">:innocent:</EMOJI>

Worship Leader -- Calling? Gift? Talent? - HelenaZF - 08-16-2006

sonworshipper Wrote:--are worship leaders called? Gifted? Talented in worship? What exactly makes them the worship "leader"? Is it their desire? Their musical expertise?

Personally, I think a big part of it is that you "do" it. And in doing it, you can develope skills, and sensitivity. However, you can't manufacture anointing and calling, which I believe is recognized (discerned) as either being there or not as you are "doing".

A lot can be done just with desire, determination and chutzpah. But those can't produce calling and anointing.

So the questions to ask, I believe are, "Do I and others see power in my worship leading? Is there a sense of God's presence during the times I am leading? Am I motivated in my worship leading out of my own worship experiences and relationship with the Lord, or do I need an audience to be able to worship?

That being said, a lot of really fine worship leaders started out by just being available to fill a need, and then "grew" into their calling and anointing. I don't know any that were just instantly wonderful....the skills take time to develope and mature.

So I guess there is a mix of all the things you mention, Moe. But I think there is always a component of calling and gifting in a good worship leader. And if there is qualty of technical skill, well, it just makes more pleasant for the rest of us.

Worship Leader -- Calling? Gift? Talent? - flaglady - 10-08-2006

The worship leader at our church is a most unassuming person, lacking somewhat in inches, balding and very ordinary chap. He fits gas boilers during the week. He's a family man and has a lovely, humble attitude that is so endearing.

I have not met a worship leader who is so Spirit-filled and open to God. There is something about him that makes you feel God's presence and yet he always worries whether he is working God's plan. What a heart!

In the photo he is left on the back row. This was our worship team about four years ago and the only ones still on it are Phil, middle row right and his wife Vicky, in front of him. Phil is our main drummer and Vicky our prinicpal vocalist.

Believe me, all the players, present and past, are absolutely fantastic!

<IMG content="http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b286/flagady15/worshipteam-2.jpg">[Image: worshipteam-2.jpg]

BTW, any one got any tips how to get a worship team introduced to a recording company?

Worship Leader -- Calling? Gift? Talent? - HelenaZF - 10-09-2006

It is so good to serve under a music leader who is sensitive and humble. And also one who sees all the worship arts people as part of the worship team. It seems like that is the case in your church, FL. It is lovely, isn't it?

Our worship team has made some recordings, but they formed their own company (Saba productions) to do it. Might be something to consider. All you need is someone with a studio, some decent equipment, and some mixing and editing skills.