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Last night, in our worship team training, I asked the question: when does excellence in leading worship become a distraction?

As we are spending this month focusing on worship value #3: capability – leading with excellence, a tension arose in my mind.  Psalm 33:3 says: “Sing to Him a new song, play skillfully with a shout of joy.”  As musicians, technicians, and vocalists, we are to lead skillfully.  We work on developing the talents that God has entrusted to us.  We are supposed to do things in such a quality manner that it brings glory to God (1 Cor 10:31).  How much more so when we lead in worship and offer up worship ourselves?

The tension comes when quality and excellence becomes a distraction.  Can a group be so good that they draw attention away from God?

I am not promoting meager attempts at musicality.  I push for excellence.  But it’s a thin line to walk.  In our conversation last night, Woody mentioned that it is a matter of the heart.  We all then admitted that only the leaders know that.  The ones being led are not aware of what is in our hearts.

If you lead worship or perform some task, work at it and work at it well.  Develop your craft.  Get better.  Become excellent.  But become excellent in order to honor God not in order that others honor you.  The goal should never to be for people to comment on the skills of a group.

Matt 5:16 sums it up for me nicely: “Let your light shine before men so that they may glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Did you catch that?  Let your light shine.  Shine it brightly.  But let your heart lead your skills to shine in such a way that people don’t comment concerning how talented a person you are, but rather, how incredible our God remains to be.

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.