Many people can stand before people and lead worship, but not everyone should. Those who lead in worship are responsible for holding themselves to a high standard. Worship teams represent the church and teach others by the manner in which they lead (Col. 3:16). Those who desire to teach do have stricter standards in this life and the next (Jam. 3:1).
As people who visibly represent the church in front of the congregation, we must realize that people will hold us to a higher standard.
What people see in your worship team, they will tend to generalize about your fellowship of believers.
People deserve to see the same worshiper on Monday through Saturday that the see on Sunday. Leading with integrity is so important because people don’t need any more reasons to believe Christians are hypocrites.
Our entire lives must be committed to God and not just a few hours a week. While none of us can do live in that manner perfectly, we must aim towards perfection (Mt. 5:48) of holiness because our Father is holy (1 Pet. 1:16).
If you desire tangible results, work solely on physical matters. If you desire eternal results, work solely on spiritual matters.
If you desire to take your worship leadership to another level of effectiveness, evaluate how you are doing in the following 4 essential areas for establishing worship leading credibility:
#1. Personal Life
Is there anything in your life that would keep someone from following your lead in worship? Could someone walk in the front door, see you leading in worship, and question the credibility of the entire congregation? There isn’t much that is personal when you are in the public eye. Your life is your life – all of it. Distinctions fade away when you decide to lead. There isn’t the personal side, the work side, the religious side, etc. It’s all about God or it’s not. What we may think is hidden can easily be discovered. We must strive to live a genuine life committed to Christ in every area. Love God. Love others. Be intentional with your life and be Kingdom-focused in your pursuits. We are the ambassadors for Christ in this world – live like it (2 Co. 5:20).
#2. Private Worship
Our public worship should never exceed our private devotion. If worship does not come from the overflow of our hearts (Matt. 12:34), then we are in danger of trying to put on a show. Do you sing worship more on stage or off stage? Are you in God’s Word more in a service or outside a service? Is the only time you pray when you are gathered with other believers? Our public worship should serve as a “public display of affection” but never replace our personal intimacy with Jesus.
#3. Particular Relationships
While your conduct should be outstanding among all people (1 Pet. 2:12; Matt. 5:16) and especially to those of the household of faith (Gal. 6:10), there are particular relationships that are of utmost importance. The people who see you close know you best. How is the spiritual health of your family? If I cannot lead my own family in worship, what business do I have with leading another family in worship? Our families know us best, and they deserve our best. If familial relationships are in danger, your are responsible to put all of your efforts there instead of investing on a ministry team. Just as the biblical qualifications for elders require a man to be devoted to his wife (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:6) and have disciplined children (1 Tim. 3:4-5; Tit. 1:6), we must also provide such an example for those in our church fellowship. The Christian life cannot be compartmentalized.
#4. Physical Appearance
We live in a culture that provides enough variety in clothing to show your style without having to show anything else. You have freedom to be trendy as long as it isn’t tempting. People can actually be stylish and appropriate at the same time. By dressing modestly, we acknowledge that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20) and attempt to remove stumbling blocks (Rom. 14:13; 1 Cor. 8:9; 1 Jn. 2:10) from the path of your brothers and sisters in Christ. While your clothing shouldn’t have a different standard if you are on or off the stage, realize that being on a platform causes all eyes to look at you. Don’t give them a reason to show you attention other than the fact you are pointing them to behold the LORD. Is your clothing neat (this has more to do with sloppiness than style), non-distractive (why would clothing beg for attention when we desire them to behold Jesus), and modest (nothing too revealing or too tight). It is an awkward conversation to have when you have to send someone home to change wardrobes, but the task at hand makes it worth it.
While there are plenty of components for worship leaders, these 4 essentials are often overlooked because they are not easily witnessed. Even if others can’t see your heart in these 4 areas, God does. Seek to please him.
Excerpt from 5 Worship Team Killers
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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