The Pride Endangering Your Worship Team

While many distractions can derail a worship team, no challenge can be quicker than pride. To lead others in worship is to declare war on robbing the attention away from God.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.  

Proverbs 16:18

The first worship team killer is pride. More worship leaders and worship teams have fallen to pride than to any of the other killers. What is unique about pride is that it is a silent killer. Pride uses guerrilla tactics and fights from within the camp. While external catalysts may increase pride, they cannot create it. Pride grows within the heart of the worship leader and sabotages the whole offering.

With pride, I actually become the enemy.  

  • A prideful heart is an abomination to the LORD (Prov 16:5) and can bring disgrace (Prov 11:2). 
  • While pride attempts to position you high, it actually brings you low (Prov 29:23). 
  • Pride encourages us to deceive ourselves by thinking we are something when actually we amount to nothing (Gal 6:3). 
  • The irony of pride is that it causes us to esteem ourselves in our own eyes, which is a hopeless pursuit (Prov 26:12).   

Worship leading is a dangerous task. Concerning the musical side of worship gatherings, churches and ministries assemble teams with a unique charge. Worship teams are the only type of music producers in the world who are expected to give a quality offering without desiring a commending response.

In every other setting in life, musical presentations are often meant for the applause of those listening. Whether it is your child’s piano recital, the community chorale, the symphonic orchestra, or the latest popular band, all of these musical offerings are meant to gather fans, support, and ovation.  

In worship, we commission a team of quality musicians to stand upon a physical platform and yet expect them not to slide onto a mental platform.

The challenge is great, and the setting is unique, but the warning is urgent. Pride will kill your worship team. In fact, pride is the guaranteed factor that will precipitate your worship ministry’s destruction (Prov 16:18) and bring dishonor to the ministry you lead (Prov 11:2).

What’s even worse than that tragic reality is that pride in a worship team can actually hinder the worship of an entire congregation. If done poorly, a worship team can use all of their energies to shine a spotlight on themselves rather than God. If I shine the spotlight on myself in worship, I am attempting to rob God of the glory deserving him (Isa 42:8), providing an unworthy object on which others can focus (Gal 6:3), and doing a disservice to those I am leading (Phil 3:17). On the other side, if our efforts are done well, people will notice in such a way not to praise us but to praise God (Matt 5:16).

Unfortunately, our hearts are desperately wicked (Jer 17:9). We struggle not because there are evil desires on the outside of us but on the inside of us (James 4:1). 

If I fail to acknowledge that I am the problem, there is no solution.


Selfish Worship

It’s problematic when even our motives for worshipping center on ourselves. Worshipers must realize that worship is ultimately not about them.