5 Dangers for Every Worship Ministry

Those who lead in worship have a pivotal role in the health of all those gathered. Your team could fall prey to one of these common traps if you aren’t careful.

Years ago, I tried to figure out the greatest dangers for worship ministries. In my experience serving on worship teams throughout my life and consulting with other worship ministries, it seemed that all the issues that groups face could be compressed into five critical issues. 

It didn’t matter if it was a choir or a band, contemporary or traditional, church plant or established church; these five issues came up repeatedly.  Depending upon the context, it might have been a different flavor, but these issues seemed to rear their ugly head in every worship ministry I encountered.  

  1. Pride – Gifted people can often turn into entitled people.  If not careful, we can begin to believe the lie that we made our gifts rather than received our gifts (1 Cor 4:7).  This pride assassin is so dangerous because God proactively opposes prideful worship teams (James 4:6).  If we honestly grasp our conditions in light of the holiness of God, pride should be found killed rather than it be found killing us.
  2. Inconsistency – Our stage portrayal should not be a soul betrayal.  Those who dwell with the LORD must possess a sense of integrity (Ps 15:1-2).  The LORD despises worship from a talented mouth that cannot be backed with a sincere heart (Isa 29:13).  Our public worship should never exceed our private devotion.  Worship should be an overflow from our hearts (Matt 12:34), and yet we must never desire our holiness to be noticed by others, which provides a lesser reward (Matt 6:5-6) and devalues why we strive for integrity.  
  3. Inability – We tend to tolerate mediocre offerings because it’s “only” church.  Worship teams are supposed to lead in an excellent manner (Ps 33:3).  Our God is great, and so our offerings should come from us in such a way that it acknowledge the degree of his greatness (2 Sam 24:24).  On the other extreme, leading with excellence in order to be praised is just as dangerous.  Flashy performance can distract from authentic worship (Matt 6:1).
  4. Detachment – Even if your church doesn’t have a green room for the worship team to prepare, many churches have a green room mentality.  The worship team functions physically on the stage but relationally on a separate island from the rest of the church.  Platform ministry can never replace relational ministry.  Sheep need shepherds (Matt 9:36).  No matter how quality your presentation is, you will have minimal impact if you have minimal influence (Gal 6:2).
  5. Division – Not only can a worship team detach from the congregation, but they can also distance themselves from one another.  Artistic people can tend to suffer from beta fish syndrome – they only work well when kept away from others.  We must fight against selfish isolation and divisive bickering.  Worship teams lead as a part of the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27), and we must learn how to put others’ desires above our own (Phil 2:3-4).  Disagreements will happen, but is your team willing to address them biblically?  It makes no sense to worship our Father while we tear down his children (1 John 4:19-20).

Each of these worship team killers has an answer.  For every problem, there is a solution.

  1. The solution to pride is humility.
  2. The solution to inconsistency is integrity.
  3. The solution to incapability is excellence.
  4. The solution to detachment is availability.
  5. The solution to division is unity.


No Place for Entitled Worship Leaders

Stages can lend way to entitled attitudes, and worship leaders aren’t immune from it. If we keep our focus on Jesus, we will maintain a proper perspective.

How Pride Shows Up on a Worship Team

Pride can show up within a worship team in many different ways. If unchecked, its presence can ruin the potential ministry of the whole church.