I never wanted to be a worship leader.
I always thought worship leaders were artists who couldn’t cut it as successful musicians in the real world, so were forced to sing in church to make a living.
While that may be the case for some, in the last couple of years, I have found it’s much different than I previously thought. After agreeing to become a lead worshiper at my local church, I quickly realized the responsibility was much more than just an artist’s Plan B.
If I was going take the lead in corporate worship, and help God’s church truly rejoice through music and scripture, it had to be all or nothing.
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to lead in different capacities. From working with the youth, to leading small groups, even do a little lay counseling – and each area of service came with its challenges. But none of those opportunities brought with them the temptation to pretend to be something I’m not like leading worship has.
There’s something about having a mic and being the center of everyone’s attention that can make us immediately feel the need to perform, to act like we have it all together. We wear masks to cover up our insecurities. We hide behind our poise and eloquence.
I constantly struggle to lead honestly. I want to hide my incompetence, hypocrisy, shortcomings, and sins – all the things that the people I’m leading can’t see. No matter how effectively I communicate, it can be hard to escape the feeling that everything I’m saying is a lie. There is a voice constantly reminding me of all I’ve done wrong.
I’m not talking about the Holy Spirit’s voice of conviction. We need him to make us aware of our sins so that we can repent and believe the Gospel!
No, I’m referring to the one the Bible calls The Accuser – Satan himself. I am tempted to believe the condemnation in his whispers, because to some degree everything he is saying is true.
Yes, I dropped the ball.
Yes, I yelled at the wife.
Yes, I watched something totally inappropriate.
Yes, I ate a whole dozen of Krispy Kreme donuts. By myself. In one day.
We are all sinners. We have a fallen nature. That’s reality.
But the greater reality is that we who are in Christ are saved by grace to the marvelous glory of him who made us sons and daughters, heirs to all that is good.
Paul said in Ephesians 2:8-10 that salvation and right standing with God is a gift that we could never earn by our own merit.
He goes on to say that God gave salvation as a gift so that no one, neither pastor nor worship leader – no one – could boast that their awesomeness was the means to their salvation.
As long as we are in this flesh, we will miss the mark and the temptation to cover and hide ourselves will be prevalent. But we are not our failures. Neither do our good deeds qualify us to serve God and lead his people. It is all grace.
So this week, we can lead without the mask, without pretending. Even with our invisible scars of sin and failure, we can lead God’s people because he himself created us, redeemed us, and called us out for good works he prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
In the end, it all comes from him and it’s all for him. So let’s lead honestly.