Have you ever worked out with a trainer? Have you ever played sports on a team where a coach pushed you beyond what you thought was physically possible? For many of us working out in a class or with a trainer that is going to push us to excel is key. I know most of us are guilty of going to the gym on our own and having big lofty goals but when the going gets hard and the reps and sets start to wear us down we sit and rest a little longer than we should. And quite possibly quit before we actually accomplished the workout we intended to accomplish that day. Would you agree that a coach or trainer pushes us to do something physically that we wouldn’t do on our own? And would you agree it’s a good thing that makes us healthier and stronger?
I see the same thing to be true of a worship leader. Are we encouraging the kids we are leading in worship to do something that is good for them? Of course! Is it something that is going to make them spiritually healthier and encourage them to draw closer to the Lord? Absolutely. We are there as worship leaders to coach and push others and help pull them along with us as we embark on a journey of expressing our love and thanks, showing that we are surrendered with our hands held high in worship, awe and adoration of God in our lives.
I know there are many schools of thought out there on worship leading. I’ve heard leaders say ‘they don’t want to be a cheerleader of worship’. However, I have been to too many churches around the country where honestly, even watching the adults in worship, you see a lot of people standing in silence not giving their all in worship. There are plenty of events that Christians go to from sports to dancing at bars where you see them go all out and give their best in enthusiasm. Yet, Sunday comes and we treat it like it’s a museum and we have these stoic displays of participation. That’s just not right. It’s not good enough and God is worthy of way more than we often give Him.
I looked up the word “leader” in the dictionary and you know what it means? “A person or thing that leads”. If you are a leader of worship and you don’t have people following your example then I would challenge you to improve your leadership abilities. Yes, we set an example. We set the tone. We invite others on our journey. From people who have different church backgrounds to new believers there are plenty that need to understand what worship looks like and how to do it. How are you teaching others about worship? How are you encouraging them to participate? How are you pushing them to go deeper and engage in worship beyond what they think they can do? Remember the success of a trainer, coach or aerobic instructor in our lives of what they are able to push us to do? Think about that as you consider how to lead those you are leading in worship.
For those of you who think cheerleading as worship leaders is wrong I want to remind you of the example we have in David. David encouraged us. He has cheered on believers generation after generation to sing and give praise to the Lord. Here are a few examples of how David led and instructed us:
- Clap your hands all you people. (Psalm 47:1)
- Shout to God with a voice of triumph.
- Sing a new song to Him. (Psalm 33:3)
- Sing joyfully to the Lord. He gives us strength. (Psalm 81:1)
- Lift up your hands in the temple and praise the Lord. (Psalm 134:2)
- Praise Him with tambourines and dancing (Psalm 150:4)
- Come, let us bow down and worship him. (Psalm 95:6)
Let us fall on our knees in front of the Lord our Maker.
- Godly people cry out, and the Lord hears them. (Psalm 34:17)
He saves them from all their troubles.
Moving forward, let’s follow the example David set for us. Let’s lead those others on a pursuit of giving all they are in worship.
Learn more about Yancy and her KidMin media at WorshipHouse Kids.