I have close to 25,000 followers in my personal twitter account – and I am convinced that a third of them are worship leader twitter memes that are designed to poke fun at worship leaders…most of them created by worship leaders. It seems as if every day I am followed by a new account that talks about our love for TOMS shoes, Taylor guitars, a good scarf, handlebar mustaches Munford & Sons, etc…but rarely about a desire to connect with God in worship.
My fear is that we have made the worship leader more of a position of idol in society rather than a position of humble honor. Doubt it? Look around you. I want to give you a few key points to look at that I think stifle some worship leaders - because today’s age leaves them feeling as if they don’t “measure up” to what they should be if they don’t fit inside of a particular mold.
1. A worship leader, seeking after worship…doesn’t fit a look – he/she holds a heart. Yes, TOMS shoes are quite comfortable. Taylor guitars are great. I can assure you those who are in the congregation I lead could care less if I play on a Taylor or a Takamine or if I wear TOMS or whatever brand WalMart is carrying at the time. Rest assured God doesn’t either. What does matter is the condition of the heart – not the condition of the shoes or guitar. You see – we have spent so many years convincing the lost that we can “come as we are” and that appearance isn’t what matters… only to make appearance what matters between knit caps, v necks, shoes, skinny jeans, etc. If you still wear polo shirts and slacks to church and have the heart of David to lead your congregation – lead on…please. You are NOT in some substandard culture of worship leaders. You are THE standard regardless of WHAT clothes you wear – as long as your clothing is modest and fitting to lead without distraction. Lead the next generation through your heart.
2. You don’t have to have a record deal…even in this day and age. You decided to become a worship leader or worship pastor in obedience to a calling by God, right? Yes, I know that many churches are looking for a recognized name – an artist of sorts for their worship…but your calling was by God and not by man at a church. If God has called you to be a worship leader/pastor…then God will place you where you need to be. The fact that you haven’t been signed to a record deal like Tomlin makes you no less of a worship leader…and will not prevent the right church who seeks the right leader to bring others into worship of God to their church from finding you.
3. You are NOT too old. You don’t have to be younger than 29 to lead worship. Those of you beyond 30 and in the “geriatric-worship-leader-has-been” category…breathe a sigh of relief. God doesn’t put an age limit on you for his service. Churches who are ridding themselves of tenured worship leaders who are mature enough to pastor a congregation with knowledge of their communities in exchange for younger folks who can sing and look pretty – but can’t bear to give counsel to those who need it…or pay a hospital visit when the call comes at 3 in the morning – please rethink your logic.
So – for those of you “middle of the road average worship leaders”…thank you for your service. Thank you for your tireless efforts. Thank you for your hearts. We should ALL count ourselves as “average” in the eyes of men regardless of what we wear and play…and blessed beyond comparison in the eyes of God.
I welcome your comments. I can take them. I put on my average WalMart jeans one leg at a time.