I must draw attention to the fact that being a musician is a high calling. The discipline, skill, and leadership all contribute to the congregation in significant ways. Yes, theology is expressed. Yes, people are prepared to meet Jesus. However, to place the onus on the worship leader to “bring people into God’s presence” is to over-amplify reality. Congregants should be held responsible to grow mature enough to own their listening and meeting with God together. The worship leader’s music simply assists in this process. We set the table, but surely are not the meal. Christ is the meal.
The often unspoken reason many leaders have is that they want the worship leader to attract people to fill the pews. This is where the rockstar side of the rockstar-monk takes hold. Not only does a worship leader vicariously worship for the people in the seats, he or she must keep and add butts in seats. And, he or she must assist in filling the offering plate. When I asked one very sincere leader I served how he measured worship, he admitted with clarity that my music and his preaching should bring in more people and money. I was not there to help people confess, pray, and refresh. I was not even there to help the worship team grow in maturity. The congregation became consumers and I became one of the stars of the show.
Unrealistic expectations like that set us all up for failure. Rich does a great job tearing apart the way too many churches view the role of the worship leader – as he puts it, the “rockstar monk.”
Click here to read the whole thing. It’s worth a read for every church leader.