I’ve been leading worship since I was in junior high, so about nine years. About four years ago I started leading with my best friend, so I took a more prominent role than I had ever had in years earlier. To say that I have learned a lot is an understatement.
I’m going to get real with you: I’ve always struggled with insecurity and still do. So leading worship has, at times, been a major struggle for me. But God is faithful and has worked in me; so here are some struggles I faced along with a resolution.
1. “Do I look nice? Is my outfit flattering?”
If I had a nickel for every time I painted my nails, picked a new outfit, or concentrated on what would look best on “stage,” I would be rich. I constantly felt like I had to be dressed a certain way or I people would talk about me. I was focused more on my appearance than the heart of worship.
Resolution: It doesn’t matter what I look like. People could care less what I’m wearing or if my nails are polished (and if they do, it still doesn’t matter). God should be the center of attention. People shouldn’t see me; they should see God. I started to remember why I love worship: it’s time I get to spend in the presence of God. Worship leaders are there to facilitate worship.
2. Ad-libs and worship leader lingo
You know what I’m talking about. “Sing that out!” “God be praised!” “Press into his presence…” While the idea of things the Lord put on my heart during worship flood to my head, I very rarely would say them. At first, I was scared I would say something wrong or at the wrong time, so I stayed quiet. I wouldn’t speak out or encourage the worshipers because I didn’t think I would say it right.
Resolution: First off, it comes with practice. The more you say things while leading the easier I think it gets. But what I also learned is just what I said above: God laid these things on my heart and mind to say, so I need to say them. I think all worship leaders are unsure what to say and do starting off. It’s something you learn and you let God lead. Remember that if God has called you, I believe he will equip you.
3. Am I doing the physical expressions of worship enough?
I think one of the biggest struggles of any worship leader would be not allowing their worship to become a show. When a person leads worship many times a day or week, there’s a temptation to just raise your hands like you always do and get through another set. But worship needs to always be raw and personal.
Resolution: Every time you worship it needs to be real and authentic. Don’t let Satan convince you to raise your hands or close your eyes because it’s what you are supposed to do. If you aren’t truly worshipping, then chances are your flock won’t be as eager to worship either.
I’ve learned so many things over the years. It’s not about how good a voice I have, how I look, or how I raise my hands. It’s about being real and honest. There’s nothing more in the world that I love than seeing people worship Jesus. I’m so thankful God called me to lead His people to His presence. While I’ve struggles at times, God continues to refine me and show me ways to overcome my pride and nerves. He is the reason I worship. In the end, that’s all that matters.