What I'm listening to: My Restoration mix
Five Qualities of an Effective Worship Leader (by Lamar Boschman)
1.) Knowledge of God (Have a large view of God)
2.) A Heart Shaped by Worship (Be a worshiper in private)
3.) Intuitiveness (Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit is essential)
4.) Pastoral Heart (Be a leader of people before you are a leader of songs)
5.) Musicality (Play skillfully before the Lord)
As a worship leader, I've always felt more like the quarterback than the coach. Meaning I'm in there, with the congregation -worshipping - just as the quarterback is in there with the team. A leader, but in no way like the coach, who is just shouting instruction from the sidelines. I'm leading them, but we are working together to get down the field to the goal - authentic worship of God.
I struggle with accepting that's really all I can do. Our worship band is comprised of an amazing group of worshippers. They love playing music and much as I do, but above that, they love to worship. Our hearts are connected as a result.
But what of those they don't get it? Those that can't seem to engage? I see them every Sunday - their blank stares, looking just above my head and the projection sceen with the words on it. My own heart is so full when I'm playing, singing, leading worship. And as Dan (the other guitarist) said to me Sunday after we got done leading the service, "I just don't get it." He vocalized what I was feeling. Worshipping with music is like breathing for me. It is for Dan, too. Our similarity there has helped us play well together, to strum together. I just don't get those who don't engage in worship. I fear they are not engaging at all. I fear they aren't worshipping.
As the leader, what can I do? I worry about the hearts of the congregation - where they are in their walk with Christ, when I don't see authentic worship coming from their hearts. Maybe for some of them, there is no way to make sure of that by just looking on the outside. My face, my heart, comes alive when I'm playing. I come alive because I'm drawing closer to him. And I know they shows on my face. I can feel it. Maybe it isn't that way for others.
I must trust that God will change their hearts, because I can't do that. Only he can. I simply hope and pray I'm doing all I can.