Dear worship leader…

Dear Worship leader/song leader/service leader (whatever name your tradition allocates to the person who gets the congregation to sing during a church service),

I have a request. Probably a gripe, really. Maybe even a touch of nit-picking. Please indulge me and forgive me if I walk on your toes.

Next Sunday (or during the week if you are involved in one of those summer special events) please think twice before you thank your congregation for singing well. They are not singing for your benefit: unless your church service is an ecclesiastical version of a talent show and you are the ecclesiastical version of Simon Cowell.

They are singing for an Audience of One (and it is not you).

By all means encourage them. But remind them who is listening.

Thank you.

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7 thoughts on “Dear worship leader…

  1. I’d be more tempted to warn Worship leaders against the corollary- Do not rebuke a congregation for seeming unengaged or singing poorly; such comes from egotism, the same egotism would surely be less likely to commend people for singing well, since clearly that’s what they expect them to do..??

    1. Fair point – though unengaged congregations is a whole other can of worms! I think my gripe is more relevant to the old-style “song-leader” of the more formal service leader.

  2. What I mean is, “unengaged” is a difficult to judge state of mind; particularly if you’re a Presbo like me.

    But having imagined your scenario in my head I can see how it would be a tad distracting. In the sense that the Worship leader probably has a “John the Baptist” role to point away from himself and from the congregation towards Christ.

    You’re probably overstating the problem slightly though. Ha!

    1. That’s true – there are questions of temperament, church culture etc. On the other hand, it would be interesting to know how many “Presbos” and “Baptos” manage to yell themselves hoarse and jump out of their seats at Ravenhill on a Friday night but stand expressionless in church on Sunday morning!

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