Worship Leader: Star or Servant?

How do you know if you’re a servant?  By how you act when you’re treated like one.  Do get upset because the pastor asks you to change a song?  Do you take the opportunity to let everyone know it’s not your decision, but you’re being made to do it?  After all, the pastor is more like a business guy and you’re the truly spiritual one.  Do you serve your team and prepare ahead of time so they can be prepared or do you expect them to put up with your lack of organization and just “flow with the Spirit?”  Are you late for rehearsals because you were last minute throwing things together?  Do you expect everyone to help you look good or are you giving your team what they need to succeed?  Do you gossip about your leaders behind their back and spread division because you’re not getting your way?  Do you know what God is doing in your church and are you supporting that vision or are you imposing your idea of what worship should be on your church?  Do you sit under the teaching of the Word because you’re a true worshipper who loves God or do you endure the Bible Study because you’re really there for the music?  A true worshipper loves to sit and listen to God’s Word because it’s God speaking to them.  A star only wants to play and shine so that everyone can see how good they “worship.”

I had the joy of serving with Pastor Chuck Smith as his worship leader at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa.  On a couple of occasions he asked if I would play a specific song.  It fit with his message and it was an opportunity for me to understand his heart.  Without hesitation I made the changes to the set list we rehearsed and fulfilled his request.  Why did I do that?  Because I loved my pastor, I loved the Lord, I loved the church and I was willing to serve in any way I could out of that love.  I didn’t see it as a negative because I wasn’t there to be served, but to serve.  That’s the difference between a servant and a hireling.  A hireling is there to do a job and gets upset when he doesn’t get to do the job his way.  A servant is there out of love and because they love and think the best of those they are serving they willingly make adjustments to more effectively serve.

One of the greatest examples I’ve ever experienced of a worship leader servant is Matt Redman.  We had him speak at a Worship Life Conference and before we led worship he spoke to me about what songs he should do, how he should do them and for how long.  He was very sensitive to meeting our needs.  I will never forget his servants heart.  If I would have said to him, do nothing but hymns I’m convinced he would have joyfully fulfilled my request and it would have been one of the most anointed times of worship we’ve ever experienced.  I’ve worked with many talented worship leaders who will never be great because they do not have a heart to serve.  They want to do things their way only and anything else is an imposition to them.

My prayer for you, from worship leader to another, is you will take time to hear God’s heart for your church, hear your pastor’s heart for your church and serve your church faithfully and with joy.  When you are treated like a servant you will respond with grace as you fulfill every request because ultimately the one you are serving is Jesus.  If you want to be great in His kingdom learn to be the servant of all.

Author, songwriter and speaker Holland Davis is the Senior Pastor Worship Life Calvary Chapel in San Clemente, California. To learn more about his book, Let It Rise: A Manual for Worship, go to www.letitrisebook.com

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