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Why Leading Worship Includes the Whole Band

There are few things more confusing to me than watching a worship team standing on the platform, and seeing the face of a worship leader who has all of his being in engaged in worship of God.

But then as I survey the rest of the team, I see a bass player with a too-cool-for-school scowl on his face or a guitar player with a sheepishly bewildered or bored look on his face. Or a keys player whose face is completely expressionless, glued to a sheet of music.

They are all worshiping the same God, right?

As believers, we are all leaders of worship.

Whether standing on the platform or in the congregation, we are all collectively encouraging one another to enter into the kind of full heart, mind, soul and strength demonstration of adoration that our God desires.

This is magnified from the platform. As the privilege of influence increases, so does the responsibility of leadership. That is not confined to vocalists.

The “worship leader” is not the only one leading worship. Bass players … keys players … drummers … guitarists … you’re leading worship too.

Because of the various religious and cultural backgrounds the people in our churches are coming from, the need for unapologetic demonstration of “all in” worship from the platform becomes increasingly important.

Many people are longing to express this type of worship, but are simply looking for permission. Others have been burned by disorderly displays of emotional hype and need to see this done in a genuine, authentic and helpful way. Still others have never had a point of reference for this and need to see it for themselves and be coached along.

No matter where our people are on the spectrum, it is imperative that everyone on the platform is putting forth every effort to serve and lead them.

Here are three simple ways to do this more effectively.

1. Sing Loudly.

No believer with a voice is exempt from the scriptural call to sing the praises of God loudly.

So even if you’re playing bass or keys or any other instrument — sing along! Not only will this enhance your own experience of worshiping God as you meditate on the truth of the lyrics you are singing, but you will also visibly demonstrate to the congregation the value of singing out loud the praises of God.

You don’t have to have a mic or even a good voice, but as you play your instrument, belt it out with all you’ve got!

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Stephen Miller serves as pastor of worship arts at The Journey in St Louis and just released his new book Worship Leaders, We Are Not Rock Stars, and worship album, All Hail the King. He writes regularly at www.stephen-miller.com, and you can find him on Twitter @StephenMiller and on Facebook at Facebook.com/StephenMillerMusic.