If we’re honest, we’ll admit that most of us struggle to look up and fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Sometimes our hearts even want what belongs to Jesus. We want our performance to be praised. We want our names to be great. We want to be the great Worship Leader who leads the charge into God’s throne room. We want to take credit for transforming hearts and lives. We assume responsibility for the worshipful response of the church and think that we actually made it possible for others to experience God’s presence.
But our performance is not the point. We are not able to save or transform ourselves or anyone else. What we need is to be always beholding Jesus the only Savior.
And as much as we worship leaders need to be steered away from hoping in our performance and instead pointed to Jesus, reminded that He is our Worship Leader and perfects our worship of the Father, so too the people that we shepherd also need to know that Jesus is the point of all of our worship liturgy, and the one who makes it possible! Jesus is the one we are to adore and long to experience and in whose presence we can expect to be transformed into His likeness.
Fellow worship leaders, we need to serve and lead in a way that leaves everyone gathered understanding about us and them that our performance is not what saves us. Consider the following needs of all people as you prepare to serve your congregations and point them to Jesus, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you and your team know how to effectively do that.
1) We need to continually confess that we cannot save ourselves and only Jesus can save us. We need to continually recognize that God, in all His fullness, was pleased to live in Christ, and through Him, God reconciled everything to Himself. We must remind ourselves that He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross! (Colossians 1) We need to see Jesus, our Savior and the only Living God, exalted high above every other false god that fights for control of our hearts. We need to behold Jesus, the Lamb of God slain before the world’s foundations, whose finished work has earned salvation for all who believe in His name. We cannot save ourselves and only Jesus can save us.
2) We may be worship leaders, but we are not THE Worship Leader. We need to be awakened again and again to the reality that Christ is supreme over all creation and that He holds all creation together. We need to remember that Christ is the head of the church, which is His body. We need to acknowledge that Christ is first in everything: He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. (Colossians 1) We need our worship to be perfected by the ongoing work of Jesus who IS the Worship Leader. We need to be reminded that Christ is our Faithful High Priest, always making intercession for us before our Father. We worship the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit through the perfect work of Jesus. Our worship is a gifted response made possible by the Giver of every good and perfect gift.
3) We need to hear and confess God’s Word together. We need our attention to be directed to the Living Word of God, the Truth that sets us free, the Word sent to heal us, the Word that made everything and holds it all together. Our own words may be composed with eloquence, but only the Word of God stands firm forever and has the power to save and heal and deliver.
4) We need to be comforted by the God of All Comfort. We need to experience the God of All Comfort who comforts us in all our troubles and helps us to comfort others. We need to know the Man of Sorrows who is well-acquainted with our grief and bore all our suffering in His own body on the cross. We need to remember that our Good Shepherd is always with us and close beside us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. We need to be comforted and encouraged.
5) We need to trust Jesus, the Author of Life and the Conqueror of Death. We need to see Jesus, Victorious Conqueror of the Grave! We need to hear Him say to us, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me will live even after dying. I will raise them up!” We need to behold Jesus, the Firstborn of all who rise from the dead. We need to trust Jesus.