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What a Worship Leader Without Confidence Looks Like

At some point in ministry, you come to the terrifying realization that your personal issues are not as easy to hide as you’d like them to be.

Whether or not you use Crest or Colgate might not effect your worship leading (unless you use neither), but whether or not you’re short-tempered sure can make things awkward at a rehearsal (and the subsequent service) when someone crosses you at the wrong time. Whether or not you eat your vegetables might not affect your worship leading (I don’t eat mine, but, hey, I drink orange juice every morning), but whether or not you’re arrogant sure can ruin a relationship with your pastor.

One issue that can sink worship leaders is a lack of confidence. And when I say “confidence,” I don’t mean “self-confidence.” Self-confidence can sink you too. When I say “confidence” I mean a confidence in the power of God’s call on you, the power of the Spirit within you, and the power of the gospel, no thanks to you.

If you’re not confident that God has called you, that the Spirit has equipped and anointed you, and that the gospel will prevail in spite of you, then you’ll be walking around on shaky knees, making a mess, and allowing your “issue” to manifest itself in some unhealthy ways.

Here are some ways a lack of confidence can manifest itself in a worship leader:

Hunger for the spotlight
Your name, your face, your time, your title, your platform and your fame will become really important to you when you lack the assurance of who you are in Christ.

Resistance to sharing the spotlight
Instead of seeing and appreciating other people and their gifts around you (and wanting to prop them up for the glory of God and the building up of His church), you will see them as threats to be neutralized.

An insatiable appetite for praise
The needy worship leader is a praise vacuum. He sucks it all up for himself and is always hungry for more. The applause of an audience becomes more to him than the assurance of the perfect love of Jesus. A confident worship leader doesn’t heed “man’s empty praise.”

An overreaction to criticism
A worship leader who finds his grounding and identity in Jesus will view criticism through the confident lens of a well-loved son, able to shake off what he needs to shake off and learn whatever needs to be learned. A worship leader without this confidence will be crushed by criticism.

Impatience
A worship leader who lacks confidence is impatient because he self-centeredly thinks that every service, every performance and every thing that he’s involved in is ultimately a verdict on his worth as a person.

People-pleasing
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have people on board with your vision. That’s a good thing. But there is something wrong with wanting to make everybody like you. Having people on board with your vision and having everyone like you are two very different quests. When you lack confidence, you forget the difference.

As long as you’re in ministry, you’ll be battling these symptoms of a lack of confidence in the God who has called you and gifted you for ministry. They can be frustrating! But they’re also good reminders from God himself.  

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Jamie was born and raised in Florida as a preacher’s kid. Since age 14, he has been leading worship pretty much every Sunday of his life, experiencing all of the joys and trials of church ministry. For over 10 years, Jamie has been writing at his blog, Worthily Magnify, in the hopes of helping worship leaders lead better. In 2006, Jamie married Catherine, and they now have four wonderful kids: Megan, Emma, Callie, and Jacob, who keep them busy, laughing, praying, and very grateful to God.