The Most Important Quality of an Effective Worship Leader

The Most Important Quality of an Effective Worship Leader

If you look on the typical job description of a worship leader, you’ll see a lot of necessary skills. The ability to sing, arrange music, recruit a team, communicate, lead and pastor people.

But none of these are the most important qualities. Matter of fact, the most important quality is what we assume and take for granted.

But this can no longer be assumed. What is that quality?

A love for Jesus.

I know…obvious, right? You can’t be a worship leader and not love Jesus. Or can you?

What does it really mean to love Jesus?

Is it hands raised in the air? Is it the passionate singing of a song? I think about this a lot because sometimes I wonder if I love worship more than I love Jesus. I talk about worship more than I talk about Jesus.

And something just feels…you know, off about that.

There is no shortage of worship resources, worship conferences and worship training. But is it helping or distracting us?

But then you encounter someone who “gets” it. They don’t just love to worship. They love Jesus. They are as comfortable talking about Jesus as most guys are chatting about “Monday Night Football.” It’s as natural as breathing. And it’s not weird. They just genuinely love Jesus and live their lives to make Him known to others.

I feel like in an effort to not be “weird,” many of us have hollowed out our faith to only be something we do in church. Sure, we may read our Bible occasionally. We may pray. But something is missing in our love for Jesus. True love cannot be contained.

It is the greatest commandment. Not the great suggestion.

It is evidenced by what we do. If you love Jesus, you will keep his commandments.

What this means for worship leaders

Worship leaders, we need to think about this. Our job isn’t just to provide an emotionally charged sing-a-long. How are we equipping people to love Jesus when they leave our churches? How are we equipping our people to love Jesus beyond Sunday?

Let’s not just get people addicted to an experience—the artist, the songs, the sound. I’m not proposing we do away with it all, but I am proposing a thoughtful look at our love for Jesus.

Are we loving Jesus or loving worship?

Does our passion for worship outshine our passion for Jesus?

Does our love for worship artists take the place of our love for the Son of God?

Sounds silly, right? But it’s a question worth pondering.

I want my love for Jesus to be the defining characteristic of my life.

I don’t want to use Jesus to pursue a passion for worship, music, songwriting or ministry.

The passion is Jesus. The reason is Jesus. The meaning is Jesus. The heart of it all is Jesus.

I wanted to share a song that helps re-focus my heart on Jesus. This is a song called “Beautiful Mystery” from our upcoming new album from Allison Park Worship. I pray this stirs your heart with a greater passion for the greatness of God.  

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David Santistevan
David is a Worship Pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, PA.