Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Rock Stars or Worship Leaders?

Ted Kluck has a great article entitled Where Rock Stars Go to Die on the Gospel Coalition’s Blog. It is an excellent article about the blurred lines between being a rock star and a worship leader. Kluck relates his experiences at an Acquire the Fire youth rally and shares this about the student worship band:
The student house band is called School of Worship, and they’re quite good. They sound good and look good[7], and the kids in the crowd seem to be responding. The lead singer (all 96 pounds of him, including vest and glasses) is shaking his hips and gyrating onstage like a real, live rock star. The crowd is responding like a real, live crowd should.
The only thing that separates a “worship band” from a “rock band” is the presence of lyrics on a projection screen behind the worship band. What’s really happening is a concert. A performance. But the presence of lyrics on a screen somehow makes it “worship.” If this sounds weird/confusing to you, that’s because it is weird and confusing to me as well.
Actually it does not sound weird and confusing to me. I know all too well the struggle between performing for others and leading others in worship. I must admit that it is one of my great struggles when I lead worship at church. I would also guess that anyone who enjoys being up in front of people will struggle with it too. John Ortberg has a great sermon on this entitled A Leader’s Greatest Fear. Various versions of that sermon can be found here. While the short version gets to the point, I highly commend the full version.

I can struggle with my mind starting to drift while leading worship. Unfortunately it can drift from being focused on worshiping God and leading other in worshiping God to how I look and sound. In the middle of one song I actually started to think about whether or not I sounded good. It was not in terms of wondering whether or not I was doing a good job but whether or not I could take this show on the road.

I’ve tried different things to stay in the right place (if you have seen me lead worship in the past you will recognize this one) but nothing has done better than sharing my struggle with others and expect them to hold me accountable. I also understand that this will most likely be a life long struggle.

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