I recently tweeted the following about a problem that exists in a lot of churches:
2 pet peeves: 1) Pastors who don’t engage in worship 2) Worship musicians who don’t engage with the Word
It seemed to resonate with a lot of people, and I wanted to elaborate on it a little because I think these are two big roadblocks for taking your church to a whole new level in worship.
1) Pastors who don’t engage in worship.
Pastors, you’re the primary worship leaders at your churches. And that’s even if you don’t have a lick of musical talent and your voice would offend people if they heard it.
Your church is never going to go further in worship than you’re going to lead it. And what you need to understand is that you set the tone not only with the Word but also by your example. Your worship before God is preaching a sermon on the greatness of God long before you ever open up your mouth to speak about God. And it’s a sermon people listen to and apply to their own worship. Immediately.
But this goes beyond your leadership. You will never graduate past your need to worship God. You’ve been called to preach, but you were created to worship. There isn’t an advanced level of Christianity where you no longer have to engage with God in passionate praise.
So don’t let your mind become so occupied with what you’re called to do—preach—that you lose sight of what you have been created to do—worship.
2) Worship musicians who don’t engage with the Word.
This is ultimately an honor issue. Yes, honoring your pastor is part of it. He’s been preparing for this all week, and one of the best ways you can support him is by actively responding to the Word.
But really, this is about honoring the Word of God. Just like your pastor, before you’re a musician, you’re a worshipper. And there is no such thing as true worship divorced from God’s Word.
The Word gives us a God worth worshipping. A God worth leading others to worship. And the intensity of your own personal worship and your effectiveness in leading others in theirs is directly related to your engagement with it.
So whether you’re preaching or playing music this weekend, choose to fully engage. Pastors, put your notes down and worship the God you’ve been studying about all week. Worship musicians, catch your breath for a minute, and then pick up your Bible, a pen, and press into the God who is the source of your creativity and talent.
And then watch as the worship in your church is taken to a whole new level.