Worship leaders, in general, are artists. Artists, in general, tend to be emotionally invested in their own situation. Emotional investment, in general, results in assumptions which have varying degrees of truthiness.
And we all know what happens when we assume.
I’ve been leading worship for almost 20 years and I certainly fall into the category of emotionally invested artist. Time and time again I’m reminded that there are assumptions I make, there are assumptions I used to make and there will be assumptions I will make in the future which are wrong, unhealthy and potentially dangerous.
Not dangerous in the sense of “look both ways before you cross the street” or “don’t stick that fork in the electrical outlet” but dangerous in the sense that our hearts can become callous, our passion can fade and our sense of entitlement can grow over time. Dangerous, especially for those of us called to lead God’s people in worship.
So let me outline three of these dangerous assumptions that I have seen worship leaders (including myself) make and give some solutions which will be helpful for you.
Assuming the Crowd is Ready to Worship
This, for me, is the easiest trap to fall into. I’ve led worship with this assumption far too many times than I’m willing to admit but I’ve also been on the other side where I’m part of the congregation where the worship leader simply assumed from the very beginning of the service that I and the rest of the crowd were ready to worship.
Sure, I’ve shown up to church. I’m in my seat. I saw the countdown video. I heard your opening line.
That doesn’t mean I’m ready to worship.
My mind is running. My day has been rushed. My wife and I had an airing of grievances last night. My boss is a jerk. My kids have three birthday parties this afternoon. My doctor called on Friday.
Don’t assume I’m ready to worship.
Tweet this: Worship leaders – how do you avoid the assumption that people are ready to worship?
We sing songs of sacrifice and surrender, songs that celebrate God’s work throughout history, songs that tell the sweet story of the life of Jesus but they’re just words, just songs, just sounds filling the room if they’re not being poured at as a response to the greatest sacrifice, the greatest surrender, the greatest work, the greatest life.
Point me to that story, just like you did last Sunday. Just like you’ve done every Sunday for the last year after year. Keep inviting me back in and calling me to worship.
Worship leaders, we need to invite people, remind them, call them to worship. Tell me again how great God is. Open the Bible and read some of the majestic, beautiful, powerful poetry that speaks of the majesty, beauty and power of my God. Take me away from my distractions and point me to Jesus. Call me to worship.