worship leader

What Exactly Does a Worship Leader Do?

Steven Potaczek on getting back to basics:

Several years ago, when I was doing any odd job to make enough money to get by, I got involved doing studio session work. As a keyboardist/pianist, my job was to make the song shine as brightly as I could. The producer would take the most expensive studio gear, the best sounding rooms and instruments, and pair those with the strongest session players to hopefully create something beautiful for his/her artist.

The only problem was that no matter how boutique the mixing console, how stunning the guitar amps, and how virtuoso the players were, if the song wasn’t good, there was only so much us session musicians could do. One producer I still do work for used to call working on poor songs “polishing turds.” Crass, but quite accurate. When the song is good, it doesn’t really matter much what you do to it: a great song is a great song.

The reality is that worship leaders do many things: they plan and design meaningful services, create vision and goals for the community, research and develop arrangements, schedule volunteers, create drum loops, pastor, conduct meetings, repair and/or replace broken musical equipment, etc, etc…

All these things are important. But like the expensive mixing console, killer drum kit, and talented players, they are only meaningful if the #1 thing is actually happening: what a worship leader does is walk the Bride of Christ down the aisle.

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