Worship is not simply a song, a choir or a singing service. Someone who fulfills those roles is traditionally seen as an adjunct leader. However, it would be more accurate to call such a person a song leader or a ‘music conductor’.
The Role of the Conductor
In this model, a song leader or music conductor is someone who stands between the musicians and the other people. His job usually consists of filling up the interruptions between parts of the service with music, entertaining and preparing the congregation for the sermon.
Musicians who attend seminars with evangelists or speakers usually serve as support act. Often they encourage the audience with words like: “Good, people, let us stand, let’s raise our hands to the Lord.” It is the job of the song leader to prepare the people for the speaker. The song selection can be somewhat arbitrary. The goal is to sing a few gospels, hymns or choirs.
No wrong Idea
- We do not want to say that singing is bad. There is a place for it, but it is not the same as leading worship. Worship leading goes beyond leading songs.
- Worship does not lead to encouraging others to sing songs, even though they are worship songs. This model makes the worship leader someone who must tell the congregation when and how to praise and worship during a song. This is often accompanied by mini-points, testimonies, or the use of the ‘right’ songs.
- On the other hand, we have discovered within the Vineyard that the only encouragement people need is simply to worship on the part of the worship leader. With this he or she becomes someone who encourages through his or her example, a preacher before the preacher.
Worship is not to worship God while others watch. I often compare that with food for a group of hungry people. Imagine the following scenario. I invite you to my home for a festive meal. I say, “We eat at about 7 p.m. It’s going to be fun.” When you arrive, everyone is already sitting at the table, which is covered for everyone, but the only plate with food is in front of me. I start eating and tell how good it is. You can tell from the expression on my face that I enjoy every bite. “Wow, those sweet potatoes are really tasty! And that turkey is delicious! And then that corn, delicious!” You can tell me that I enjoy every minute.
Worship is not to play music while others worship. Let’s go back to dinner at my home. This time the table is covered with an abundance of food for everyone except me. Someone says, “Hey, Eddie, are not you going to eat?” I say, “No, I will eat later.” In that case I do not benefit from the meal because I think there is only enough to eat for the others.