Worship music breathes.You can play or sing the same worship song one thousand times and it may never be the same.This is because worship requires the participation of the congregation.It is not a performance but a connecting of the hearts of the people to God so that He is the strongest focus in their life at that time. John 10:3 states “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” The parable of the shepherd leading the sheep is one of the most powerful in the bible and as Jesus descibes Himself as the “shepherd leading the lost sheep”. We must seriously study this parable as it is clearly a method of leadership that leaders in the church should follow. In my country of Australia we don’t lead sheep.We get behind them with dogs,motor bikes, horses and whips and we force them where-ever we want them to go. This is true of most western nations.This scripture was not written in the west-it was written in the middle east where the shepherd leads the sheep and the sheep follow. This clearly shows therefore,scripturally, that we cannot lead Gods people to a place where we have not been ourselves. We must also go to that place and lead the sheep into that same “high place in God” that we ourselves have gone to(not once but everytime we want them to go there).
Jesus told His disciples that He went ahead to prepare a place for them.In our preparation to lead worship-in our prayer,our practice, in the preparation of our hearts to worship the Lord- we go ahead and prepare a place for God’s people. Another thing that we must learn from this parable is that we cannot drive people in worship.Many worship leaders and ministers get frustrated when the people are not entering into worship as they should.They then start to drive God’s people and in their own worship “over-exert themselves” in an attempt to get God’s people to press further into God and to worship Him as he deserves. I have never seen this work in either worship leading or any area of Christian leadership. We must exort,encourage, and educate God’s people but we can never drive them.This only leads to a superficial and “hyped” form of worship.True worship comes from the revelation of the risen Christ and never from somebody shouting at them or “guilting” them into worshipping Him.
How do we then lead people into worshipping God.If everbody was a “spiriual giant” then we wouldn’t have to.People would come prepared to worship, the call for worship would be made and everybody would immediately begin to worship the creator in “Spirit & in truth”. The only problem is that everybody is not a spiritual giant and even we in the minsitry can need a little help to get us to a place where God is our only focus. It is so easy,with life as it is, to come to church with Jesus being the last thing on our mind. People walk through our doors after sometimes a hard week,trouble at home or maybe even symptoms on their body.These are things that are calling people for their attention and it is our job as worship leaders to lead the people and not let their circumstances lead them(always being careful not to drive them).
This is where the leadership of the Holy Ghost is so important to our worship leading. He knows exactly where the hearts of the people are and how to lead them to Jesus. Jesus said in John16:13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever He receives from me. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever He receives from me.” The Holy Spirit reveal Jesus to people and as that revelation sinks in they start to worship. I have seen people come into churches with the weight of the world on their shoulders but the right song at the right time can shake off the shackes of the world and lead them into a place where they can worship God. I always wait on God for direction on the songs to have in a worship service and, even after they are chosen, I tell my team to watch for my lead in case I feel that maybe we have to adjust to not run ahead of the people.Remember that our Job is to lead God’s people and , whilst we must enter into worship, we must be sure that we do not leave anyone behind-Luke 15:4-If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! The bibles says in Hebrew 12:13 – Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. Even though we are ready to go to the High place of worship, if we are a good leader we will make sure that we take as many with us as possible.
How do we do this? How do we make sure that we take as many with us as possible.Firstly as we must realise- Music is a language. We must make sure that we choose songs that connect with the people that we are minsitering to.I have seen people claim that a certain style of music is more anointed than another. This is only true if in this particular meeting, one style of music connects people with God more than another style.Yes, if again we were all spiritual giants then this would not be a problem but again we are not all spiritual giants.A lot of people have a mis-understanding of what the anointing is. Isaiah 10:27 says that the anointing destroys the yoke. It says nothing in scripture about the anointing bring a soft feeling or goose bumps.I could sing an old elvis song and it would give some people a soft emotional feeling and by some peoples definition of the anointing that would make that anointed.There are youth services held in my country where most people would think that the worship music was demonic yet thousands get saved and filled with the Spirit and flood the alters, with tears in their eyes, dedicating their lives to God.
I asked the Lord once what my job as a worship leader was and He simply told me that “I was to lead them to Him and He would do the rest” He is the “author and finsher of our faith”(Heb 12:2).Anything that we do in worship must always point people to Him as that is our mandate. There are no sinful beats but there are definately styles of music that work better in some groups than others. Jesus when in the temple read from the scripture(Luke 6:16-19) yet when He was with the people on the street He used their language-Look at the flowers of the field(Matt 6:26). The Lord said to me once that”effective communication is not what is spoken but what is heard”. I believe that we have to be sure that our worship leading is reaching people. Remember, it is not our job to make people worship. We are to point them to Jesus and any person who reaches the place where Jesus is the biggest focus of their lives cannot help but worship him in spirit and in truth.