There are a lot of things to distract us from meaningful worship leadership on Sundays. Technical difficulties, cold weather and fingers, sore throats, tired bodies, rushed schedules. Sometimes it’s a struggle to feel as if our hearts and minds are at peace, prepared and eager to lead in worship. At times, a prayer said at the beginning of the service, asking God to fill the room with His presence, and prepare our hearts to meet with Him, are needed most for the six or seven individuals on stage, who have just spent the last two hours scrambling to get it together.
Ideally we wouldn’t have to scramble, but sometimes that’s life. However, despite whether or not we have had a hectic day, our mission remains the same. Our purpose is to lead the church well in experiencing the presence of God in communal worship.
Leading worship is a way of serving our church. It is vitally important in that moment for us to create an environment where our church can worship, free from distraction, free from preoccupation, free from all else but communion with the Lord. If that means that for the moment, we choose to look at a chord chart, rather than meditate on the meaning of the lyrics, then that is a choice we make to serve. If by choosing to live in the moment, we create distraction through poor musicianship, then we have done our church a disservice. That's not our hope.
God commands His people to play with skill, to make a joyful and beautiful sound, to sing a new song. If our hearts are consumed with our own glory, or if we are more concerned with ensuring our personal ability to worship on stage rather than that of the church which surrounds us, then our hearts must change. By the grace of God, our opportunities to worship extend far beyond Sunday mornings or evenings. Lifting our hands in song is merely one outward demonstration of an inward reality that should always be present.
Ultimately, the work we put in apart from Sundays, in our own practice time at home or in rehearsal - studying chords, melodies, and lyrics - is what we hope will allow us to reach a beautiful blend of being able to lead and serve, while at the same time being able to worship alongside you.