Whether you consider yourself a choir director, a worship arts pastor, or a minister of music, you are responsible for leading your congregation in worship.
This is no little thing because we were made by God to know and worship him.
There are many questions worship leaders ask. For example,
- Does my pastor and those in authority above me think I’m doing a good job?
- Will the congregation like the music I’ve chosen and the way I’m leading it?
- What do my friends and colleagues think about our music program?
- Are we doing the newest, most popular and/or most beloved songs?
- How can I incorporate more of what I like into our service?
I would suggest that these are not ultimate questions.
What really matters is: “Does God respond ‘It is good’ to our worship?”
After each day of creation, the Lord considered what he did and saw that it was good.
This pronouncement wasn’t so much a statement that it passed the test or conformed to minimum expectations. Rather, it’s the kind of declaration we’d make after enjoying an extraordinary meal or experiencing a transcendent piece of music. We’d say, “Yes, that was exactly what it should have been.”*
Wondering what your pastor or board or congregation or friends think about your music program is superfluous. Wondering whether you’ve picked the perfect songs or performed them flawlessly is beside the point. Wondering how you can incorporate more of what you like into the service is…beyond pointless.
The point is whether our Father in Heaven looks upon what his creation has created in his honor and says, “Yes, that was exactly what it should have been.”
To be faithful to this quest, we’ll need to lay aside our “I, me, mine” orientation toward worship and develop a “Will God see this as good?” orientation. To answer that, we’ll need to know the heart of God as revealed in Scripture. We’ll need to have the mind of Christ as informed by the Holy Spirit. We’ll need to learn to wash the feet of those who lead—both on the platform and in the pews.
Until we do this, nothing else matters.
*Thanks to Dr. Timothy Keller for the inspiring definition of “it is good” from Genesis 1.