The Worship Leader's First Responsibility

September 6, 2021

Worship pastors and leaders have so many different things calling for our attention each day. The work of ministry and leadership are continual - there's always something to improve, a team member to connect with, or a service to plan. What starts as an earnest desire to serve the Lord can quickly turn into a hurricane of activity done in His name while ignoring or neglecting the very One that we are seeking to serve.

Our first call as worship pastors, leaders, and believers in Jesus is to minister to the Lord - to take care and time to position ourselves before Him on a regular basis. Even though the whirlwind calls, we need to quiet the noise and arrange our lives in such a way as to make ourselves open before the Holy Spirit regularly. Here are a few ways to position yourself before the Lord on a regular basis:

Daily Quiet Time for Reflection and Communion with God

The practice of daily quiet time for reflection and communion with God is an important practice for all believers who want to maintain a sense of God's leading throughout the day. Peter Scazzero says, "Each of us needs an opportunity to be alone and silent, or even, indeed, to find space in the day or in the week, just to reflect and to listen to the voice of God that speaks deep within us. . . . In fact, our search for God is only our response to his search for us. He knocks at our door, but for many people, their lives are too preoccupied for them to be able to hear" (See Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day By Day: A 40 Day Journey with the Daily Office). This practice can be as simple as taking 10-15 minutes to be quiet before the Lord, inviting Him to speak to you as you intentionally separate yourself from the busyness of your day.

Personal Worship Time

Worship leaders spend a lot of time leading others and preparing to lead others in worship. More important, though, is the practice of leading yourself in worship. Setting aside time to worship God - not to prepare for a worship set or to rehearse the songs for Sunday - creates a familiarity with the presence of God that is key for worship leaders who want to minister in the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit. A musician can perform a song, but a worshipper who has spent time in the presence of God can lead people into a transformative encounter with the Holy Spirit through worship. Key here is an intentionality with your personal schedule to set aside time to minister to the Lord.

Sabbath Rest

Parker Palmer wrote, “By surviving passages of doubt and depression on the vocational journey, I have become clear about at least one thing: self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others.” (See "Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation")  In establishing a rhythm of self-care, sabbath is a practice that is essential.  John Mark Comer defines Sabbath as, “…a 24-hour time period of restful worship, by which we cultivate a restful spirit in all of our life” (See “How To UnHurry”).  The Hebrew word that we translate as “Sabbath” has four meanings:

  1. Stop - no work, work projects, work related activities, returning emails, phone calls, work related texts, etc. Stop striving and worrying.
  2. Rest - resting our whole person. Our body - take a nap; Mental - rest our minds from worry or over-processing; Spiritual - rest in God’s love for us.
  3. Delight - doing things that you like to do, that you enjoy. Have fun!
  4. Worship - spend time thanking God for the things that are important to you.

For more information on Sabbath including some practical suggestions, see this post, "Why Rest Matters."

To position yourself before the Lord on a regular basis is to develop a rhythm that is sustainable, and honors Jesus, our King.  What steps can you take today to build your your rhythm around an awareness of the presence of God in your life?