The Hidden Reason Churches Nail Worship

~Sam S. Rainer

It’s you. You’re the reason—hidden in plain sight. I’m writing to you, lead pastor. The hidden reason churches nail worship is because the lead pastor leads out in worship.

Most churches will only worship to the level of the lead pastor. If you’re the stoic stander, then your church will be full of Sunday morning totems. If you raise your hands, then people in the church will follow your lead. When lead pastors immerse themselves in worship, churches do the same.

Stop blaming your worship pastor for the lack of energy. Stop complaining about the musicianship. Stop thinking, If only we could change the music style. Just worship. Dig into it. Sing loudly to the glory of God.

Stand in the front of the worship space and let it out. Lift your arms in surrender. Spontaneously kneel at the altar in passionate prayer. Step into the pulpit short of breath from singing.

You lead with evangelism. You lead with vision. You lead with theology. You lead with shepherding. You lead with prayer. You also lead with worship. Lead pastor, if you’re not worshiping well, if your soul is not poured out weekly, why would you expect the same of your church?

Evangelistic churches have evangelistic lead pastors.

Prayerful churches have prayerful lead pastors.

Passionate churches have passionate lead pastors.

Theologically sound churches have theologically sound lead pastors.

Joyful churches have joyful lead pastors.

Why would worship be any different?

The hidden reason churches nail worship is you.

You’re the visible prompt. People are watching how you worship. They are observing what you do. They are learning from you during the music as much as during the sermon.

Are you in it? Your job isn’t to wait through the other elements of the service for your time to preach. The lead pastor is also the lead worshiper. You must teach by example. Put your notes down and lift your voice. The best preparation for your soul is to join the congregational singing of the saints.

If you’re only preparing sermons and not preparing for worship, then you’re fulfilling just half your responsibility on Sunday mornings—if that.

The hidden reason churches nail worship is right there in plain sight.

It’s you.

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7 Ways To Praise – A Simple Teaching On Worship

7 Things i love about liturgical protestant worship

Worship leaders

If God holds teachers and pastors to a high standard and warns of serious expectations, maybe he holds other leaders, such as worship leaders, to a high standard, too. Even though they are not mentioned in Scripture, worship leaders or anyone who leads God’s people should be of solid character. We expect preachers to practice what they preach, to seriously strive to be an example of what they would like their people to do and be. So, it seems reasonable, to hold a worship pastor to be living up to a high standard and have a life that exemplifies that of a true worshipper.

If teachers are expected to teach the word, give it meaning, encourage people to read and follow its guidance, shouldn’t the worship leader lead people into a fuller and truly worshipful experience? A teacher is expected to do more than merely read the word; a worship leader should also be expected to do more than sing songs. Shouldn’t he/she be expected to lead people into a fuller worship experience, helping the people to become more aware of the exciting news that God is not only alive but welcoming in Christ — and can be approached, appreciated and worshipped with a wide variety of means?

If a pastor does little to excite people about the word and its savior, he is failing his role; so a worship leader who fails to lead people into the throne room and display something of the greatness of God and the incredible privilege worshippers have to exalt him, he/she is failing in the role of “worship” leader.

If teachers should be careful to present the whole gospel and expose people to the great truths of the word and help people respond to it, shouldn’t worship leaders also fear lest they are just going through a ritual and not really exposing and introducing people into a deeper, fuller worship experience?

~ Hungry Worshipper


~ Pastor Bill Walden to worship leaders:

Worship leaders need to realize the holiness of the activity they are involved in. They stand before people, and sing to the Creator of the universe. They stand before God, and sing directly to Him. They use their God given gifts and talents to worship God in such a way that inspires others to join in.

A man who practices habitual sin cannot suddenly rise to a practical holiness that is evidenced by a visitation of God’s Spirit. God can and does use such a man, but the experience is never what it could have been had that man walked closer with God.

Conversely, if you are walking by the Spirit, your worship leading will be Spirit led, and people will sense the difference. There will be a sweetness, a holiness, and a presence of God’s Spirit that accompanies you as you worship and lead others in worship.

A godly worship leader is sensitive to the condition of the church congregation at any given gathering. When the church gathers, the Lord knows what the people need to hear, and to experience. The Spirit led worship leader has that “X-factor”, that unspoken but very real sensitivity to know how to lead a group of people in worship. Certain songs may be added or dropped at the last minute. In service changes take place as that leader senses the congregation being touched by the Lord. Choruses and refrains are repeated for emphasis. Times of silence are allowed, as people sit before the Lord. Songs may be suddenly dropped. The entire experience is organic and led by the Spirit of God, and is a moving target that cannot be anticipated or planned for, but can only be responded to when one is in the moment.

Learning the language of lament (conclusion)

Learning The Language Of Lament (Part One)

Have you read the headlines today? I’m certain they are mostly negative. I doubt the headline story was about a faithful husband who put in a good day of work, came home kissed his wife, and had an enjoyable evening with his family. There won’t be a feature story about the stay at home mom who knocked it out of the park homeschooling her kids, engaged in a good Bible study, and got the house in order for company this week.

You won’t read those stories. Of course, you might read a story about how a local pastor was accused of misogyny and gender stereotyping for writing an article and having the husband at work and the wife at home getting the house in order. And that’s because we are trained to spot flaws and try to find things to take swipes at. It couldn’t just be that it’s a reflection of that pastors actual day and that he doesn’t intend to make any comment on gender roles.

The Sight of Worship

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul During the Reformation, worship was an area in the life of the church that needed reform. Today, R.C. Sproul reminds us of the role of our senses and the importance of beauty in worship.