3 Profiles of a Worship Leader

•A Worship Leader Is Like A Nature Guide. . .

When people go on a nature walk, they rightly assume certain things about their guide.  They suppose, for example, that he or she is a naturalist; that their love of Nature has spawned their knowledge and experience.  Nature walks are much more engaging when the leader is excited to share with others the joy that they have encountered on the path.  Also important is the sense that the guide has traveled the path many times before, and is very familiar with it.  It is unnerving to perceive your leader to be tentative, or worse, lost.  Moreover, it is expected that the guide has planned the route with the group in mind, rather than for his or her own personal enjoyment.  In any group there is a wide variety of knowledge and experience, as well as a good deal of misconception.  A good leader should try to anticipate his protégés’ needs, while at the same time staying open to going another way.

Finally, the guide shouldn’t get so caught up in his or her own enjoyment of the trail that they forget others are following them.  A leader’s attention must envelop both the path and the people, so that the people’s attention can be on Nature.  A Nature Guide’s primary aspiration is to educate and empower others.  This is the difference between leading a walk and taking a walk.

•A Lead Worshiper Is Like The Palm Sunday Donkey. . .

The Palm Sunday Donkey?  That’s right!  A Lead Worshiper has the same job that the Palm Sunday donkey had.  His job was to deliver Jesus to the people.  No one recalls the donkey’s training or lineage.  No one knows if he ever carried another VIP, or whether he got big and strong.  This donkey merely delivered the Messiah to his worshipers and then sank back into obscurity.

Yes!  The donkey was at the celebration.  He heard the shouts of “Hosanna in the highest!” but never thought the people were yelling for him.  He stepped on the palms and cloaks, which had been spread out for the Christ, but drew no personal honor from it.  The donkey was center stage and was serving Jesus in his area of giftedness, but never expected special treatment.  Though Isaiah had prophesied his presence that day, the donkey’s name is not even recorded.  He was just able, available, and privileged to be used; it was all about Jesus!

A Worship Entertainer is like a Cheer Leader. . .

Cheer Leaders must position themselves between the spectators and the game in order to be clearly seen. They function and dress as though they were the main attraction, but they don’t actually play the game.  Rather, they perform an auxiliary function to which people have grown accustomed.  Cheer Leaders are able to create an air of excitement even when the star player is not in the game.

Effective Cheer Leaders provide constant activity, and are especially entertaining when things get slow.  Silence and down time trouble them, so they do their best to fill each lull with action.  They shout phrases like “c’mon, get into it”, “let’s make some noise,” and “give it up.”  Their success is measured by the intensity of the crowd’s involvement.

In essence, a successful Cheer Leader enables the crowd feel a part of the game merely by watching it.  As they participate in the cheers, they can have the illusion of actually contributing to the game.  Cheer Leaders don’t have to have played the game themselves, or even understand it well in order to do a good job.  They just have to be perky!

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O LORD,

Be exalted over my reputation.  Make me ambitious to please You,
even if as a result I must sink into obscurity and my name be
forgotten as a dream.
Rise, O Lord, into your proper place of honor: above my ambitions;
above my likes and dislikes; above my family; above my health.
Above even my life itself.  Let me decrease that You may
increase.  Let me sink that You may rise above.
Ride forward upon me as You rode into Jerusalem mounted upon the
humble donkey.  Let me hear the people cry to You “Hosanna in
the highest.”  -Tozer

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