Leading From the Overflow of Worship in Your Own Life

Featuring John Chisum Posted on April 10, 2008

One of the greatest challenges for leaders of any type is to stay fresh, avoiding the pitfalls of burning out on the job. Because worship leaders operate on multiple levels, employing natural and spiritual leadership principles, the potential for burnout is much greater. Local church worship leaders must be great musicians, great politicians, great administrators, and great worshipers simultaneously. This is no small task and not one for the faint of heart!

The best thing a worship leader can do for himself/herself is to make personal devotion the highest priority of their lives. It is just too easy for most of us to become swallowed up in administration and organization to the point that personal devotion is lost. When this occurs, joy in worship leading is lost even if the technical aspects of a service are flawless. When personal worship is lacking, the worship leader is left standing on the platform questioning their own sincerity in proclaiming God’s goodness - when they do not feel it themselves, it seems degrading to try to “pump others up” in praise and worship. This reduces the event to a musical performance instead of an authentic corporate worship experience. This is a dangerous spiritual place to be in, a position that the enemy can use to undermine your very relationship with God.

Richard Foster, in his classic book, "A Celebration of Discipline", identifies worship as just one of twelve primary Christian disciplines. When we, as leaders or not, reduce worship only to that which occurs on Sundays, we’ve lost an important concept of worship as the daily practice of Christians. The Book of Acts tells us that the early Christians met from house to house every day breaking bread and communing with one another in worship. Paul wrote in Ephesians and Colossians that we should always go about singing “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, making melody in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16). For a leader to feel and to be genuine in public worship requires a healthy private worship life. When worship is happening all day, every day, the local worship leader has great spiritual and even emotional resources from which to draw on for rehearsals, administration, and the weekly corporate celebrations of praise and adoration.  Always lead from the abundance, or overflow, of worship in your own life. Never run on empty!