I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the “anti-rock star worship leader” idea. The more I’ve wrestled with the topic, the more I realize what a struggle it is for me personally. In the days of super accessible self-promotion (social media, mega-churches, etc) I think it’s wise for worship leaders to reflect on how they’re presenting themselves. How we engage with the culture of modern marketing has everything to do with how we view ourselves. Are we servants or are we rock stars?
“…our culture loves rock stars. And if most of us were being honest, we’d kind of like to be one ourselves…Seeking the warmth of the spotlight is a real temptation for many worship leaders, and I’m no exception. For most of us who lead from the stage, there’s a strong desire to be popular, widely recognized, and successful. In the days of giant music festivals and mega-churches, it’s really tempting to use our platform to exalt ourselves in place of Jesus. Most times without even realizing it. That doesn’t make us the devil, that just makes us human…I’m convinced that the worship leaders that will make the biggest difference are not necessarily the one with the most Twitter followers. They’re the ones that look most like Jesus.”
Huge thanks to Worship Leader and to Jeremy Armstrong for wicked editing skills, and for giving me the opportunity to reflect more on the topic.
I also collaborated on the article “Are You a Worship Janitor?” with Steven Potaczek at ForWorshipLeaders.com. You might remember Steven from the interview I did earlier this year. Steven’s been a great encouragement to me, and I give him ten thousand bonus points for the phrase “toilet bowl worship.” Again, you can read the entire blog here, but here’s some of the juice:
“By far the most common Greek word (ie: the New Testament) rendered worship in our Bibles is proskuneo which expresses the notion of ‘kneeling and kissing the hand of a superior (like a dog licking the hand of its master).’ To me, this imagery clearly connotes surrender, humility, and yes, servant-hood…Maybe I’m way off base, but I really wonder what it would do for the heart to scrub a urinal before the lights come up on the stage? What if you got your worship team to come and help too?”