Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pity The Worship Leaders

I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe filled the temple.  Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  And one called to another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts; His glory fills the whole earth. The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke.  Then I said: Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips,  and because my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts. (Isaiah 6:1-5)

It is not their fault. We have done this to them. We have expected their sill to lead us to worship. Most of us will not sing if they do not hit the right emotionally nostaligic chord. We expect them to set the mood. Isn't it true that we expect them to fill the church with musical glory?

Some of it may be their fault. They are, after all, human. And, as human, they perform. And, anyone who performs seeks the adulation of the crowd. Humble or not in spirit, the flesh seeks it. They are especially at risk if they are highly skilled at music. They are even more at risk if they are able to manipulate emotion with their craft.

R. Kent Hughes wrote, "The height of devotion is reached when reverence and contemplation produce passionate worship, which in turn breaks forth in thanksgiving and praise in word and song."  Worship cannot be drummed or strummed up. Worship rises when we finally recognize who we are and who God is.  Worship rises when we are no longer drunk with the skill of music, but filled with the Spirit because we have seen Him in our private devotions and in our hearts high and lifted up. He is the glory, not the music, not the leader. 

I pity the worship leaders, because we expect them to create a glory-filled atmosphere. They are not God. They cannot, and that is why our worship is often so pitiful. Great worship is not the result of great music, but the result of a recognition and admiration of a great God. So, if you want to experience great worship this Sunday, spend all week focused on the One True and Truly Great God.