Life of a Worship Leader
WHAT IS WORSHIP?
The relationship between praise and worship must be held clearly in the mind of the one who plans and leads a worship time. Praise (thanksgiving and exaltation) should precede worship (adoration and communion). This praise-worship sequence is the reasonable order of worship referred to in Romans 12:1. This is not to say that a sovereign God cannot short-circuit this order and visit us with His manifest presence in times when we have not praised Him. We all may have experienced such astounding times of visitation. But, the goal of the worship leader is not the occasional sovereign move of God, but the pattern God's Spirit has given us in Scripture. God has also sovereignty chosen to move in the logical, praise-worship sequence. If we are to lead worship, we must understand and submit to this.
Romans 12:1(NLT) 12 And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.[b]
Praise is an action of soul and body, a time of thanking the Lord for what He has done and exalting His name, His character, and His deeds. Here are the gates to His presence and the outer courts of His dwelling place. This is wading ankle deep and knee deep into the River of Life. It is ascending the hill of the Lord where the Tabernacle of David is found. This is the presentation of our bodies to Him. By these things, we establish His throne as we minister to the Lord with our Living Sacrifice of Praise. Through praise, we prepare ourselves for the revelation of His glory.
Worship is a response of the spirit, a time of expressing our adoration and devotion to God, giving Him an exclusive place in our hearts. Communion is abandoning ourselves to His presence, contemplating His glory, dwelling inside the veil, and drinking in His righteousness. It is the solemn sovereignty of His Throne Room, the holiness of the Holy of Holies, the deep waters of the River of life, the tenderness of His Office-Place, the renewing of the mind, and the glory revealed. True worship transports the worshiper out of time and into eternity. There is a timeless quality to these spiritual destinations.
The worship leader must be careful not to stop with praise. Our goal is to enter His presence with praise so that we may respond to Him in worship. Of course, it is always proper to thank and praise the Lord. We begin these expressions in the outer court and bring them with us into the inner court.
These differences can be seen in the music itself. The music of thanksgiving and exaltation can be either upward in direction, thanking and praising God, or it can be outward in direction, speaking to others about God, encouraging them to praise. The music of worship is almost exclusively upward in direction, speaking directly to God. The pronouns in the text signal the direction of the song. A song of mine illustrates.
Understanding Praise and Worship
Praise is an action of soul and body, a time of thanking the Lord for what He has done and exalting His name, His character, and His deeds. Worship is a response of the spirit, a time of expressing our adoration and devotion to God, giving Him an exclusive place in our hearts.
A life of praise and worship fills our deepest needs, and amazingly, it also brings great joy to God. Zephaniah 3:17 states, "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."
Praise and Worship - How Do We do it?
God tells us how to praise and worship him in His Word. John 4:23 says, "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." To worship God in truth, we need to know that Jesus said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." So, before you can worship in the way that God desires, you must develop a relationship with Him through faith in Jesus, His Son.
The best way that we can praise and worship God is with our every thought and action. Romans 12:1-2 states, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Praise and Worship - Love from the Heart
Many people think that praise and worship