MYTH: Worship leading is not performing.
This is a myth! What is better said is that worship leaders lead in the act of performing worship.
Many in our churches like to use the word “performance” and make it another projectile at the worship team. They enjoy the fact that they can say a worship leader should not be performing but worshiping as he leads as if the two are mutually exclusive. It means that his preparation is devalued and the attempt at beauty and form are discouraged. Worship expression or liturgy to many is simply a means, not and end. Really, it is an act to be performed.
FACT: Worship is an act that is performed. It is not random, it is intentional. It is a choice. So, worship leaders perform an act that leads people into this act. Yes, you are performing when you worship! FACT: Worship leadership needs preparation. Many think that a good heart or good intentions mean good worship leadership. Wrong. Become good at guitar, sing in tune and work on your craft. Any preacher worth his salt work on communication. He or she does not assume his desire to communicate is enough. The effective preacher prepares.
FACT: Beauty and form help lead people in worship. Yes, the look of your room, the sound of your music and the overall atmosphere matter. You tell a story beyond the lyrics or sermon through everything that touches the senses. Leaders know this and address this. Thank God for good architects who understand how to design a room. Form is important. Without structure, we lose any sense of taking people somewhere in worship. Form has a story, meaning, and application.
An entertainer uses his or her skills to intentionally engage people in a performance of music or comedy. A worship leader is similar, even though the performance is worship through music or other forms. The worship leader is like a performer–intentionality, preparation, and execution of form and beauty are all part of leading worship.