“The worship leader is pastor and prophet”

The Sunday Sample, Episode 104

How do you see your role? Musician? Worship organiser? Worship leader? How about Pastor (Shepherd)? How about prophet?

In Mike Pilavachi’s book “For the audience of ONE” the final chapter includes a section called, “Before leading, think”. In it he emphasises the significance of thinking about the congregation before thinking about which songs to choose. Let me quote,

“I think that the worship leader in a sense should be both pastor and prophet. As a pastor he/she should be asking during the days before a meeting: “What is going on in the congregation that needs reflecting upon and needs to be expressed in worship?””

For sure, our lives are busy. Reflecting on needs and listening to God takes time. However, there’s nothing more frustrating, or perhaps more sad, than coming away from a time of worship knowing that our selection of songs did not meet the need.

What can we do to create the best possible opportunity for us to be both someone who can meet the needs of the congregation pastorally and prophetically? By the way, by ‘prophetically’ in this context I mean someone bringing helpful truth from God to the congregation through song.

Three tips for you:

1. Pray for wisdom. God wants his people fed and edified. Your prayers to that end will surely lead to his guidance for you.

2. Talk to church leaders. Depending on the size of your congregation it may be harder to be in touch with the ongoing needs of your community. Could you have a weekly phone call with someone on the church leadership team and ask them what they perceive the needs to be for the group as a whole

3. Pay attention to announcements. What’s in the air? What’s on the calendar? Is a funeral coming up? Or a wedding? Such events might influence your choice of songs.

Much more could be said here, but this is for starters. Here’s the key question for today:

“What helps you to exercise your responsibility as a worship ‘pastor’ and a worship ‘prophet’?”

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm

PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John