President's Blog

Put a Smile on the Face of Your Worship Leader!

Remember the occasion when David introduced the Ark back into Jerusalem. What was his response?

He strips and dances before it and one of his wives is disgusted. In her mind his behaviour was not befitting a King. 

David’s response is he doesn’t care what she thinks. He even warns he might become even more undignified worshipping Jehovah. Indirectly, he was stating I’m not thinking about you when I’m worshipping God. I’m thinking only of God. If my passion in praise is offensive to you, that’s your problem, not mine.

Now, David did not have the privilege of those New Testament passages that talk about limiting our freedom for “weaker” brethren. Regardless, the principle is sound. As I worship, my first and foremost thought should not be what others think of me, but what God thinks of my heart. 

I asked some of our worship leaders what was the thing they loved most about leading God’s people in praise and worship. The thing that makes you smile. Seeing the response of God’s people, what brings you joy….gratitude. Listen to what our “worship prompters” said:

“The thing I love most about leading God’s people in praise and worship is…”

“…it prepares people for a week in the trenches. Often people come in with the burdens of the week – you can see it on their faces. As we worship, God gives us a bigger perspective. Often we see tears as people reflect on the love and grace of God. As we leave the worship service, we are set for another week... out there in the world!”

—Gary Sharpe, Forward Baptist, Cambridge, ON

“…seeing and hearing God’s people worship together. Whether that is them belting out a Gospel song with passion and unity, or reflecting on Jesus and His cross during communion in silent contemplation. Seeing and hearing people respond to God’s grace is why I do what I do.”

—Luke Cuthbert, Summerside Church, London, ON

“…the hush right after a moment that has declared the Holiness, Righteousness, and Glory of the Triune God. There is something about the quietness of God’s people in a moment of awe and adoration that gets me every time. It’s a sacred obligation and trust we have as worship leaders to lead people into the Presence of the Lord.”

—Don Salmon, Westney Heights Baptist, Ajax, ON

“…hearing God’s people praise His Name in full-voice, and with full hearts. I can lead an awesome praise team with great guitar, epic drums, and stirring piano, but nothing compares to the people of God, joined in one voice, lifting up the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. That moves my heart in the most wonderful way.”

—Daniel Dayton, Emmanuel Baptist, Bloomfield, ON

“…seeing the look on people’s faces when they “get it”. While everyone in the congregation is typically looking at the projection screen or the band, as a Worship Pastor, I often have the privilege of looking out at the body of Christ. There are few things more satisfying to me than pouring my time and energy into thoughtfully planning a Christo-centric service, then stepping back, listening to the church sing praise to God, and watching faces light up as they reencounter the deep love of Jesus Christ!”

—Jacob Elliot, Grandview Church, Kitchener, ON

“I love the opportunity to see the transformational power of the liturgy in people’s lives. Whether it is through a corporate prayer, a song, a time of confession, or reciting the apostles Creed – it’s neat to see people respond to the historical and biblical components of corporate worship and be shaped as a body.”

—Paul Turner, Emmanuel Baptist, Barrie, ON

“…playing my part by being able to help our people realize that they haven’t left God’s presence, that in corporate worship we refocus, resettle and readjust our minds and hearts to be aligned with our created purpose, to Love God and enjoy His pleasure for us as we sing, think, pray, and reflect together.”

—Corey Brown, West Park Baptist, London, ON

“…that it is a picture to me of the future, eternity spent in worship and in God’s presence. We have been created for community with one another and with God, and lifting our voices together in song, in prayer, in reading of God’s Word together as we worship, fosters a sense of community and belonging that we simply cannot experience on our own.”

—Patrick Timney, Bramalea Baptist, ON

“…being able to encourage, strengthen, and urge each other to fix our eyes on Christ! Worshipping in community has this unique place in our lives which we can remind each other of the Gospel and how it applies to our lives with a freedom that many people struggle to have outside of this setting because of personality, awkwardness, barriers, etc.”

—Sarah Quartel, Forward Baptist, Toronto, ON

“…the blessing and privilege to be a part of a biblical calling that God has used and continues to use to help prompt, encourage, focus, and support his people as they raise their songs and prayers together. I’m blown away by the many times and ways that God chooses to use our efforts (despite our weakness) to invade our gatherings with his transcendent glory and transform us for his purposes. It’s an amazing experience to see God at work as His people seek to glorify Him in praise and worship. However the thing I love best is when God chooses to intersect our corporate worship in such a powerful and moving way that clearly has nothing to do with human effort.”

—Steve Cottrell, Calvary Baptist, Oshawa, ON

“…seeing Psalm 108 come to pass in our congregation. As the Spirit of God spiritually “awakens the dawn” in people’s lives, I have the privilege of experiencing hundreds of voices raised in praise. I know that I am doing my part in facilitating the worship of God, and the encouraging of people.”

—Lee Brubacher, West Highland Baptist, Hamilton, ON

“I love most the moment when we as a church collectively forget ourselves, together enraptured by a tiny glimpse of the beauty of our Lord and Saviour, God and King. To be used by God to effectively point people to Jesus. Worth living for.”

—Ben Smith, Bonnyville Baptist, AB

Praise our great God without any thought of yourself, only the Lord. I’m not suggesting you dance like King David, but I am suggesting you give your all in your next worship service. Consider the joy you might give your worship pastor, more importantly, consider the joy you might offer the Lord!