An Open Letter To Worship Leaders

Dear Worship Leader,
For far too long, I have needed to write you this letter.

(You might want to get comfy on the couch and grab a cup of coffee because it’s a long one…but one I believe you’ll appreciate.)

I’m sorry.  I took you for granted.
Years ago, I regularly walked in the church doors and expected you to take me on an emotional roller coaster to make me feel something through the music you were playing.. I wanted to be in tune with The Very One I had been disconnected from all week.   Yeah sure, I’d sung some songs, I’d read a few lines from the good book.  I’d thanked God before my meals.  But to be at that place…. you know, where I was deep in worship, I wasn’t able to do that.  So I expected you to do it for me. That way, I didn’t have to put in the effort to deepen my relationship with God.
To be blunt—I actually expected you to be the lifeline of intimacy between me and God. 

And as if that’s not a heavy enough of a burden for you to bare.. There’s more.. and it’s weighing on my heart tonight.
I not only expected you to make me feel connected to Christ [because of my lack of discipline], if you didn’t do it the way I wanted or liked, I complained about you.
Here’s where it might hurt but please stay with me through the end–
If I didn’t like the song you sang, or the way your voice sounded, or if you lacked energy some mornings, I complained about you.  I may have even said things like “they can’t sing that near as good the worship leader at such and such church”  or “UGH–Why are we singing this song again?”
My heart was not truly in worship.  But I thought it was because of the feeling I got when you sang.  I now know, when I had that feeling it had nothing to do with me… it wasn’t my heart that was the one with worship,  it was yours, reflecting the heart of God.
A heart that is truly in tune with worship doesn’t need melodies, instruments or someone to lead them into worship.  When you’re deeply connected to God, worship is your lifestyle.  
I get that now.  But 25 years ago, as an immature believer, I didn’t understand it.
You pour your heart into the melodies that are played so that I can get a glimpse of God through the giftings He has given you.
And when I didn’t see Him the way I thought I should, or if I didn’t feel a certain way, or if you didn’t use your gifts the way I though you should, again, I complained about you.
All these years later, I need to tell you this.   Please Always remember this.
The reality is, it was never you.  It was me.  My heart was wrong.  Rather than focusing in on my heart, paying attention to the words on the screen and  really meaning them as I sang,  I was focused on every distraction satan (or even my flesh) threw at me.  I bought it hook line and sinker.
I am sorry.
So now, many many years later– having led worship, having been where you are, I want to tell you that I appreciate all you do.

I know that you pray specifically for the songs that will be sang in services.  I know that you dig into The Word of God daily so that come time for service, you are prepared to share what God has put on your heart, to share your intimate moments with God– and we are fed from your time with Him, studying and reading His word.

 

I know that you spend countless hours praying for me and all who will enter the doors.. that we will be blessed as we join you in worship and that God will speak to each of us in a way only He can.. and that He will use you to do it because you are willing and you’ve walked closely with Him in preparation for that moment.  I know that you want to teach us that worship isn’t about what we get but what we give to Him.

I know that there are days when you walk through the church doors after you’ve been up all night sick (or with a sick child)–  you show up so we all can spend time in corporate worship.  Your goal is that the glory of the Lord will shine bright and as it does, believers will get a stronger taste of true worship and they will long for a deeper relationship with Christ, giving Him all they have, desiring more personal time with God.  It is your prayer that they will go home and seek God in their prayer closets or crank up the music in their cars and worship Him.
I want you to know that for every person who is in the church who has complained about you… There are five more of us who are appreciating every note you play and every lyric you sing because the Holy spirit is ministering through you and resonating with us.  We are in tune.  We have spent time in personal worship and are we are rallying with you and behind you in corporate worship.
We don’t care if your voice cracks or if you start off in the wrong key.  We don’t need perfection… if that’s what we were after, we’d listen to our playlists on our gadgets.   We know that you’ve spent time before the throne, preparing to usher us into His presence, preparing the atmosphere so that God can meet people right where they are, broken, hurting and hungry… one thing I admire most about you is that the very ones complaining about you, are the very ones that are depending on you to help get them to the hem of His garment…and yet you still help get them there.
No matter what your morning, day or week looks like, you still show up service after service, with a smile on your face.  You’ve got love and grace in your heart.  You’re ready to allow the spirit to move through you to lead the hearts of people the feet of Jesus… where you’ve been all week.
And so I pray.  For strength, for endurance, for your family, for your calling, for your purpose, and for you.  I pray for you as you battle on the front lines on behalf of those who are hiding behind the pews—  those who may never be strong enough to stand in your shoes.
I am so grateful that God has opened my eyes to appreciate you.  That I can now allow you to be who God created you to be.  My worship leader.  You are the one God anointed and appointed for such a time as this.  So thank you for enduring and fighting through spiritual battles that last until the very moment you walk up on that platform… sometimes you’re even fighting through them on the platform with your Praise– You know that Praise and Worship is one of our greatest weapons against the enemy and you demonstrate weekly how to worship your way through to Victory.
I encourage you today– Fight on.  March into this battle with a song of praise in your spirit and The Melody Maker in your heart…  Keep praising to Victory!