In my most recent series of posts, I’ve been describing 10 values that have been shaping my worship band. My last post was part one of two, explaining that we believe that Jesus is in control over every circumstance of our lives, including our worship. In this post, I aim to explain that we trust and believe that Jesus is the one and only true Worship Leader.
Leading worship is a tricky thing. On a typical Sunday morning, I can look out across a sea of people in worship and see so many things. People with their hands raised and faces smiling. People with their arms crossed and eyes closed. People with their hands in their pockets. Some singing out loudly, expressively, passionately. Others with their faces down, contemplative, and motionless.
What are they thinking?
That thought has run through my mind hundreds of times as I’ve led worship over the past few years. Is the person with their hands raised really worshiping Jesus, or just caught up in a moment of excitement and emotion? Is the person with their hands in their pockets and downcast face disengaged from worship, or are they experiencing a powerful, intimate moment of reflection with the Lord?
It’s impossible to tell. People are like loaves of bread. Sometimes they look flawless from the outside, but inside they’re stale and tough. As a worship leader I can only see the crust, the outer shell. And while looking at the outer shell is certainly a good indicator of what’s going on inside, it can never tell the whole story.
And even if I knew the whole story, even if I knew every nook and cranny of the hearts of the people I’m leading in worship, I’d be helpless to produce any change. I don’t hold the power to sway them, to lead them to worship in spirit and in truth. But there is one who does hold that power, and He is the true Worship Leader. Not me. Not my band. Not the preacher. Jesus is the true worship leader. My band and I look to him to lead our people to worship in Spirit and in truth each week.
Worship pastor Zac Hicks explains what it means to say that Jesus is our true Worship Leader in the book “Doxology and Theology”:
“Where we fail miserably in our feeble attempts at worship, Jesus succeeded fully. The perfect worship that the Father demands has found all its qualifications met in the Son’s righteous living – both in His personal piety and His fully obedient participation in corporate worship – while on earth. By the power of the Spirit, we are united with the Son, clothed in His righteous worship, such that the Father sees His worship as we worship. Jesus worships for us! This should make ‘worship leaders’ pause every time they assume that title. There is only one true Worship Leader, and His name is Jesus Christ.”
Jesus’s perfect obedience in ours by faith. The Father sees Jesus’s life of sinlessness as our very own when we trust in Jesus as our Savior and submit to Him as our Lord. Not only is Jesus’ perfect record ours by faith, but His once-for-all death in our place, bearing the weight of God’s wrath for our sin, is ours as well. He did this all willingly, that we might be brought near to God.
 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.  But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,  waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.  For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
Hebrews 10:11-14 (ESV)
Jesus makes true worship possible. Because Jesus has dealt away with our sin to the fullest, the Father doesn’t hold our sinful dispositions and attitudes in worship against us. Rather, Jesus makes our worship precious and perfect in the eyes the Father. It gladdens the heart of the Father to see us worshiping Him because of the work of the Son. Thank you Jesus!
We trust and believe that Jesus is the one and only true Worship Leader.