Worship Leader v Biblical Preacher

Worship Leader v Biblical Preacher

An informative and biblical essay by Bob Kauflin on this topic can be found here.

He quotes Gordon MacDonald, “For many young people choosing a church, worship leaders have become a more important factor than preachers. Mediocre preaching may be tolerated, but an inept worship leader can sink things fast.”

Don Carson disputes the whole notion of a ‘worship leader’ as generally understood in most evangelical churches today (in the UK at least). According to Carson, “I would abolish forever the notion of a ‘worship leader’. If you want to have a ’song leader’ who leads part of the worship, just as the preacher leads part of the worship, that’s fine. But to call the person a ‘worship leader’ takes away the idea that by preaching, teaching, listening to and devouring the word of God, and applying it to our lives, we are somehow not worshipping God.”

I am inclined to agree with Carson, although I suspect it is in large part to do with the fact that I don’t have a musical bone in my body! In my experience churches (and plants) tend to develop the attributes and biases of their pastor (however hard they try not to impose them). So, if a man is a great music lover it is a side of the church he will give great effort to, likewise preaching, teaching and evangelism etc. I am not saying that it is right but it does tend to happen.

I do think that there is an over emphasis on ‘worship pastors’ in our culture. I remember being at Bible College with a man who felt that God had called him to be ‘a worship leader in Brazil’ and I remember thinking (having worked there with street gangs): ‘Yeh right. That’s exactly what Brazil needs right now.’

The jury is out for me on this issue. If I had the money to pay for a salary I don’t think I would use it on a worship pastor. Maybe a Community Development Worker or even a Cyber pastor (not really) and possibly a Projects Manager. Much more helpful and beneficial to us as a community.

Anyway, read the article and see what you think.