Songs can get in the way of the real thing. (Pxhere)

Songs. We sing a lot of them. We write them. We hear them. We pick them out for every weekend service.

If you're a worship leader, songs are your currency. You can't exist without them.

For me, songs are a love/hate relationship. I enjoy them. I like singing them. But when it comes to worship, I feel like we tend to worship them.

Wouldn't it be interesting if the very vehicle designed to help us worship actually kept us from worshiping?

Songs can get in the way of the real thing. We know how to sing, but we've lost our ability to pray. We know how to pick songs, but we don't really know how to lead worship. We feel comfortable behind our guitars but don't know how to lay our hands on the sick.

We attend worship events to hear our favorite bands and sing our favorite songs, but are we really connecting with our Maker?

I'm calling worship leaders to more of the real thing. Maybe we need to lead less worship and learn how to read our Bibles again. Maybe we need to lay aside our talents for a season and recapture a heart for the lost. Maybe we need to get off the stage and have conversations with suffering widows. Maybe. Just maybe.

Are Songs a Problem?

Well, songs could be a problem.

But ...

Songs connect us. Songs inspire us. Songs help us process our pain and remember the promises of God when we need them the most.

Songs matter.

But let's not forget that the greatest song is a life laid down. Let's get back to living the life and being real.

Worship leader, you need to be a Christian before you are a musician. You need to love Jesus before you love songs. It's these disciplines and this foundation that gives you authority as a leader.

  • Let's pray for the people we lead.
  • Let's read our Bibles.
  • Let's spend time with Jesus even if it doesn't produce a song, a book or a sermon
  • Let's study more about the fullness of God.
  • Let's share the gospel with our neighbors.
  • Let's invite people into our lives.
  • Let's love Jesus with abandon.

What do you say?

David Santistevan is a worship pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

This article originally appeared at

Dr. Mark Rutland deconstructs the man after God's own heart in David the Great. Explore of the the Bible's most complex stories of sin and redemption. Discover the real David.

The one verb most frequently missing from leadership manifestos is LOVE. Dr. Steve Greene teaches in order to be an effective leader in every area of life, you must lead with love. Lead with Love.

Your ministry's future depends on how you develop leaders using five practices to establish influence, build people, and impact others for a lifetime. Amplify Your Leadership.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders
AD topLeft