“Follow the Leader” is a children’s game we’ve probably all seen or played at one time or another.

One player, the Leader, begins moving around with actions the rest of the players must mimic. Anything the leader does, the others must follow. Those players who don’t, or who lag behind the leader’s motions, are out of that round of the game. The last person standing becomes the new Leader and a new round begins.

Given enough rounds, every player can have one or more opportunities to be the leader.

The goal of this daily blog is to guide ordinary people who want to worship God into a broader understanding of worship.

That begs for a working definition of what a worship leader actually IS, doesn’t it?

Or does it? Most of us have seen worship leaders in action before. Perhaps they’re like Kleenex. You know one when you see one, but it can be tough to explain it to somebody who is entirely unfamiliar. “It’s a brand name for a folded square of flimsy paper you use to sneeze or blow your nose into…”

Technically that’s defining something by its function, rather than by what it is. And that’s what many of us are familiar with. How a worship leader is USED.

And make no mistake. Many times that’s exactly what’s happening. But I digress…

I think it’s a common expectation that a worship leader should be a musician of some sort. After all, the Bible frequently makes that connection.

Doesn’t it?

Actually, no. Several passages tell us to worship God. And several tell us to sing and make music to him. But about as close as we get to see those two things tied together in scripture is this:

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

     Psalm 100:1-3 NLT

There it is! Worship the Lord with…singing! Or is that four DIFFERENT things? Shout, worship, come, and acknowledge…?

Then how DOES the Bible define worship?

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

     Romans 12:1 NLT

So by that definition, a worship LEADER should be…the first sacrifice?

Nope, not really. Just the first sacrificer. The first person to dedicate their bodies to God AS a sacrifice.

And I believe that, just like in “Follow the Leader”, it’s something ANYBODY can do. From pastor to parishioner, whether they’re on a platform or in a pew.

Anybody can be the leader and give other players someone to follow. YOU can be a leader and give others around you someone to follow.

That’s worship.

–Pastor Steve.