The Pastor as Worship Leader

The pastor carries on the priestly tradition of worship leader within the church. As worship leader, the minister finds motivation in the servant role. Thus, the servant seeks to draw the focus of the congregation to the divine rather than to self. The leader constantly creates conditions that are favorable for the manifestation of God to His people.

As a worship leader, the clergy is in touch with the congregation-relating to needs, feeling the pain, and celebrating the joy of those who are worshiping. A pastor must be as sensitive to the needs of the people being led in worship as a shepherd is sensitive to the needs of his flock.

For the leader, being in touch with the congregation also involves worshiping with them. The pastor is not only a leader, but one who worships as well.

In entering the chancel, the pastor should be ready to conduct the entire service without need of interruptions. Preparation should be thorough and complete, covering all parts of the experience. Planning for worship should include not only the written and spoken word, but the usage of the facility. Proper preparation will enhance the leader’s ability to read Scripture, develop confidence, and assist the congregation to worship.

The worship leader should realize he/she plays a dynamic role in creating and transmitting the mood of worship. Even though the planned worship service reflects a mood of worship, the leader will accentuate that mood or detract from it, depending on the manner in which the service is led. Therefore, the pastor needs to be skilled in speaking and in the dynamics of public worship. The minister will seek to lead worship in a dignified, reverent manner that allows the Spirit to move rather than have confusion and distractions. When the congregation has been enabled to experience the divine in worship, the role of the worship leader has been accomplished.