So last time I posted, I asked why you do what you do.
(I realize that no one answered, but if you've ever been in one of my youth ministries you know that showing up is what I do best. I keep showing up until God does something... and I suppose that is what is happening with this blog. In my heart, I know there is a need for community among church plant worship leaders. This is my way of showing up. But I digress.)
I ask this because I've noticed that the answer to this question is ultimately the root of our successes and failures in worship leading. I have been tempted to lead worship in such a way that I please the most people, and get the most compliments possible. I don't stray into songs or activities that might be "too much" to someone. In this way, I follow the biblical example of... well, no one worth mentioning.
See, this isn't the way that David led worship. This isn't the way that the singers led worship before the armies of Israel, or the way early church leaders worshipped. David led in directions few of us would dare to follow (dancing naked, whining to God for several verses, asking for the destruction of his enemies). And yet... to be completely free of the desire to please others, and to be able to both lament and rejoice with an attitude of worship... to know that there is spiritual war on all sides, and that the battle for the human heart rages with a fury we can't handle alone...
This is worship leading at it's finest. This is the example we are given.
I am reading No More Christian Nice Guy as all of this is going through my head, and I am realizing that sterile, people-pleasing worship isn't going to cut it anymore. We were called to something more, and as a worship leader, it is my honor and privilege to lead without shame or fear. It is not about people-pleasing; it is about leading people into the holy, powerful, awe-inspiring, dangerous, beautiful presence of God.