I just read some interesting blog posts by some worship leaders about “performancism:”
- Are we headed for a crash (the original article)
- What is the Real Problem with Today’s Evangelical Worship (one of many responses)
Both articles are good, and well-thought-out. But both, to me, miss something important about the worship leader and performance.
What do they miss? This – performing IS important if you are a worship leader (I include everyone in the worship band in this category).
How come? Well gee. As a worship leader, you are on a stage, in front of people, guitar in hand. You are, by definition, performing. Period.
But – the difference is in why you are performing, or where your focus lies in the midst of that performance. To figure this out, ask yourself this question – What’s the goal of your performance/worship time? Here are some potential answers:
- to help people connect with God
- To connect with God (yourself)
- to help people worship God
- To introduce seekers to God
Depending on your goal, your methods to achieve those goals might vary. You might use different songs, different mood elements like lighting or backdrops, different musicians, different levels of stage performance, etc., depending on your end goals.
If you can’t answer that question, you have a great place to start! Talk that question over with your pastor (who most likely hasn’t thought about it, either). Figure out some goals for your worship time, and see if you can reach those goals.
ps: if your end goal is to prepare people for the sermon, or to get people to sing … start over and come up with some better goals. Just sayin!
Pic of crazy kids by The Guardian