At any given Christian church you’ll usually find someone who plays music before and/or after the sermon. Usually this person, or group of people if there is not one in charge, sets the tone for the whole service. If they remain in this position for a long enough amount of time their personality and style of leading tends to become to “voice” or the “sound” of the church. Can you see where I am going?
If this person(s) considers themselves to be a big deal because they get to be up front and visible every week in worship over time the church as a whole will tend to grow into a personality based, unhealthy ministry. The opposite is just as true. If this person(s) considers themselves to be one part of a body that God has gifted to usher the rest of the body into His presence via song, over time the church as a whole will tend to grow into a God-centered, healthy ministry. Now this is not always the case but it is a measurable trend that is visible in many churches.
Can you see the difference between these two mindsets? One is wicked. The other is godly. For me, this comparison has caused me to change my definition of this position from “worship leader” to “lead worshipper.” It not only helps me keep worship central in worship, it helps me know who to place in this position and who not to. I do not want to follow along in song if the one leading me is singing for themselves. I do want to follow along in song if the one leading me is worshipping.
The difference above is huge and the consequences are monumental.