- Dan Johnson: Worship/Christian Ed. Pastor, St. Lois, MO
ifcayouth.org, southcountybiblechurch.com, Twitter/@fletcherkane
- Matthew Reed: Worship Artist/Songwriter, Nashville, TN
Imagine you feel a calling. You feel your calling to be a worship leaders. However, there is no such “calling” or specific office or spiritual gift to be found in the bible. Of course, there is the Levites, but we are not in the OT and doing sacrifices any longer, are we? Someone very smart and influential in the world of worship leaders said this to me. “Worship Leader is simply a role created by the pastor to serve his needs.” Yep, it is not a calling, but a role.
Of course, some are called to preach, to shepherd to be evangelists. We find if not office, precedent in Ephesians 4 for those and other roles being biblical callings. So, you can preach, but perhaps your role is selling shoes. You, are called to preach. The principle is this: your vocation does not necessarily match your calling.
If worship leaders are not filling a calling and simply a role, then what is our calling? Many would say, “I am a lead worshipper.” This means I live our my worship for God and take others with me. Correct. In fact, that is everyone’s calling who calls them self a follower of Christ. So what is it?
The idea I have actually comes from both the OT and the Ephesians 4 passage I mentioned. Prophets in the New Testament sense and artisans in the OT sense. The prophet who tells the story, asks the question and stirs people to act is who I think we are. In Exodus it says God gave gifts of arts and crafts for the purpose of worship. Artists for the purpose of worship is our calling. This means creating art. This means we are actually called to be craftsmen who make buildings, systems, technology and music to help God’s people express their worship.
So, a songwriter who never gets in front of a church but writes for her church might actually be a worship leader while not filling the “role” we call worship leader today.
The tension is that pastors ask worship leaders to fill a role, sometimes that role has nothing to do with worship. And, worship leaders feel ethically their call is something a bit different. The zone of tension confusions and causes conflict.
Is there a dilemma? Does the role of worship leader actually differ at times from what a spiritual calling is?