Top 10 Pet Peeves About Worship Leaders

Kent Shaffer —  August 12, 2008

DISCLAIMER: This list is not my (Kent Shaffer) personal opinion. The opinions in this list are not from one person, but rather it is a mashup of opinion from 150+ people (most not experts). That is why one opinion may contradict another opinion. The goal is to learn the diverse (often selfish) opinions of those in the pews. It is saddening. The opinions in the list are not my own.

WARNING: This list may offend you, particularly if you are a worship leader. It is saddening that people think this way, but I know that I am guilty of thinking some of these complaints before, too. Unfortunately, many people have thought these complaints. Reading this list may be offensive, but it can also be insightful into how picky congregations can be. It can give insights into what can be stumbling blocks of distraction for worshippers. And it also makes it clear that you can’t please everyone.

Last month, Carlos Whittaker of Buckhead Church (Atlanta, GA) blogged the dangerous question:

What is the biggest gripe you have about something a Sunday worship leader does?

The 185+ responses were fascinating, insightful, and offensive to some. To cut through the clutter of all of the opinions, I made a very rough tally of all the pet peeves to determine the top 10 pet peeves about worship leaders. Keep in mind these are subjective opinions from 100+ people.

Top 10 Pet Peeves About Worship Leaders (with examples)

  1. Asking the Congregation to do Something (21 responses)
    >> Makes us shake hands with the people around us.
    >> When a worship leader tells you to lift up your hands, it takes a meaningful personal action and turns it into a obligatory command.
    >> Talks like they’re at a high school pep rally, “Let me hear ya!”
    >> Asks how everyone is doing. We’re not at a concert, so we’re not going to scream.
    >> Tells you what to do and how to worship… to the point where it makes you feel guilty if you don’t conform yourself to her/his understanding of what worship is.
    >> I hate it when worship leaders script the worship too much by telling people what to do. I’ve had worship leaders completely distract me from God when they start telling me what to do.
  2. Mini-Sermons & Talking (20 responses)
    >> Talks between every song.
    >> I am distracted when worship leaders start talking about anything that is not directions on what we are about to do.
    >> When they repeat the same catch-phrases every week.
    >> Breathy speaking between songs.
    >> Sermonettes are annoying if too long or common
    >> You can tell a mile away when a worship leader is “sharing” because he feels obligated to. It’s always a cheesy or over emotional blurb. When God’s really laid something on a worship leader’s heart, it’s cool. But even then, say it in less than 45 seconds! Don’t meander on for 3 minutes.
  3. Not Focusing on God (17 responses)
    >> Forget that the audience of worship is God and start making it a performance for those sitting in front of them.
    >> When they perform rather than worship themselves.
    >> Showing zero emotion, standing still, focusing too much on perfection.
    >> Worship leaders who seem really wrapped up in being “cool.”
    >> Sometimes you can tell they’re being fake and/or showy.
    >> I hate it when the music guy/gal asks the crowd to praise God but soaks it up like they are Bono and the crowd is really praising them.
    >> I hate it when worship leaders don’t lead people.
  4. Unprofessional (14 responses)
    >> Starts service late.
    >> Typos on the screen.
    >> Talks to the praise band while leading worship instead of using hand signals to tell them what to do.
    >> When the leader changes the key of the song and does not tell the rest of the team.
    >> Goes out of order or adds another song in the middle of the set
    >> When the leader and/or band member turns away from the people to mess with their gear.
    >> When the production team on stage are laughing, joking, and gesturing behind the worship leader to the soundboard guys in the transition between worship and the message.
  5. Singing (11 responses)
    >> Can’t sing very well.
    >> Doesn’t know the lyrics.
    >> When worship leaders run words together.
    >> When they put their own little spin on simple, common words.
    >> Repeating the same line in a song 3.6 million times. There’s the Spirit’s leading and then there’s just plain losing people.
    >> Our old church’s leader would sing so high that no one could sing along. She provided no harmony for us to pick up. It was to showcase her own voice.
  6. Appearance (9 responses)
    >> Sing with their eyes closed.
    >> When singers act like they are really bored up there.
    >> Wears crotch hugging jeans.
    >> Looks or sounds seductive.
    >> One of our young worship leaders had a really big hicky on his neck a couple of weeks ago.
  7. Prayer (8 responses)
    >> Inauthentic prayer – too scripted or so random that it doesn’t make sense, or rushed/dragged out to make the prayer fit the interlude.
    >> Prays the words of the songs.
    >> When they can’t talk or pray appropriately between songs.
  8. Bad Transitions (5 responses)
    >> Transitions between songs take long time.
    >> Allows uncomfortable dead time between songs.
    >> When they pray essentially the same prayer at a transition moment.
    >> Using the song name as an introduction/transition – “You know I was thinking about how much God has done for me…it really is ‘Amazing Grace’ isn’t it?”
  9. Lifestyle (4 responses)
    >> When he’s obviously ungodly during practice and throughout life, but turns into a saint on Sunday morning.
    >> I hate to see a person who is suppose to be leading worship acting like a jerk before service and then getting up on stage acting like nothing ever happened.
    >> As a Pastor, I hate it when the music guy/gal is lazy apart from their 30 minute set on Sundays.
  10. Catering to the Congregation (4 responses)
    >> When they hold back because they are obviously conscious of what the congregation and/or pastor will think.
    >> I hate it when worship leaders/pastors play to people who think the worship somehow revolves around what they like and what makes them feel good when it has absolutely nothing to do with our preferences or likes.
    >> Has to risk being a cheerleader because the people that claim to love God exhibit no sense of joy when singing about Him.

Some of the pet peeves also have supporters. For instance, many people find it important to ask the congregation to raise their hands or shake hands with others. Ultimately, what matters most is that the worship leader is a Christlike example that can lead people’s focus into intimate worship with God. I like the quote that one commenter referenced:

Leading worship is the art of removing distractions.

For Discussion:
-
What tips do you have for creating an effective worship experience?

Kent Shaffer

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I live in an RV with my wife and 2 kids and work with OpenChurch.com to help Christians collaborate and build a global Church library of free, open content.

111 responses to Top 10 Pet Peeves About Worship Leaders

  1. wow! Great list…thanks for sharing.

    Totally eye opening about some things…

  2. I laughed so hard! This is awesome! Thank you!!! Thank you!!!!!

  3. great post, I am forwarding it on to my worship leader :)

  4. What an insightful list. I find it interesting that some items (such as the obligatory handshake-time) have supporters AND detractors. Perhaps these types of things only work with SOME styles/demographics, but not all? Same could go for demonstrative-extroverted leading style or the repeat-one-line style?

  5. This list is a great eye opener. It’s time for me to shut-up, focus on God, and let my life be the biggest part of my worship leading.

  6. You ought to have this in reverse and have 10 pet peeves about congregations (from the pastor or worship leaders perspective). You’d be surprised about the perspective from the platform.

    Actually, the congregation is just a reflection of what’s coming from the platform. ‘Nuff said ’bout that.

    btw-not all WL’s are like this. But people sure like to whine, especially about music. Usually when they do, it actually goes to something much deeper.

  7. The keeping the eyes open yet wanting the worship leader to worship rather than perform thing never made sense to me. If it is about worship, what difference does it make? I’ve heard church leaders say that many times before, but it seems to be a ctiticism coming from the theater rather than the throne room.

  8. I would agree with a whole lot of these. I can’t even count the number of times I have been in worship and thinking to myself “Are we really doing this?” Stand, sit, greet, cry out, do a back flip, eat a banana, is that prayer for real or is he stalling (most of the time the answer is yes..it seems he is stalling)

    However if you try to design a worship service without some of what annoys people you may as well just stay home and listen to a CD. You can’t please everyone…nor should you ever try.

    Still great food for thought.

  9. I think this list helps us with a number of things.
    The first is evident from some comments about how touchy we are as artists. We don’t like to hear what other people have to say about the ministry we are involved in, especially since they wouldn’t try to get on stage and do it.
    But we must honestly remember that being a worship leader means that we put aside our own desires in worship and work to provide an atmosphere and experience that is most helpful to our congregation. Worship leaders should be spending their days Mon-Sat in worship so that when Sunday comes around, we can use our talents and energies to help those who don’t have regular times of worship to enter into that experience with God.
    It’s helpful to know what our people think about us as ministers so that we can minister effectively to them. If your pastor got up on a Sunday morning in shorts and a tank top, would that bother the congregation? If so, he might have to rethink the way he dresses. So if filling the space between songs with sermonettes loses your congregation and detracts from their experience, wouldn’t you want to know so you can correct it and work on ministering more effectively?
    Thanks for the work, Kent. Great stuff to take to heart.

  10. Eph 4:29-32 look it up, it’s a good verse! Why is it that satan makes it so much easier to hate than love? Why does he have to come in to our church families and cause factions and dissentions? The main thing is that regardless of age, background or upbringing, we are all going to find something to get in the way of our worship! Now, whether we choose to allow it to get in the way of worshipping- the main thing we should be focused on (God)- is entirely up to You! Spend some time on your knees, in prayer, about this-it is important. If these things are really hardening your hearts to worship and getting in the way of your authentic worship, then there is really just one entity who needs to hear from you. “Even to the least of these, you do unto me…” There are two rules: Love God and Love people. If loving people means posting a list of things you don’t like about them, then there is something wrong with the church today.

  11. I agree in part with Emma on this, that having The Body list out a bitchfest is likely not an end-road to something constructive. I know, I know… it’s in the name of identifying that which is getting in the way of worship, or so is the stated intent.

    But I think there’s a big aspect of Truth to where Emma was going, and it’s something I – as a music leader within The Body – had to learn a few years ago.

    That is, when I worship God with The Body I ought not go expecting or monitoring what I’m getting out of it, or I how I “feel” about it. It is like giving someone a compliment in order to feel better about yourself. Doesn’t make sense.

    When we leave a worship experience questioning or noting what we didn’t get out of it, a voice should shout in your mind that you just experienced the worship of yourself. Not God.

    I tend to back up and look at a bigger question, though: Why is the same formula being used o-so-many years now? Why are we all still huddled together, facing forward, lights, camera, action, shine, polish, manufactured emotionalism, etc.? Why is this considered normal to followers of The Way? Why is much attention paid to the programming of services, the production value? It has nothing to do with Jesus.

  12. @Emma & Dan

    I am a big fan of Ephesians 4. However, when someone lists out a worship leader pet peeve, I think what matters is his heart attitude. Is he doing it out of hate and malice or out of constructive criticism and wanting the church’s effectiveness to improve? Only God and that person can truly know the heart attitude.

    Unfortunately, I believe that this is a necessary uncomfortable discussion. For many churches, worship has fallen into a rut. How they worship either revolves around tradition or what the big megachurches do, etc.

    In fact, I believe that #3, “Not Focusing on God,” is a very serious and common issue. Hopefully, discussing the downsides of how we try to lead worship will influence us in a way that ultimately leads us and church congregations to more intimate worship.

  13. This a nice list, and I believe that a lot of worship leaders would gain from reading this post. However, it’s in my opinion dangerous to assume that everything here is “right”.

    I think the most common of these is number 2; worship leaders talk way too much instead of focusing on worshiping – a big problem. It has spread to my country as well.
    But I do disagree with some stuff:

    4) Unprofessional
    >> Typos on the screen.
    – In the end, this is not the worship leader’s fault, at least not where I’m from.
    >> Goes out of order or adds another song in the middle of the set.
    – Where is the freedom to act in the presence of the Spirit? I’ve experienced worship times with strong influence of the Spirit to be valuable times for people to encounter with God. Don’t make things TOO scheduled.
    When changing the order or adding a song, it’s important that the leader knows his/her team well. It would be very bad if a leader started on a song that the team didn’t know by heart.

    6) Appearance
    >> Sing with their eyes closed.
    – In my opinion, it’s a balance. It’s important that the worship leader is engaged in worship thereby inspiring others to participate. Sometimes the easiest way to do that, is by closing your eyes.
    In the meantime, if eyes are closed all the time, some might feel left behind and find it difficult to participate because the leader is in his/her own “little world”.

    9) Lifestyle
    In general, the Church leadership should be aware of issues like these – not having a bad role-model being a leader.

    Finally, when we comment on things that we dislike or have a difficult time understanding or dealing with, we ought to think about our choice of words. Please look at these comments:
    —–
    >> I hate it when worship leaders script the worship too much by telling people what to do. I’ve had worship leaders completely distract me from God when they start telling me what to do.
    >> I hate it when the music guy/gal asks the crowd to praise God but soaks it up like they are Bono and the crowd is really praising them.
    >> I hate it when worship leaders don’t lead people.
    >> When he’s obviously ungodly during practice and throughout life, but turns into a saint on Sunday morning.
    >> I hate to see a person who is suppose to be leading worship acting like a jerk before service and then getting up on stage acting like nothing ever happened.
    >> As a Pastor, I hate it when the music guy/gal is lazy apart from their 30 minute set on Sundays.
    >> I hate it when worship leaders/pastors play to people who think the worship somehow revolves around what they like and what makes them feel good when it has absolutely nothing to do with our preferences or likes.
    —–
    This really spreads a negative attitude, and for most people it’s difficult to handle and they go into defense-mode.

    If you liked this post, please visit blog.claesholmgreen.com.

    -Claes Holmgreen

  14. Clarification: Kent, your comment is well-received and I agree with it. To clarify my last point, though (because I just re-read it and it seemed incomplete), I am trying to say: If we’re going to open Pandora’s Box on what pet peeves we have with the formula for worship as we know and practice it, why not take a few steps away from the discussion to look at the bigger picture? Why not look at how The Body has approached music and gatherings historically, and borrow/innovate from what they did? If we’re just commenting on the formula as-is, then it’s like Tyler Durdin said, “…polishing the brass on the Titanic.” Good conversation!

  15. @Dan

    I think the reason that we (the Church) rarely if ever take it a step further to look at the big picture is because of the amount of work required to facilitate such a discussion.

    I think technology and resources are evolving to where we are finally being able to successfully discuss big concepts across a broad scope of dogmatic backgrounds.

    In this case, Carlos Whittaker did the initial work to ask the question and collect the answers. And I analyzed those answers.

    Although it would be nice to see a bigger picture discussion, it would certainly take more work to facilitate. And I think a blog would not be the right medium either (too confining).

  16. I don’t know about all you all’s churches, but at my church, we have comment cards and we encourage the congregation to use them. I think people just like to complain, no matter how hard the worship team works to allow God to move the congregaton into worship. We’ve gotten comments anywhere from songs not being sung right to “you started the worship set too early” (by 5 min.). I agree, it’s the heart of the complaint. Is it a complaint that is self-serving or is it genuinely concerned for the church family?

  17. while i agree with some of these (ex: being professional, good singing, no hidden band jokes), most are geared toward the seeker sensitive movement (ex: don’t tell or encourage me, or make me do anything, just let me sit and don’t bother me) ugh! there have been many times in a service that i needed encouragment to lift my hands, or maybe hear a quick blurpt from the worship leader. because of the weeks troubles i really wasn’t feeling like i wanted to worship. thank the lord for them and not being afraid to ruffle a feather or two.

  18. @ Kent

    I hope you don’t take my comments as a dis on your work. This is good info, and being that I lead our house church in song, it was great to read.

    But I couldn’t disagree more about blogs not being a good place to have the bigger conversation. I think they are the conduit to the best possible conversation about these things, as evidenced by the growing house church networks popping up everywhere. Blogs have been a very important aspect for collaboration, venting, and ideation for followers of The Way to figure out how to put some modern-day flesh on Psalm 33:3.

  19. @Dan

    Not at all.

    I just want to be sure that people don’t take the opinions too seriously. Many of them are insightful, but they are just opinions.

    Take them for what they are worth. Although limited in its scope, it is an interesting topic.

  20. When the Psalmist said “shout joyfully”. Or “clap your hands” do you think it was a suggestion?

  21. This is really interesting! I teach church singers, and most of them are working really hard on singing well, getting their spiritual life in order, just doing the job and trying not to stuff up. They (mostly) take the responsibility really seriously (hence paying for lessons for lessons and improving their skills), and I know for a fact that some are given specific instructions which appear in the pet peeves, and are just doing their job as instructed by their leaders / senior pastors.

    Also, just an observation, worship leading is actually a pretty hard job for many singers. Often I have musos come for some lessons who are singing because they HAVE to and have no training in singing (as opposed to years of lessons and practice on their instruments). Singers often are putting up with not the greatest sound systems, guitars and drums which are very loud, sharing foldbacks (can you imagine many guitarists sharing a foldback on their different instruments?). There can be lots of technical issues to overcome, and it is not a perfect world! You could be working with a less than perfect music team who are not really backing you up, and have had a fight with your kids about getting out of bed and getting to church in the first place. I agree with a lot of the pet peeves, but I am grateful for every singer who is brave enough to get up there, stick a microphone under their noses and give it their best!

  22. WOW…..this is very intense and straight forward….I agree that every P&W Leader needs to read this list….

    Being a P&W Leader…it is a real struggle to find the (key word) BALANCE in all this….

    I have this thought….We (as a P&W leading Team) are simply a water hose….we connect to God on end…and connect to the People on the other….if we fail to do either…we fail at being effective to Lead People into the place of True Worship God desires them to get to….as Leaders it is our responsibility to well…LEAD…
    Most P&W leaders are simply a thermometer that simply reflect the attitude and energy level of their congregations….and the success of the service rests on the attitude of the people and not the leaders…do this and you will only have those…”WOW God really moved today” services when the people feel like having one…

    We are not a thermometer…but a Thermostat….As leaders we set the atmosphere…we set the energy level…we lead people to worship..when they are tired…when they have had a terrible week…we become that voice like David is Psalms….

    “Soul..you will bless the lord…”

    We won’t let them settle…but…we do it w/ love…grace…kindness….it is God’s kindness w/ which he leads us to repentance….

    1 tip I have found….is that when “encouraging” (not condemning) the congregation to be more active in worship…a simple rephrasing of words can make a significant change….for example instead of saying…

    “lift YOUR hands..” ….which is totally saying…YOU aren’t getting it done…YOU need to pick up the pace…

    instead try including yourself in the mix…
    “Come on church…LET’S lift OUR hands”

    so now you are not the mr./mrs. high and might commanding action…but you are apart them inspiring them to join you…

    small but I have found it to be a help to me….

  23. I have two significant problems with worship in many churches today:

    The entertainment aspect: worship should be focused on and wholly directed towards God. I think the Roman Catholic church has the right idea in placing the choir and organ at the rear of the church.

    The selection of music: Since the Reformation there has been far more Biblically sound music written than we can possibly use. I wish with all my heart that worship leaders would vet songs for doctrinal soundness and consistancy.

  24. i found this post very interesting…maybe there could be a study on the top 10 pet peeves pastors and worship leaders have of their congregations? maybe they already do…

    i would agree with a majority of these peeves!!! and i’m a worship leader. but there is one that i won’t worry about no matter how many people complain…that has to do with closing my eyes, #6…

    there are times when i am trying not to see what the female in the front row is/isn’t wearing…there are times when i am concentrating on the song and not messing it up…and the majority of the time i am closing my eyes to concentrate on the One i am singing to and about…how can i LEAD others if i’m not going there myself…

  25. I would generally agree that it is good to have both negative and positive feedback about worship leading. However, these complaints aren’t applicable, unless it’s your own church talking. Most of these sound like personal pet peeves. It’s kind of ironic that this kind of manner is encouraged, when God punished the Israelites in the desert for grumbling/complaining. Our society is very selfish right now, “Have it your way.” If you’re so focused on what the worship pastor is doing during the worship set, how can you possibly have genuine worship to God?

  26. @Emma

    Don’t throw the good out with the bad. Of course there will be some opinions you don’t agree with – it is based off of 185+ perspectives.

    I think they are all good things to be mindful of. You can’t please everyone as a worship leader, but it still helps to understand the diverse perspectives of others.

    Please don’t imply that the people who want their worship pastor to worship rather than perform (#3 Not Focusing on God) and be a godly example (#9 Lifestyle) are like the complaining Israelites.

    Just because some might complain with the wrong heart attitude does not mean that you should badmouth every opinion, including the Biblically sound ones.

  27. I’m sorry, you misinterpreted what I was saying. When I wrote “most”, I was mentioning all of the other complaints, with the exception of the two you mentioned (#’s 3 & 9). That’s 80%. It’s my opinion.
    Isaiah 29:13 (NIV)

    13 The Lord says:
    “These people come near to me with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
    Their worship of me
    is made up only of rules taught by men.

  28. @Emma

    Thanks for clarifying.

  29. I think ultimately you just have to hear and follow God. Every congregation is different, and you will never be able to “please everyone.” But then it’s not about pleasing the congregation. It’s about being a lead worshipper. I have to do what I feel God leading me to do, as a worship leader, and trust that as I worship and serve Him, the congregation will be drawn into worship as well.

  30. Well I never intended to read all of this, but I did and I find something amazingly went unmentioned, something of vital necessity in the house of God. I could preach a long sermon but I’ll be brief, what’s missing here and what should be number one on the to do list is a real CORPORATE PRAYER TIME with ALL of those who are participating in the Worship ministry prior to the start of a service! As a long time prayer minister I have found it extremely difficult to get the worship team members to spend any MEANINGFUL time praying together before a service. The few times that I have seen this successfully done, the resulting sweet presence of the Holy Spirit in the service was unmistakable and as another bonus to this (as if we needed anything else but His Presence) the often made criticisms toward the worship team were no where to be heard after the service! If you are really serious about being a worship leader or part of the worship ministry, and are really intent on doing so for the Glory of God why not put this to the test, prove me wrong! Get the whole worship team together an hour before service, not to practice but to truly PRAY TOGETHER and watch and see what happens with that being the foundation of your Worship time! If you are so brave as to try this expect some resistance and for it to be a bit uncomfortable at first, the insincere and uncommitted will not survive the prayer time, and that’s ok the church does not need folks like that in the worship team anyway, to put it bluntly. The Worship leader who dares to make CORPORATE PRAYER TIME into a mandatory Requirement for those wanting to serve in the worship ministry will be blessed with a whole lot less criticism and whole lot more Presence of God in their ministry. Remember “MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER”!

  31. I just wrote about this today, interesting.

  32. I just wrote about this today, interesting.

  33. I think this post is very nice.
    For an attendee: it would bring out a reaction like “yeah, they’re like that in my church” etc..

    For a minister/PnW leader: “Hey, this is helpful” or “Hey this is too much”

    Sometimes, it depends on who reads it. But I suggest that for PnW leader take it as a constructive criticism. I mean people won’t tell that in your face.

    and for some…maybe the reason why they say such things is because they’re hearts are not that ok with God. Worship is a lifestyle. It;’s true that the worship team distracts us sometimes but whatever happens to the worship team would mean nothing to you if your heart is in tuned with God.

    and besides, even if the worship team makes a technical mess, as long as they’re heart beats to worship God…I believe the congregation would really feel God’s presence..

    I’ve seen it many times. An annointed pnw leader can sing the most boring song and yet become a great blessing to the congregation.

    To top it all..it’s a very informative post

  34. Let me first say that I’m a worship leader and at most times I do not find it an easy role. It’s demanding both physically and spiritually. There is a lot more involved that what is since on the stage. When I see peeve lists like this they intrigue me. Sometimes I get peeved off reading, other times I take notes. Here’s my comments on this list.

    1) Our jobs as worship leaders to to encourage people to worship. Instructions to ‘raise hands down’ or ‘dance’ probably are out of order, but gentle prompts to worship is acceptable I think.

    2) There is a slight pressure on worship leaders to talk between songs instead of just sounding like a cd. I’m not confident at this part at all. I haven’t done any transition-sermons yet. I might mutter a prayer. Nothing more.

    3) This should probably be No.1 since it’s supposed to be all about God. Why are people not most annoyed about this area?

    4) Sometimes when we concentrate too much on the professional aspects we can loose the element of worship. I know for me sometimes I can concentrating really hard on getting the song right and it’s more of a stressful experience than a worshipful one.

    5) Sometimes even repeating a chorus can annoy some people. If you don’t like it now, eternity is really going to bug you.

    6) The whole eyes-closed-eyes-open thing again. A worship leader needs to interact with the congregation in order to encourage them to worship. BUT, the worship leader also should be able to worship. If we close our eyes for some stretches, it’s OK – isn’t it?

    7) Some of you are awful hard on worship leaders. Talking & Praying between songs is not easy at all. How can you say it is not authentic simply because the theme of the song is used as a prayer? They picked the darn song list in the first place. Songs & prayer go hand and hand in my book.

    8) Again, touching on transitions a little bit. In the old days it was perfectly fine to stop playing after a song before starting another one. These days you have to keep the ‘atmosphere’ (aka keyboard player) going. If God’s Spirit is there – you don’t need the keyboard necessarily.

    9) This should be up there at No.1. If you know your worship leader isn’t living like he should consistently (we all slip up from time to time), then you ought to do something about it. Your worship leader should attempt to live a lifestyle that honors God 24×7. A worship leader post is not just a job.

    10) A worship leader needs to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. We must be willing to go where God leads during a service. Yes, we’ll make mistakes from time to time – but following God closely involves some risk.

  35. I appreciate Carlos opening “Pandora’s Box” like this, but I also have to say – as a worship leader – that some of these peeves contradict each other, or are nearly impossible to placate.

    For instance, no worship band at any church is going to have even one Sunday where nobody exhibits one of these “peeves” to the congregation. God’s gifted my guitarist… does that mean he shouldn’t take a guitar solo, as to pull attention to himself? He’s also young, and likes the fit of skinny jeans more than baggy fit. Who can really be the judge of his heart? Is it really okay for the congregation to make a judgement call based on a pair of jeans?

    My question is on a different level: what is worship? Why do we ALWAYS DO IT THROUGH MUSIC AT OUR CHURCHES? Do we even need music at all? In Jewish history, the highest form of worship was thought to be STUDY.

    Here’s another question: in worship music, who’s leading who? I like the thought, “Leading worship is the art of removing distractions.” I think that’s dead on – in the sense of leading worship through performing arts. But…

    Does anyone think we’re only adding more potential for “distraction” when we overcomplicate the worship atmosphere? Are we overcomplicating it with our screens and our huge sound systems and our huge lighting rigs with our huge bands and vocal groups? I’ll be honest… these things are great for special events and concerts, but I believe the stakes become too high when we make our services into weekly novelties. We as worship leaders can really see this taking a toll on our volunteers/staff.

    One can only stop to wonder, “is it worth it?”

  36. wow… I’ve been a P+W leader for nearly half of my life. And, I’m barely 20 years old. A lot of these were very touchy for me, but very very eye-opening. rest assured, I forwarded this on to my team and my friends who lead worship in various churches around the country.

    I know that it is impossible to lead a worship service without “breaking” any of these “rules/guidelines”, but, it helps a lot to know these things in order to best lead your congregation into worship. As terrible as it is, we, as worship leaders, need to really almost take our congregation step-by-step into that place of worship. In order to do that, we need to convince them that we’re in it for them, that we’re trustable, that they like us.

    As a young person leading a congregation of 350+, with ages ranging from from 1 to 87, I’ve had my share of complaints. It sounds awful, but if I wear a more conservative outfit on stage (skirt/dress, nice blouse, what-not) I could “get away” with singing more youthful, contemporary songs without getting complaints from the seniors. And if I wore (nice, clean, no-holes/rips, properly and modestly fitting) jeans, I could sing some older songs, or even hymns (in their traditional form) without losing the younger crowd.

    It’s kind of discouraging to think that our congregations use us worship leaders as such a crutch, but it is something we definitely have to consider.

    Thank you so much for posting this!

  37. It’s amazing how many different ways we can find out truly how many different types of opinions there are in the church today. No matter what, there will be absolute differences in each and every one of us.

    The important part is that those who are leading worship are actually called to do so and have examined their heart enough to know they deserve to be the one responsible for bringing worship to the father when we come together. It is a very demanding position, not by man but by God! Worship or I should say Worth-ship is the very reason for existence (not just limited to song obviously but as a congregation it is the most evident), and to be the one responsible is not an easy feat, especially if you take it seriously. The Lord, God, Almighty is the one we do this for, the side of attracting people is a by-product of how much we put into it and the technical side (including, sound, style, genre). Take a look at the Levites and what was expected of them, and know we got it made in our day!

    I do have to say as a worship leader and over the years hearing pretty much every one of these things if not directed towards myself, another worship leader in our ministry or our team in general, plenty of times in just conversation and many of them are absolutely valid. The best solution I have come to is, do what God has called YOU to do, examine YOUR heart, and put forth 100% and at least you’ll minimize the pet peeves……..and most of all you’ll more importantly “please Him” and we know if we do that, he’ll be sure to raise us up as his word says and possibly even change the hearts around us!

  38. OH man! I’m more interested with the comment section! Diversity is really confusing,yet i learned many things. i’m a new worship leader at our church, and i still have no mentor but the Holy spirit. thank you brothers and sisters for your comments. I know you guys are led by the Spirit. I’ve learned that it’s really hard to balance spirituality and worldliness. As it is said in the word: Test every spirit, and you will know them by their fruits. God bless you all!

  39. Interesting list. I became so tired of fulfilling everyone’s complaints and desires, I had to walk away from the job for now. Don’t get me wrong…I think constructive criticism is good, but timing is importantant and it has to come from the right people. If you think God has called you to go tell your worship leader that he’s a dufus, you’re wrong.

    Senior leadership is very important for a worship leader, without it you are on the path to doom. It’s just a matter of time. Pick a true leader and lead as well and woship to the only one that matters.

    The list proved that you can never please everyone and your goals must be to TRY and reach those who have yet to find a relationship with JESUS.

    Stay true to JESUS and love people whether you are just being a neighbor, worship leader or whatever. That’s who JESUS was and is.

    Anybody got a job I can check into? I need to feed my family.

  40. I feel that it is okay to list those things that can and at times are distracting to “true worship”. As lead worshipers it is important to keep an open mind of these issues. However, to create a list of pet peeves is ultimatly judging the leader of worship whose heart is usually sincere. The only pet peeve that should be at the top of the list is what the Bible says that we as worship leaders or any other leader in the church should gage our character by. If we are abiding in Christ, He will pour out His Spirit among His people. The Bible teaches evidence of being a christian (or those who truly abide in Christ) will love his/her brother and sisters. Evidence of this love is how he/she treats his/her brother or sisters in Christ. Too many times I have been distracted from worship because before/during rehearsals of worship teams the leader is an example of one not abiding in the presence of Christ and is evidenced by the way her or she treats the other members of the team. Not having his or her own time alone with God in order to grow and increase in prayer. The behind closed doors whorship is evidenced in the way the leader treats others. When a worship leader “walks” with God he or she can do nothing else but yeild to the Spirit of Christ, as God does His work in and through the leader….Changing the lives of some in the congregation…enlightening others of forgotten sins…encouraging and giving hope to others who have lost loved ones…..reminding others of Christ’s everlasting love…giving hope to face the week to those who are in unbearable circumstances of life and relationships. We need to stop focusing our attention on “Pet Peeves” and focus our attention on Christ Himself. When “Worship” becomes our focus rather than Christ, we have become worshipers of worship rather than worshipers of Christ.

  41. These pet peeves are like the following:
    I love to eat apples, but I really hate the skin, but i absolutely hate it when someone peels the skin cause then I got to deal with the seeds.

  42. I think that it’s good too wake up to things that may be distracting a congregation from worship. Any leader who takes the stage needs to constantly be aware of what they’re doing and why they’re doing it and also reflect on it’s impact after the fact.

    However, we must remember that worship leaders are all far from perfect. Sometimes things happen that are far more annoying to a worship leader than to a congregation (sound problems, band mess ups, forgotten words, etc.) that require an “on the fly” response. Our worship leaders should be striving for excellence and be open to criticism when it is appropriately given. But people shouldn’t be walking into a service trying to find every little thing that they find annoying. Why are they even there in the first place?

    I am actually a worship leader myself, but I can remember times when i’d be sitting on the other side of the stage wanting to roll my eyes in response to another WL or thinking “I can’t believe they did that…” Upon examining my heart, I realized that I was not being critical for the benefit of the leader or anyone else, but rather to satisfy an innate desire in my heart for me to be right and someone else to be wrong. That, my friends, is just wrong.

    Worship leaders have a huge responsibility and thus need to be evaluating their effectiveness regularly as well as looking for helpful criticism. You can usually tell a genuine worshipper from a fake pretty easily. But I ask you, from worship leader, cut yours some slack every once and a while. If they’re anything like me, they beat themselves up on a daily basis for evey little screw up that happened during the service. We notice when things aren’t going right the moment they happen and then we’re anticipating the next criticism.

    Ask your worship leader how he or she is doing. Tell them to their face when you think that something was effective in leading you to the throne. When you have a problem with something they do, ask them about it. Maybe there’s a reason that you haven’t thought of. Perhaps you can even offer an idea of your own. But please, don’t grumble about your leaders behind their backs. No one wins when that is going on.

    Matthew 18:15-19, 1 Tim. 5:19

  43. Oh… one more thing…

    pray for the worship of your church that it would be out of an overflow of a life given to God fully

    and

    pray for your worship leader’s role in that process

    and

    pray for your own role in that process

  44. You forgot telling the soundman what to do from the stage. I was in a service and the worship leader stopped the song because he needed more drums in his ear. The sound guy was so humiliated.

  45. i found this one somewhat amusing…

    >> I hate it when worship leaders/pastors play to people who think the worship somehow revolves around what they like and what makes them feel good when it has absolutely nothing to do with our preferences or likes.

    Kind of a paradox, isn’t it?

    IMO, if the worship leader isn’t making someone upset, the worship leader is pleasing the congregation as opposed to having an audience of ONE.

  46. GREAT to hear someone else really looking into what worship is, and how to lead it. I’ve been impressing these things on my students for a long while, and I’m super-glad to have someone else back me up.

    This post will be shared with my worship teams…trust me.

  47. I think one of the most important things a worship leader can have is transparency. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable but don’t try to force anything either. Sometimes it’s ok to just sing. Remind your congregation that our purpose is to Praise our savior, and if you have forgotten what that means then take time before the service to get alone with God.

    When I was leading worship in college, the thing I always asked God was for him to use me. and that If i couldn’t give him the glory, then to push me out of the way.

  48. The fact that so much time was spent on investigating pet peeves about worship leaders is distrubing. Just so distrubing. Then to solicit more pet peeves from readers at the end of the list. What is that all about? How does that possibly work to lift up our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? It doesn’t. All it does is contribute to the pressure and strife experienced by many worship leaders who are forced to face complaints from discontentend church-goers. Where is the Body headed when such complaints are not only solicited but also applauded, that’s what I’d like to know?

  49. wow, what a funny, yet heart stabbing read! some of those things were hilarious, and some were so true they hurt. it’s always good to hear what people are thinking though, and it’s never bad to laugh at yourself. i think WL can learn from this, and have a good laugh too.

    my favorite: wears crotch huggin jeans. haha! i’ll never have that problem. my and the boys don’t do well with plum smugglers…

  50. For anyone to take notice of a pet peeve is kind of weird to me. If we were al really worshiping God I don’t think we would notice the “crotch hugging jeans”. There was a quote
    in Chris Tomlin’s book, The Way I Was Made that said something like, I wish people would just come to church to worship God and shut up about everything else!!
    That was an eye opener to me!

  51. Wow bro. What a disgusting blog. I really feel sick to my stomach right now.

  52. @Jarret

    I am sorry my blog disgusts you and make your stomach sick, but I am glad that you like me well enough to call me your “bro.”

  53. A bit of a double standard in this post…you don’t want the worship leader to perform, yet some of your pet peeves requires performance to appease…for example…they can’t keep their eyes closed? Uhhh…when I worship God…i dont bother looking around at people…on stage or off.

  54. What makes things like The Simpsons so funny is that so much of it is true. Same for this post. I’ve been a worship leader for 10 years, and have been to lots of conferences frequented by the worship leader crowd, and there are so many stereotypes that we can bring up about them that are so true.

    However, a little criticism if I may. (And please forgive me if someone else already made these comments. There are too many for me to read right now!)

    First, there are a few contradictions in this list. For instance, you don’t want worship leaders telling you what to do, or to say things like “Let me hear ya!” but you don’t like it when they don’t lead. Maybe some clarification here would be good. Another: You want worship leaders to show emotion, but you don’t want them closing their eyes. I sometimes close my eyes because I’m feeling emotion – or other times I close them so that I can focus on God and not be distracted by something else in the room.

    Second, regarding uncomfortable silence: Silence is sometimes okay. The fact that it is uncomfortable for us is telling. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not excused from this either, because I often feel the pressure to keep something going so that we can avoid awkward silence. But in a perfect world (i.e. not this one) people would be focused on God and not “okay, done with that song. What’s next? What’s happening now? What’s going on!? Nothing’s happening! What am I supposed to do!?!? Help!!!” That was Matt Redman’s point when he wrote “Heart of Worship.” That song was written after he and the leadership at his church realized that music had become how they defined worship, that the church had become dependent on music, and that they needed to learn how to worship without music. If worship is taught properly and perceived properly by the worshiper, then it would continue to flow from his or her heart even during silences between songs.

    But again, you’re right on so many points. There is a “worship leader” culture within the Church, and it needs to go away. There’s too much formula, too much focus on the tools, too much distraction, not enough living sacrifice (Romans 12).

  55. I feel like this list is a way of people deflecting the blame they do not want to accept. Yes, a worship leader is in a position of influence and is doing the Lord’s work, but he/she is still a person. There are no perfect people. Being easily distracted can easily be linked back to a lack of focus in most cases. These people would like to feel better about their flaws by bludgeoning their leader. Matthew 7:3 I believe? Instead of criticizing other people on what they can improve on, why not analyze ourselves and how we can better do the Lord’s work? If Christians as a whole were to do that, don’t you think these smaller problems would take care of themselves? Achieve for oneness with the Lord before you begin fixing other people, please. SDG.

  56. I must say I found some of these very funny.
    While excellence is so important, let us remember that the Lord does not require perfection to pour out his spirit, he asks for a pure heart.
    Regarding the peeve about worship leaders asking people to lift their hands and sing. The Psalms tell us to ‘shout joyfully unto the Lord’, the hebrew talks about clapping, lifting our hands, kneeling and rejoicing, this is a command fom our heavenly Father as an act of worsip to him. It is not a suggestion or passing comment. No matter what we feel, we bring a sacrifice of worship, it is called a sacrifice for a reason. Many times members of the congregation are focused in on themselves and worship leaders are called to exhort them to worship, to remember no matter what the circumstance our kind never changes.

  57. Dude, get over yourself. There were so many inconsistencies in that list, you want things you don’t like i.e. “don’t tell us what to do but be sure to lead” and you’ve ironically pressured worship leaders to be perfect and to be the very thing you are peeved about. I think the problem is your own pride. You don’t like to be lead or made to feel guilty for your lack of response. Yet, the real issue you are, unconsciously, addressing is not the problem of the worship leader but the church cultures in which these poor guys are asked to enter. Bad theology on top of bad theology. The problem is that praise music has become a sacrament, has literally become ‘worship’ when it is not defined as such in Scripture. Worship is not about you and God, “your focus on God” that the well-intentioned worship leaders are distracting you from. Worship is about those around you; to your let and to your right, we sing spiritual songs for the edification of the body not to give you personal time with God; it is a corporate event. Get over yourself.

  58. Please read the article more carefully before you get upset thinking these contradicting list items came from one person.

    Carlos Whittaker of Buckhead Church (Atlanta, GA) blogged the dangerous question:

    What is the biggest gripe you have about something a Sunday worship leader does?

    The 185+ responses were fascinating, insightful, and offensive to some. To cut through the clutter of all of the opinions, I made a very rough tally of all the pet peeves to determine the top 10 pet peeves about worship leaders. Keep in mind these are subjective opinions from over 100 people.

    If you would read, you could save yourself from getting as offended.

  59. Very interesting….now where is the list of things a PnW leader does that really helps engage the congregation. You know the ‘every time the PnW leader does that I really feel God’. That is the I want to see!

  60. As a long time worship pastor, I’d say that people long for just that – a worship PASTOR, not a hired musician to sing songs about Jesus. These comments – or at least a number of them – seem to shout out for someone to lead authentically and with their life, and to do so to the best of their ability. Worship is a key component of spiritual formation yet most churches do not teach – or hire – with that end in mind. So many times we get what we ask for, but we have asked for the wrong thing.

    On the other hand, I’d say that I see many of these comments also reflecting a disturbing trend in attitudes within the church. I am concerned because many of these comments show that we are SO self-absorbed in our attitude about worship. It is NOT all about us, and since we worship God as a BODY, it’s not going to always hit our sweet spot. But it might minister to someone else, or it might be what God has instructed the leader to do. So we must remember that a submissive (not just to leadership but to one another) and understanding heart are two important ingredients we bring to the worship experience ourselves. If our goal and desire in worship is to encounter God, then that encounter should so change and transform us that we live that out.

    Both “sides”, so to speak, could learn from the discussion.

  61. I am not going to lie! I read this blog when it was first posted and it didn’t sit with me well at all! I come back to it so say that I am frustrated with it. This ability to complain about worship leaders (who are trying there best to lead people into the presence of God) breeds a form of consumerism and it is disgusting!!! IF you was a perfect worship performance, go to a U2 concert and think about Jesus. In the mean time, quit badgering worship leaders who are doing there best and see that they all struggle with everyone trying to push there opinion and it makes it into a game of pleasing people and not seeking God. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!

  62. This is a very good list. As a worship leader myself, the only thing i see here that i disagree with is closing your eyes.

    while it is important to lead, it’s best to lead by example. You can not lead someone where you’re not willing to go yourself. Personalty, when I’m worshiping God, my eye’s tend to close, everything else around me tends to melt away. It’s nothing i do on purpose, it’s just when you’re Immersed in what your doing because it’s meaningful to you, you don’t tend to pay attention to some other things.

    The only reason i could really think of to keep one’s eyes open while leading worship as a rule, is to be showy and to turn it into make eye contact with everyone… not good. where as, making eye contact isn’t bad, being showy is…

    Apart from that, I’m sad to say that almost all of the things on this list remind me of worship leaders i have met. I hate going somewhere and feeling like the worship of God has turned into some kind of disney sing-a-long. You know something’s gone wrong when a male worship leader is wearing makeup or, worse, eye liner.

  63. seriously, poeple arent perfect! dont be so judgemental of the ones who God sends to do his work…
    God hates this type of stuff!!!!!!!

  64. I, personally, really find responses, like this list, very edifing to the church body. In most cases, the two biggest entities of a church service is the worship and message. As we give our leaders feedback, we are allowing the church to become more easily in the spirit, thus retaining more of the sermon/ message.

  65. Wow!!! What a Pharasitcal attitude!!! Who are we to condemn the man Godhas called!!! When David could have killed the king and was advised to do so b/c the king tried to kill him on multiple occations david basically said “NO!!! This is God’s MAN!!! If he does stuff that offends of hurts me, i will press on b/c who am I to destroy God’s man!?!” Who are you to destroy Gods man!! Since when is worshipping God about pleasing people!?! Why don’t people stop having these attitudes of having everything done there way and stop persecuting iveryoneone who does not share that!!! This same attitude hung Jesus our Lord on the cross b/c the Pharisees and Saducees wanted things there way…not God’s way!!! Don’t talk or try to condemn the man has called. WORSHIP IS NOT ABOUT YOU!!!! WORSHIP IS ABOUT GOD!!! PPL THINK CHURCH IS ALL ABOUT THEM AND I GOT NEWS FOR YOU…ITS NOT STOP BEING SO PRIDEFUL AND WORSHIP GOD!!! GOD HATES PRIDE!!! If your annoyed at your worship leader you CLEARLY are not worshipping God! You are worshippiing yourselves (which is a sin)!!! Chirstianity is about being humble so God can use you!! As a worship leader i know this is the hardest thing to go through. You sit up there and give your all to GOD and you praise his name and than you come to the end of the song and you see a congregation with folded arms staring at you b/c something you did annoyed them!! Clearly they arent getting the point of worship!
    David danced when God gave him victory!!! I bet a person just like you was sitting there going “I cant believe he would have the audacity to dance in church!!!” But look at the life david led. If you have a problem with the way yours worship leader leads than you need to get your heart right with god and i pray that you do and that the churches around the world will get rid of this attitude.

  66. Hey folks,
    An eye-opening conversation to be sure – not simply because it offers an interesting look into the perceptions of certain (and representative, I’m sure) congregation members, but because of the theological presuppositions it teases out.

    As we continue, here’s an observation: we tend to treat ‘worship’ and ‘the message’ as two separate things. I think it’s important to recognize that the message IS worship, the announcements ARE worship, communion IS worship, etc.

    As we continue hashing this out let’s keep that in mind.

  67. I definitely think the information in this article could be a huge help for worship leaders in minimizing the distractions so the Bride and Groom can romance together. But I think this has gone past constructive criticism and on to unintentional cheap shots and complaining.

  68. This discussion question was posted…”What tips do you have for creating an effective worship experience?” and I want to make the point that as soon as I start noticing that I am creating and effective worship experience, I hope God kicks my butt. This blog post is from a corrupt and poor theological view of worship and we need to repent and turn away from this. It is all over American churches. We need to rely on God for the spiritual work and trust that he is going to rock peoples worlds in worship and not ourselves.

  69. i really think people should get over some of these things like worshiping/singing with their eyes closed….i’m a worship leader and i do that all the time because me being up on that alter is not just for everybody else…its for me too and if i need to close my eyes and speak with god or sing to god im going to do so!

  70. This is retarded. . . Basically we can’t do anything. . . Lets just put a CD in, or cut worship out completely.
    Lets start a new list. “Top Ten Pet Peeves About Congregation Members,” oh wait, that wouldn’t get us anywhere. . . because its not edifying. . .and neither is this article. Who posts this stuff?

  71. One of the worst things worship leaders do is repeat the same song every sunday or repeat the same chorus over and over again wit no variation whatsoever.

  72. Jacob Mackriell August 21, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    I read about 3 of them and i just gave up. I don’t agree with most of what you’ve written. Mini sermons for example are important because part of a worship leaders role is to be a pastor not just a singer. another example is where you write about them closing their eyes is a bad thing. I don’t agree with that one bit because i think if thats how they are comfotable worshipping then thats what they should do, they can’t give up their time of worship to god in order to meet the needs of the congregations dislike of seeing a guy with his eyes shut on stage.
    as for things like Typos, thats not the worship leaders responsability. Tbh i think this is written by a worship leader that didnt get his own way. either that or a drummer. I dnt think you did include 100 people i think this is just your thoughts on the matter.

  73. @Jacob Mackriell

    Believe it or not, the list is a compilation of the opinions left in the comments on Carlos’ blog. He now has over 230 comments.

    I find the results quite interesting. You definitely can’t please everyone, but it is some food for thought.

  74. Hmmmm…as a Worship leader/Director of music I would LOVE to see a top ten list of what bothers the
    Worship Leaders most about the congregations and church staff that are served by their ministry.
    I am soooo glad we are a merciful and forgiving people. The tongue is truly a blazing fire. The Bible has much to say about Criticism and Complaining…oh well, whats another 40 years in the desert as a church?
    The majority of Worship leaders today are not on payroll (correct me if I am wrong there), but serve
    out of a calling/desire to serve in that capacity.
    One thing I have learned in my 13+ years of doing WORSHIP in the church is that no matter how much prayerful consideration, inspiration and Anointing from the Holy Spirit, no matter how much work and preparation, the people in the church will always find SOMETHING wrong with the musical portions of the services. You can NEVER please every single person, nor should we try.
    Worship is to God and God Alone If you are not “pleased” by the worship, you need to EXAMINE yourself. Ask yourself… what is the reason we go to Church? To Worship the Almighty God who is worthy of all Glory, Honor and Praise?
    Or is it something else? Because anything else, any other reason to attend Church would be about yourself and your “needs”. That would be self worship, idolatry. Does your church Worship God alone? If not then please find a church that DOES! If you are groaning instead of growing there is a problem.
    We do benefit from attending a Church. For example there is fellowship, growing, learning, sharing, loving etc. but those are the Results of Worshiping God and not the reason we go to church.
    We are responsible for every idle word, so try encouraging your worship leaders, tell them positive things about what you APPRECIATED about the service.
    I am willing to bet the persecuted churches sure dont have this problem. Wake up church!!! Strengthen the things that remain. But let me stop here, lest I be labeled “preachy”.
    Two quick questions to the editors of this website…”What were you thinking?” and “How’s it working for Ya?”
    AjB

  75. i was about to write, then read Andrew’s comments above. He’s right on…. alot of these comments show selfishness based on opinion or preference. church can become a judge-fest quickly between people off-stage and people on-stage. most of these comments were obviously given by people who aren’t leading worship and they have things that bug THEM. every has a perfect idea of how “THEIR WORSHIP” should be or else it’s ruined. We leave saying “wow, worship was GREAT today” or “worship wasn’t very good today” …..when shouldn’t God be the one saying whether or not worship was “good or bad”? i believe both parties need to just check themselves personally and daily before God, as He’s the judge of our hearts and will see exactly where we’re at.

  76. Okay,

    I will be honest here. I was randomly searching for worship leading info and i stumbled to this page. I did not read the whole thing, but what i did read broke my heart.

    I am a worship leader. Being a worship leader is pretty much like being in the front line of the battle (the spiritual battle that we face day to day). Just like when God sent the worshippers to go before the army to walk around the wall of Jericho (joshua 6). It is not an easy job that God has given to us. Instead of your criticism, can you pray for us?

    I know that every possible job that God assigns each person, is a hard task at times. All of us need prayer. All of us need support. Whether that be the greeters who greet people at the front door, or the ushers who help people find seats as they walk into the building, or the nursery volunteers who watch the precious children, or the cleaning staff who clean the toilets and make sure there are enough tissues and pencils in each chair/pew. Every job is important, and no job is better than another…and each is needed for the body of Christ/the church to function the way God intended.

    When people are on here complaining about their peeves and casting judgement (when quite frankly, it isn’t any of our places to do any of this–it is God’s. That is his right, not ours. Who are we to cast the first stone?) instead of praying for their leaders, it brings death to the body of Christ not life.

    Satan wants to destroy our relationships with eachother and especially the beautiful relationship that we have with our Creator. Let us not act on our sinful nature. Let’s stand together and lift eachother up in prayer, let’s be the church that God has called us to be. Don’t judge others or you will be judged. This isn’t me speaking, it’s in God’s word, look it up. I’m not here to cast judgement myself, but it is my job and your job to point out when someone is going in the wrong direction, and this is out of love.

    So read my words with an accepting heart and a forgiving one. I love you all, and i’m praying for each and every one of you. Stay strong in Christ and know that He love you!

    In Him,
    Trisha

  77. He must increase whilst we must decrease John 3:30 …good motto

  78. That list was awful man. Maybe you should publish a list of what you actually enjoy about praise
    and worship leaders. Some of the things you don’t like are absolutely a matter of opinion and very
    few people notice or even care about such things. I think you’ll find if you just come to worship
    and really wanting God to move in your heart and you shake off things that bother you, you’ll have
    a much better worship experience. It’s really about you and God, not you and the worship leader.

    You should understand that not everyone has your superior relationship to God where they
    know how to follow all of His prompts in worship. They might actually like and need a worship
    leader to help them with some things. A worship leader isn’t up there to make you happy and
    do things you think are not annoying.

  79. Realizing this isn’t your created list, but regardless you shouldn’t repost unedifying information.

  80. My thought is Focus should be on God. Stop focusing on all the stuff that would take you away from Worshiping Him. I recently visited a church that played songs I didn’t know nor was there a screen to learn the words. I chose to still Worship God . It’s not about people it’s about God. People need to get over themselves and stop pointing the finger at others because they are consumed with everything around them instead of worshiping Him.

  81. Well said Daniel

  82. Some of the things mentioned may be peeves, but there are a lot of comments that are serious and valid observations. Worship is important, and worship leaders that draw attention to themselves by whatever means actually block the congregation from intimate worship. Over my lifetime I have been in many different worship services, and most of the worship leaders’ hearts were set on bringing the congregation into the presence of God. I was especially impressed with a church in Columbus Ohio that had a young congregation. Most of the music was modern and upbeat, but they always included at least one or two old hymns to reach their senior members.

  83. the way I look at it is I’m a WORSHIPER FIRST!! I Love to Worship! One of the best things that someone told me after I was leading Worship, was they said: Mark, I love when you lead Worship because you let us Worship. …as it should be (the way I see it. No formulas here!)! That blessed my socks off!!

    One of the things I tell people when I hear them talk about how they are distracted, or they didn’t like this or that during Worship…(whether it’s a song, the worship leader, or someone else) I simply tell them Don’t let anything distract you! And then I give them I Corinthians 14:15 as a tool to stay ‘Entered in.,’ When Paul says that I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with understanding. I will SING with the spirit and I will sing with understanding.

    If you feel like you are getting distracted start singing or praying in tongues… it keeps you focused and STAYED ON HIM…The One Who deserves it!!

    (p.s. if you’re not Baptized in the Holy Ghost…. you should be!!
    It’s incredible, and will AMPLIFY the things of God in your life!! –if exercised, of course!!)

  84. Some of it’s good – particularly about the way we lead our lives outside of that 30-minute set – but when it comes down to it, 95% of that list is purely subjective. For the people who don’t like it when a worship leader does something, there is a percentage of people that *do* like it when the worship leader does it.

    We do need to be conscious of what people want, but only to a certain degree. It is funny to me that one of the last bullet points was almost negating all the previous complaints: “>> When they hold back because they are obviously conscious of what the congregation and/or pastor will think.”

    So we should be conscious — but not too conscious, into worship — but not too into it [I am totally guilty of closing my eyes (under #6-Appearance) but hey, this is my time to worship,too!], loud — but not too loud, have a transition — but not a certain type of transition, etc., etc.

    Sounds like a laundry list fit for Goldilocks! :)

    In seriousness, I think the list is a good reminder that as worship leaders or members of the team, people are watching us and that we do have a responsibility to them and to God. Our responsibility is to lead them into worship with God and not make it about us, and to do the best we are able . But as a worshipper of God – whichever side of the stage you’re on – it’s *your* responsibility to praise God and worship to the best of your ability. It should never be dependent on the songs or who is leading. (Can’t say how many times I’ve heard – and, confession time: said myself – “I just don’t like XYZ song and I can’t get into worship.”) It’s not about us and God is worthy of worship. Period. With or without the right songs / instruments /people / atmosphere / personal circumstances or anything else. He’s just worthy, and that’s all.

    Ok, so I guess I’m a little more passionate about this than I originally thought. :)

    Anyway, be blessed, do your best, and put the LORD first.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. the art of worship leading… | www.chrisdenham.co.uk - August 12, 2008

    [...] a good job. So I found the latest blog at churchrelevance.com really interesting as it lists the Top 10 Peeves about Worship Leaders as compiled by an American pastor. Looking through it was quite surprising to see what was in there [...]

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  15. New Series Coming: "Why Do Worship Leaders ____" | Sojourn Music - October 17, 2008

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  16. “Why Do Worship Leaders Do That” Series, #1: Why Do They Ask People To Do Things | Sojourn Music - October 24, 2008

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  19. "Why Do Worship Leaders Do That?" p. 9: Why Can't They Walk The Talk In Their Personal Lives | Sojourn Music - January 2, 2009

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  20. "Why Do Worship Leaders Do That?" 10: Why Do They Cater To The Congregation's Tastes? | Sojourn Music - January 13, 2009

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