Some of the musicians on our worship team have expressed a desire to face away from the congregation and toward the front wall when we are leading worship. They feel that since we are really “ministering to God” that this would be appropriate. Also, they don’t want to get caught up in a feeling of pride from being “up front.” What should I do?
First, leading worship is not strictly God-oriented. The very name “worship leader” implies that someone is being led. It’s not God that we’re leading. It’s the people. An effective worship leader is not just a good singer or instrumentalist, but, more importantly, is an example of a worshiper.
In 2 Samuel 6, the Ark of the Covenant was being brought back to Israel. King David could have waited until it arrived or simply thanked God within the confines of his home. But instead he joined the procession and he danced before the Lord “with all his might.” Not only was David worshiping God but he was, as a leader, being an example of how to worship God.
King Solomon also understood this principle. At the dedication of the temple as recorded in 2 Chronicles, Solomon had a large platform erected. 2 Chronicles 6:13 says that he “knelt on his knees in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven.” Solomon wasn’t trying to impress anyone—he wanted the people to know that the leadership that was over them was sold out to the Lord.
Good leaders are willing to be examples. For those in worship ministry, this should be an integral part of our role.
Having said all this, falling into pride is a legitimate concern. With the team concept that you are using, watching out for one another is helpful. Talk regularly about what you are doing and why you are doing it. This not only helps alleviate temptations to become prideful but also builds strong relationships.
Teach these concepts to your worship team (or have your pastor do it). These ideas will help build within them a strong foundation for being examples in worship.