I have trouble worshiping when I am not leading. Why is this and how do I overcome it?
Some years ago I heard a worship leader speaking at a conference. He asked a question at the beginning of his teaching session: “What would you do or what would your reaction be if your pastor came to you and said, ‘From now on we are not going to have praise and worship as we have known it. We are going to sing only two or three hymns accompanied by just the piano’?”
My mind raced to formulate an answer to his question, but before I could adequately pull my thoughts together he said, “That happened at our church…and it was the right thing to do.” He went on to explain that the musicians had begun to see worship as emanating from their musical abilities, from their instruments. When they were asked to sit with the rest of the congregation during worship, they didn’t know what to do. They didn’t know how to worship without their instruments.
It is easy for us to get caught up in the musical aspects of praise and worship but God is far more interested in our hearts.
I would highly recommend that you daily spend time worshiping God privately. Speak and sing your praises to the Lord with no musical accompaniment. Don’t worry about emotions or feelings. Make it a sacrifice of praise if you need to. Just do it.
Along with this, go to meetings where you are not leading. Express your gratitude, praise, thanksgiving, worship and adoration to the Lord, without the trappings of being up front.
In all of these be sure to focus less on the leading/performance aspect and more on worshiping the Lord. Yes, He wants our praises to be beautiful (technically correct) but more than this, God wants our hearts.
The important point in all of this is that what we do in leading others in worship should not be an end in and of itself. It should flow out of a life that is filled with worship to God. Apart from this, our leading has little or no value.