I have been asked to be a worship leader at our church. However, when I see the congregation, I feel so unworthy to lead them. I know my own failures and the people in my church aren’t like me. Do we ever get past that?
If you ever do feel worthy, on your own merit, to lead them, you’ll be wrong. The moment you think you’re good enough, you definitely are not. Honestly, I would take someone who feels unworthy to lead over someone who is arrogant and haughty any day.
Beyond this, the rest of the people in your church are not perfect. We all seem to have the perception that others are much better folks than we are. That’s only because we live with ourselves 24/7. We don’t know those other people nearly as well as we know ourselves. Actually, that’s probably a good thing. If we really knew them, we would most likely develop a judgmental attitude toward them.
The way I handle this dilemma is to remind myself that I’ll never be good enough on my own merit to lead worship. However, Jesus already gave His life to make me worthy in God’s sight. Right now, I (and you) am righteous and holy before the Lord. Not because of anything I have done, but simply because of what Christ has done on my behalf. One of my favorite authors, Jerry Bridges, says that we need to preach the gospel to ourselves every day. We must daily remind ourselves that Jesus’ finished work on the cross is enough. He took my sins and I am now forgiven and perfect in God’s sight.
Wow! That type of thinking changes the way I lead worship. I can’t look down my nose at those unworthy folks out there, because we’re all in the same boat: in need of God’s mercy. At the same time I can’t just focus on my own sinfulness because Jesus took care of it at the cross.
When I stand before a congregation of believers, I am there, not because I am “good enough” on my own. I am there because Christ paid the price for my sins…and theirs. He has caused me to be righteous in the sight of my heavenly Father. Therefore, I am thankful and want others also to be thankful.
The great reformer, Martin Luther, once referred to worship as one leper returning. Remember the ten lepers that Jesus healed? One came back to say, “Thank you.” We, like that one leper, should express our thanks to the Lord for His great mercy.
We will never be good enough—worthy by our own merit—to stand before God or before His people. We must, each one of us, daily trust that the cross of Christ was enough for our forgiveness. It is the only thing that makes us worthy.