Skill is important in worship leading. Here are 5 things to remember about skill in worship:
1. Skill is a Gift From God, For His Glory
I Corinthians 4:7 says, “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?”
The talents and abilities we have are gifts from God, to be used for his glory, not our own.
“All gifts from God are intended to direct our attention to God and create fresh affection for God.” C. J. Mahaney
2. Skill Must Be Developed
1 Chronicles 25:7 tells us that those who ministered at the tabernacle were those “who were trained in singing to the Lord, all who were skillful”.
If you don’t want to develop your gift, don’t practice. Most people that you admire in music, art, sports, business, whatever, had to train, practice, and learn for many, many years to get to where they are.
3. Skill Doesn’t Make Worship More Acceptable before God
We need to realize our place before God, and understand that what we need most is God's undeserved grace to work on our hearts and lives.
1 Peter 2:5 says, "You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
God is not impressed with our technical ability to play or sing. What impresses God is "a broken and contrite heart” (PS 51:17) that understands that we are weak and puts our faith in Christ, who saved and redeemed us.
4. Skill Should Be Evaluated by Others
If you really want to grow in skill, invite feedback from those around you. Remember, your family is supposed to tell you that you're great, even if you're not (thanks, mom)...so invite feedback from those who will give you an honest opinion, and not just an encouraging one.
5. Skill Makes Your Leading Less Distracting
How many times have you been in a worship service and heard a "clunker"-a note that's sung out of tune, a chord that wasn't played in the right measure, a drummer that loses the beat. All of a sudden, your attention is not on the one you're worshiping, but on what you're hearing.
Our worship leading should point people to the One we're worshiping. A missed note, a fumbled lead line, or an out of tune alto (sorry, altos) will take the eyes of your congregation off of Christ and on to you. Skillful playing or singing, combined with the proper attitude will bring glory to God, and help your people focus on Him. (Ask me about the time I put my capo on a half-step too low. Let's just say that when the band kicked in, nobody was thinking about Jesus...)
Our goal is to help people experience God’s presence. Be skillful, encourage skillful playing, and work on your own skills for God's glory!