Worship Leaders

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Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
Perhaps a bit of a strange question. I recently looked at something that spoke of the pastor as a worship leader. I was wondering though: Can there--and if there can be, how--be a merely human worship leader without usuruping the role of Christ as worship leader (Hebrews 2) (and I am correct that Christ is our worship leader, right?)? Is this the same sort of thing as Christ being our teacher, but we have our merely human pastors--with ministerial authority--teaching the congregation? If so, what does it look like to lead worship in a manner without usurping Christ's role?
 
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KMK

Administrator
Staff member
A worship leader chooses the song, the key, the style, the form, the tempo etc and then cues the congregation when to start singing. It is up to the HS to supply 'grace in the heart'.

Maybe I don't understand the question...
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
No, I think you understood the question. We say Christ is the head of the Church and so none should usurp that role. We then define the parameters under which those who have authority in the Church (or out) operate in order to not usurp that role--in this case, it is that the elders and pastors only have authority to do what Christ has given them to do in His word and that the civil magistrate or others are not allowed to interfere with things belonging to the Church, etc. So I was wondering what those things were that a "worship leader" does without usurping the role of Christ as worship leader, and it seems you have provided an answer.

Perhaps my idea of what a worship leader does is somewhat skewed though from what I've seen and continue to see in Evangelicalism; though then again, given the above paramters, it seems rather difficult for someone to usurp the role of worship leader even in Evangelicalism. Perhaps the usurption comes when a person switches from merely starting everyone singing to actually leading? Though I can't think of a solid difference between the two, so perhaps not. Maybe the answer is a lot simpler than I'm thinking and is the same as in the case of authorities in the Church: namely, that the worship leader cannot go beyond what Christ has given the Church to do in singing psalms (since there is no office of "worship leader" it seems, so it would seem that a worship leader would play a circumstantial role and thus what is "given" is given to the Church, not the "worship leader").


I hope that clears up the question.


Edit: Incidentally, I wonder whether this sort of thinking--if it is correct--has potential as a starting point in talking about the Regulative Principle to Evangelicals because this sort of issue is so near to their favorite practices, would be quite understandable to them, and best of all, most I know would agree that Christ is our worship leader and so that would be common ground.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
I always understood 'worship leader' to be a fancy term for the guy that leads the 'praise band' and acts as Emcee of the entertainment. I'm not familiar with it being used to refer to the preacher. But, then again, I've never heard it used to describe God, either.
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
Edward said:
I'm not familiar with it being used to refer to the preacher.
Unless my memory fails me (which is possible), it's in the red Trinity hymnal used in the PCA.

But, then again, I've never heard it used to describe God, either.
Perhaps I'm drawing too much from Hebrews 2. It does say that Christ will sing among the brethren--without mentioning who is leading (if anyone). I suppose it is also possible for Christ to declare God's name among the brethren without leading. However, the rest of the Psalm is written from the first person--Christ's first person, so when singing the Psalm, Jesus does have a different role, namely the one who spoke the Psalm, and so seems to have a leading role as others join in on Christ's song of praise--Christ singing praise to God as man, as Christ the Head identifies with and represents His people, of course (perhaps also as Mediator and Priest?). Jesus also has a commanding role in the singing--commanding the people to praise God (Psalm 22:23)--and a command suggests some leader. Jesus is the one who has the song put into His mouth (Psalm 40:3), and the interchange between "I" and "we" of some psalms seem to suggest a leading role that the Psalmist has (e.g., Psalm 44, Psalm 108). But I could be wrong; and there could be a better way to argue this. I'm also not sure how to precisely define this sort of "worship leading" I am attributing to Christ.


There does seem to be something wrong though with not only the MC "worship leaders" but also people saying they feel called by God to be one, or people desiring to be one. But why? Is it because it usurps Christ's role as worship leader? Or perhaps it goes for a role that is circumstantial and not appointed by Christ as an office? (The MC one certainly seems wrong because it makes worship entertainment.)
 
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Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
I'd rather it refer to the preacher than the guy leading the music. When it only refers to the music leader, it implies that only singing is worship. We know better, but I know plenty of megachurch-type folk refer to it that way, especially if they do a big block of songs at the front of the service.
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
Scottish Lass said:
I'd rather it refer to the preacher than the guy leading the music. When it only refers to the music leader, it implies that only singing is worship. We know better, but I know plenty of megachurch-type folk refer to it that way, especially if they do a big block of songs at the front of the service.
Good point! And that probably solves the question of the OP: the "worship leader" has the same authority as the pastor, which means the "leading" of praise would only extend to the circumstantial type of matters as noted by Pastor Klein above.

Thoughts?
 
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