Ephesians 4:11-16 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (ESV)
Worship leaders don't make Paul's explicit list. Our job description is more often taken from the OT. Lately, so are most of the worship songs, I've noticed. Lots of Psalms, some of the prophets. I see on the blogs lots of songwriters talking about expressing themselves to God (a very Psalm-like aim). In itself, there's nothing wrong with that. But I've seen it stated that that's the only thing that matters in a worship song. And I can't agree with that.
The role of a worship leader can include many, if not all, of the roles outlined in this passage. Apostles proclaim what they've experienced. Prophets call people to align themselves to God's ways. Evangelists seek to expose people to the Good News. Shepherds guide, comfort, and care for the flock. Teachers, well, teach.
Now, obviously, different people are gifted in different ways. No one person will have all those gifts, whether a senior pastor (minister, preacher), worship leader, elder, or whoever. That's why we need each other, and that's why we're a body.
But let's get back to songs for a moment. Are there songs out there that proclaim, that prophesy, that evangelize, that comfort, that teach? Is it acceptable to use them on Sunday?
And look at the end to which these things are done. Equipping, building up the body of Christ, attaining to unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God.
Obviously, we need more than songs that praise God for His beautiful creation. Our worship must, must, be Christ-centered. Worship is absolutely incomplete without Jesus. Worship cannot get to the Father without the Son. Worship cannot be "Spirit-led" without the Son.
May God move us to broaden our worship to encompass the fullness of Him who fills all in all!
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”