If your church is typical, you’ll have at least one person who is designated as a ‘worship leader.' While the responsibilities of this individual vary from church to church, it often includes welcoming the congregation, offering prayers, and inviting everyone to sing songs in adoration to Jesus.
As one of the lay leaders in my congregation, over the past year I've had the privilege and responsibility to do this. It has been an honor to be able to lead the people of God as we come together to offer a sacrifice of praise to our Maker and Redeemer. Of course, this is entirely appropriate, and Scripture in fact teaches us to do so (Heb 10:23-25).
Yet I wonder, at the conclusion of our Sunday services, do we leave thinking that worship is ‘over’ – or just starting afresh?
Sam and Sarah Hargreaves pose a really poignant question in their wonderful new book, Whole-life Worship. Reflecting on the Lord’s prayer, they ask, “Imagine if our songs, prayers, and actions on a Sunday reflected God’s heart for our everyday lives, for our broken world, for his kingdom come and his will being done:
at the supermarket,
and on the bus,
and in our kitchens,
and in the factory,
and on the playground,
and at the bowls club….as it is in heaven?”
The Apostle Paul addressed this issue in Romans 12:1: “Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.”
So it’s clear in Scripture that worship should be a whole-life thing, not just a Sunday thing! My prayer is that more Christians would view themselves as ‘worship leaders’ throughout the week – welcoming others into a gospel-centered life, offering prayers on behalf of the people on their frontlines, and inviting "everything that has breath [to] praise the LORD" (Psalm 150:6).
The world that God loves needs more everyday worship leaders - will you be one of them?