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by on May 9, 2022

“Worship is completely different than performing,” he said. But is it really?

A few years ago, my band was part of a traveling youth event. We would play a worship session and a mini concert, as would other artists.

One time on this tour, I was backstage talking with a member of the event’s main worship group. We discussed my work in partnering with artists on their live show, and the man said, “Worship is completely different than performing.” I understood his point. There was a time when I would agree with this statement, but at the core of it, I now don’t.

I grew up more reserved as an 11-year-old kid playing drums in church. When I eventually learned to twirl my drumsticks (during practice only), the Pastor’s wife occasionally said I should stick twirl in service. But I never did. Church wasn’t a place to draw attention to myself. It wasn’t a concert. We didn’t have stage lighting or fog machines, and the main house lights were up all throughout the service. We played our worship set and often repeated various song sections as the worship leader felt led. We’d then return to the platform to play for altar calls and close the service with a final song.

Back then, I wouldn’t think that worship and performing were similar, but today I believe they are.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter.

At the core, everything comes from within as it all begins at heart level. (Mark 7:15 and Matthew 15:11)

There’s obviously a spiritual element of worship, and there are physical and practical elements of worship.

  • The spiritual part is our response to God—worshipping Him for who He is, for what He’s done and for what He’s continuing to do in our lives.

  • The physical part is about giving God our praise by “offering our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God for this is our reasonable act of service [or worship]” (Romans 12:1) As worship leaders, we must be devoted to loving and leading the people.

  • The practical portion, then, is us doing our part with excellence. Playing skillfully to the Lord, communicating well to the congregation, and using the various tools and proper techniques on the platform to effectively lead the congregation.

Some time ago, I came across this video of Elias Dummer formerly of The City HarmonicIn it, he shares perfectly what the true meaning of performance is and how it is used in worship. Check out the video below, and we’ll dive into that, and more, in my next post.



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Topics: music, worship
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