Mediation in Worship

Posted on November 24, 2009 by


For a long time I have heard that Worship Leaders “usher people into the presence of God”. While this does Promote a significant weight to the task at hand, it may be to close to an overly religious view of what is going on when we gather to sing.

I’m currently reading through Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin, and he says well something that I’ve been feeling for a while.

“Apart from Jesus Christ, we cannot approach God. This makes a huge difference as we lead others to worship God.”

“Biblically speaking, no worship leader, pastor, band, or song will ever bring us close to God… Worship itself cannot lead us into God’s presence. Only Jesus Himself can bring us into God’s presence.”

“Try as hard as we can, our hearts and worship will always be tainted in God’s sight.”

In the old testament the people of God relied on the Priesthood to mediate between God and man, and even then only certain people from certain tribes could offer specific sacrifices in specific ways on specific dates. Then came Jesus. He called Himself “the temple”(John 2:19), was sacrificed as “the lamb”(John 1:29), and now sits as our “High Priest” (John 10:19-22). (the significance of Jesus sitting is not to be overlooked. It is a sign of completion, the priests didn’t sit during their duties because the sacrificial system was never complete. But in Jesus it is finished.)

The point here is that all Christians can come to God purified, and this is because of the work of Christ. We as worship leaders don’t usher in the presence of God, we don’t lead people to anyplace that they aren’t already. We as worship leaders point to Jesus. And even this we do only by the power of the Holy Spirit, who was given to us through Jesus.

This shouldn’t diminish your view of what we do.

Jesus says in John 15:26 ” When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, He will testify about me. and you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.”

God, the Holy Spirit, testifies about Jesus, and we get to join in that ministry!

But let’s not lay too much significance on ourselves. It is the Holy Spirit moving in people, at the bidding of the Father, to glorify Christ.

If we see ourselves as being in a more priestly role, we can start to think that how good we do will affect people’s ability to worship. This can cause us to slip into perfection mode, which is unhealthy. Granted we don’t want to be a distraction, but as we’ve already said it’s ultimately the work of God. We need to be striving for excellence because that’s what God deserves, not because that’s what the church needs.

How awesome is God that He chooses to use us to lead his people in ascribing Him glory while still working out the fullness of the act within Himself.

We point to Jesus. We don’t usher in the presence of God, and if people feel that way when you step up to lead you are robbing them of the presence of God in every other moment of the day.

Let us faithfully and steadfastly point to the Glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 4:6)

Posted in: Theology