It is such an honor to lead worship.
That being said, even that phrase makes me a bit uncomfortable. Private worship time should require no leadership. The time I pray with God is private. It requires no leader. It requires no teaching. It flows from my personal fellowship with the Word. My prayer and worship come from my own encounter with God.
So, when I write a phrase, as above, I wonder of its meaning.
I love, in Nehemiah, the special notations and considerations for the temple singers and musicians. Their place in the repatriation of Israel was important. As those who were to lead the worship procession, they were to receive special care, and place. They led communal worship. They led worship as a time of fellowship.
So, all that being said, it is an honor to lead the communal time of worship. It is an honor to lead the time when hundreds of worshippers make their private worship public. That is an awesome moment.
It feels like an explosion, really, like the great release of a steam valve. That is an archaic illustration, I suppose, but it is what the almost instantaneous moment of communal worship resembles to me. It almost feels like our church — all who are broken and needy, all who are praising and celebrating, all who are doubting and questioning — wait an entire week to sing together.
We gather together, with such varied life experiences, eager to see God, to hear His voice, and to gain strength from those with more to offer, and to offer strength to those who are weaker. These offerings are brought by so many different people, and we all worship together, and hundreds of voices sound as if they are one. I am reminded of the disciples in Acts 4, seeking God together, as one, on behalf of their imprisoned leaders.
Sunday morning is a very, very special moment in my week. It is when I see how God has answered all of my requests for our time together. It is when I see the given hours or preparation begin to move into a time of leadership. It is when I see unity. And it is when I, along with our church, see the public responses of those who are seeking the intercessions of hundreds of people.
Worship, on Sunday mornings, becomes public. It becomes the identity of our aspirations. It becomes the time when we, like children once again, sing without shame. It is the time we declare our allegiance and loyalty. And it is a very, very special time.