TEN REASONS MANY CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN
WORSHIP LEADERS ARE SPIRITUALLY BANKRUPT
The past several years there has been no
shortage of prominent contemporary Christian
leaders denouncing Christ either with their
words or their actions. One time I ministered to
a young man involved in the gospel music
scene, and he confided in me that he almost lost his faith because of what he experienced
when he went on tour with a band. (He said
other gospel music performers regularly
That being said, as a pastor and trans-local
minister for more than three decades, I have
come to the conclusion that many involved in
Christian worship seem to have a very
superficial relationship with the Lord and His
Church. (I thank God we have had a strong process for ministry involvement in our local
congregation. Hence, we usually have worship
leaders with a solid walk with the Lord.)
Also, I write this in the context as one who was
a professional musician who served on the
worship team of our local church for more than
The following are some of the reasons I believe why many worship performers are spiritually bankrupt:
(Based on my personal observation, not based
on hard data)
1. Many are hirelings and not committed members to one church.
I have been shocked and dismayed to see how
many large churches just hire out their worship
team members, even if they are not committed
Christians and/or committed to their local
church. Consequently, when a gifted singer or
musician first comes to Christ, they are sucked into a culture of play for pay and go where the
dollars are rather than where the Lord is truly
2. Pastors do not enforce the same standards upon talented singers and musicians.
Many pastors turn the other way when it comes
to the immoral or unethical behavior of their
most talented musicians and singers. The
reason for this is obvious, these performers
help draw crowds into their congregation.
3. Often talented people get ahead without being deeply rooted in Christ.
Many people in this field find they get
promoted, idolized and celebrated in their
church merely because of their talent.
Consequently, they have a superficial lifestyle
and rarely see the need to die to self, seek God,
and allow God to penetrate their soul.
4. Gifted Christian performers are idolized in the church.
We, evangelicals, have created a culture of
entertainment that empowers and promotes
the most gifted among us. These very gifted
singers and performers are admired and
celebrated for their abilities in a way that is not
different from “The Voice” or “American Idol”. With all this adulation in the environment, it is
no surprise that many Christian bands and
performers are lifted up with pride and never
mature in their faith.
5. The focus of worship is more about them than about Jesus.
The church usually puts talented singers and
performers front and center during Sunday
services. Hence, a service is largely judged by
how good the band performed. This is the kind
of setting that engenders man worship instead
of Jesus worship. Worship leaders and performers often have big egos to match their
talent and many erroneously (subconsciously)
think that the service is all about them.
6. They often don’t sit under the Word after they perform.
I am amazed with how often I see many
worship team members leave the service after
they perform. I guess they think that the
highlight of the service was their performance
and everything else that ensues, including
preaching, is a letdown.
7. They perform but do not worship from the heart.
When the pastor and congregation only care
about the talent and effect of the worship
experience, they perpetuate a culture of
performance more than a culture of worship.
Consequently, band members and singers will
then focus more on performance than on worship. This result in band members
programmed to equate worship more with
performance than with drawing close to God.
8. They are overly sensitive and do not easily receive correction.
In my opinion, many in the music world are
overly sensitive, ego driven megalomaniacs. (I
know, because as a professional guitar player
for many years, I was or am guilty of this!)
Folks like this are very competitive and have a
hard time admitting they are wrong. This does not make it easy for a pastor to bring correction
to them since their identity is rooted more in
their ability than in their God.
9. They do not study the word but rely upon performance sessions in church for their walk.
Many years ago I was shocked to realize that
many of the worship leaders I got to know had
no prayer life and rarely cracked open the Bible
for personal study! Often, they depended upon
worship practice and/or the Sunday services to
try to connect with God. It alarmed me that many worship leaders were not themselves
10. They do not have a spiritually mature worship person leading the team.
All of the previous points mentioned could be
dealt with if the worship leader held them
accountable. Of course, this will only happen if
the worship leader is not a diva but a real
disciple of Christ. Leaders set the culture of a
team and if he or she is a spiritually immature “performer“, then most likely the whole team
will be more about performance than worship.