Leading from Overflow
I constantly remind myself and our worship team that we lead from overflow. OVERFLOW. But what does that mean exactly? Here are at least three things it means for me.
1. We cannot lead people where we haven’t been ourselves.
Every Sunday morning, we have people who enter our buildings worn out, doubting God’s faithfulness, experiencing horrendous pain and grief, and jaded by life, the Church, and professing Christians. It is our responsibility as worship leaders to lead them on a journey to the heart of God. But we can’t take them where we haven’t been. We must be men and women who passionately pursue Jesus, find our identity in Him and lead them to experience the power and presence of God that we have experienced in our own lives. There should be a contagious spirit emanating from us that communicates, “‘I have found the one my soul loves’ (Song of Solomon 3:4) and I want you to find Him too.”
2. The platform is only the 1%.
As worship leaders, 99% of our lives are lived off the platform. We are husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, employees and coaches, citizens and colleagues. Most of life happens in the most mundane of tasks and normal activities of life. And this is where worship also happens. In the everyday. So what happens on the platform must be the overflow of the other 99% of our lives that are lived out in constant worship to the Creator who loves us and wants us to embrace and worship Him in the “unforced rhythms of grace” (Matthew 11:29, The Message).
3. Authenticity matters.
As leaders of worship, we have a responsibility to lead by example. This doesn’t mean that our congregation should be staring at us the entire time, but the reality is they do look to us for some indication of what their response in worship should be. Bob Kauflin points out in Worship Matters, that the “issue here isn’t exuberance as much as authenticity” (p. 123). Quoting D. A. Carson, he points out, “some who publicly lead the corporate meetings of the people of God merely perform; others are engrossed in the worship of God. Some merely sing; some put on a great show of being involved; but others transparently worship God” (Worship by the Book, p. 59). The varying degrees of engagement send loud messages to our people. So, what message to do we want to be communicating? Authenticity is essential if we are going to lead from overflow.