Why “Worship Is All About God, And Not About Us” Is Dead Wrong

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. “Worship is all about God!” But then, after I’ve made that statement in conferences and seminars for years, I’ve followed up with a phrase I no longer believe to be biblically accurate. “Therefore,” I would say, “Worship is not about us.” I no longer hold this to be true. In fact, the idea is corrupting the Body of Christ at the core.


photo courtesy of www.mattfrise.com

One time, when I said this as a guest speaker in front of a worship conference of about 600 folks, I pounded on the plexiglass podium for emphasis. I’m not given to that; it just felt like the right thing to do at the time. “Worship is all about God; it’s not (pound) about (pound) us (big pound)!”

That last pound did the trick – in more ways than one. A large glass of cold water, sitting on the inner shelf of the podium, spilled as I hit the podium on the word “us.” It tipped right onto my pants. From my belt to my toes, my pants looked like I had wet myself! I stepped out from behind the podium, and the entire conference burst into laughter. I was a living metaphor. And yes – the water was very, very cold. God has a quirky sense of humor.

I’ve heard pastors, worship leaders, and very influential people communicate this same idea – that “Worship is all about God, and not about us” – in a hundred different ways. The intention is good, and even seems noble and biblical. But the problem is that these ideas strung together convey something about human beings – and God’s invitation to worship – that is dead wrong. It is especially wrong if your Gospel begins in Genesis.

Worship Leader – Get Off The Platform


Worship Leader – get off the platform. Let me tell you what I don’t mean by that – and what I do mean.

I don’t mean that you should stop leading, or even performing, from a platform. Physical platforms serve a necessary function in many worship environments. I am a fan of platforms that support both effective worship leadership and penetrating performances. Being a few inches or feet off the ground is no crime, when the elevation is for practical purposes.

I do mean this: Worship Leaders – get off your fixation with an ever increasing leadership platform. Get off of it. More specifically, get off the ambitious desire for a certain kind of leadership platform that you think will make you feel fulfilled in your calling.

The Hidden Motives Of Our Heart

Even those who hunger after God have them. Those unspoken, hidden desires for platform that fuel the wayward motives we don’t think we have. But deep down we can’t shake the feeling that we are missing something in our lives if we don’t have the right platform, the right opportunity, the right audience.

Worship Team Tip #2 | Prepare For Spontaneity

Diligently plan the songs, transitions and order of your set for the gathering. Then, after your band is secure and you are confident, you have more grace all around to deviate from the prepared set to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Question: How does this tip connect with you? Leave a comment to help others.

Free Resource: 3 Word Lessons: 52 Weeks Of Pre-Rehearsal Tips (PDF)


Is It Too Loud? Worship Accompaniment Vs. Worship Immersion Culture


A few years ago, after our worship gathering one Sunday morning, two very different people came to me. One was a young man in his late 20s, and the other was an older woman in her late 50s. After they spoke to me, I realized that there are two profoundly distinct “worship experience cultures” gathering in our churches today – and their diverse perspectives on worship are making the creation of effective gatherings a tremendous challenge.

The astute young man came to me first. “I hope you don’t mind me saying this. The music is too soft. We can all hear each other singing, yes, but the energy has left the room. You guys are up there giving everything you’ve got, and the sound is at a level that sucks the life out of the music you’re making. If you notice around the room, many people aren’t engaging. When the volume is up, and the energy is high, the room rises. And that matters because people are inspired and stirred in their faith. Truth is, you guys seem like you’re hearing something different through your monitors than we are, which makes you act like there’s energy in the room that isn’t actually there. Your passion leads us, but the soft music is distracting. It actually separates us rather than bringing us together.” 

Worship Team Tip #1 | Stack The Set

Make the majority of your worship set out of songs the congregation knows and loves. Familiarity, when tastefully applied, can fan into flame the expression of peoples’ hearts. You’ll be amazed at the results.

Question: How does this tip connect with you? Leave a comment to help others.

Get All Tips Here: 3 Word Lessons: 52 Weeks Of Pre-Rehearsal Tips (PDF)