One of the first things we did in forming Bedford Road Baptist Church was get rid of the title ‘Worship Leader’. We did not make a big deal about it, and only the elders and the music team we told we were no longer using the title. We just dropped it from our vocabulary.
Over the past few months, people have begun asking, “Who is the worship leader?” and my most common response is, “The pastor leads the worship gathering.”
Consider this quote from D. A. Carson:
I would abolish forever the notion of a ‘worship leader’. If you want to have a ‘song leader’ who leads part of the worship, just as the preacher leads part of the worship, that’s fine. But to call the person a ‘worship leader’ takes away the idea that by preaching, teaching, listening to and devouring the word of God, and applying it to our lives, we are somehow not worshipping God.
This is a worthwhile observation. In the postmodern church, it has become far too common to distinguish ‘worship’ as the music of the worship gathering. This simply is not Biblical.
We abandoned this title of ‘worship leader’ and instead have a team who work together to take us on a worship journey – from the band who plays accompaniment for the congregation to the elders who lead in prayer to the preacher, we are all leading worship.
if you would like to read more about this subject, this series of articles from Bob Caughlin of worship matters.com are worth considering.