What Does it Take to be a Worship Leader?

Today’s post is for us men (including young men). I recently preached a sermon about the role of women in the church. While studying 1 Timothy 2, I noticed several instructions given to men regarding worship. What does it take to be a leader in the worship assembly? Per God’s instructions in 1 Timothy 2, we understand that women are not permitted to lead in our public assemblies.

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ] I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting (1 Tim. 2:8).[/box]

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ] And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence (1 Tim. 2:12).[/box]

The Greek word translated “men” in verse eight is aner. The term is never used of the female gender. In fact, it stands in distinction from a woman. The Holy Spirit, through Paul, was clearly commanding the men to be the worship leaders. However, being male is not the only requirement for being a leader in worship.

Per Paul’s apostolic, inspired commands, we see two areas of a man’s life that qualify him to stand before the congregation and lead them in worship before the Father.

[highlight]First, a worship leader must have the right ACTIONS.[/highlight] Paul says that men must pray, “lifting up holy hands” (1 Tim. 2:8). This has nothing to do with prayer posture. If it did, then what exactly are literal “holy hands”? The point is that a man must live a righteous, holy life. The Bible often uses hands to refer to one’s actions. Look at the inspired writing of James:

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ]Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:8).[/box]

Cleansed hands represent pure, holy actions. As new creatures, Christians have put off the old man of sin and “have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Col. 3:10).

[highlight]Second, a worship leader must have the right ATTITUDE.[/highlight] Paul continues in verse eight: “without wrath and doubting.” The word wrath refers to anger and indignation. Doubting refers to disputatious reasoning, skeptical questions, or criticisms. Attitudes go beyond our reputation to our character, who we really are.

These two qualifications outlined in 1 Timothy 2:8 help us to realize that leading in worship is a serious responsibility and a tremendous privilege. Men should not take these qualifications to be discouraging hindrances from leading in worship. Rather, we should view them as challenges. May we accept the challenge to have holy actions and righteous attitudes so that we can be God’s men and faithfully lead our brothers and sisters in Christ before God’s awesome throne.

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