I've been dipping into Bob Kauflin's new book, Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God. Kauflin, who leads worship for Sovereign Grace's Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, has well served the broader body of Christ in this excellent book. Kauflin unpacks the meaning and importance of corporate worship in 32 thoughtful chapters by addressing The Leader, The Task, Healthy Tensions, and Right Relationships. Here's his definition of a worship leader:
A faithful worship leader
magnifies the greatness of God in Jesus Christ
through the power of the Holy Spirit
by skillfully combining God's Word with music,
thereby motivating the gathered church
to proclaim the gospel,
to cherish God's presence,
and to live for God's glory.
Every one of those rich phrases is then unpacked with careful biblical reflection and wise pastoral application. Though this book is targeted to worship leaders, every worshiping believer would benefit from reading it. Our church provided copies for every one on our worship team a few months ago - now that I'm finally getting a chance to dig in, I'm glad we did!
Here's one more excerpt that I thought especially helpful, in Kauflin's chapter on worshing God "in Jesus Christ":
All our offerings are humbled by the work of Christ because they would be unacceptable to God without him. All our offerings are exalted because when they are joined to the atoning sacrifice of the Savior, God accepts them as though his own Son were offering them.
Nothing against skill, practice, complexity, nuance, musicanship, or sincerity, but only the finished work of Christ makes our offerings of worship acceptable in God's eyes.
What a relief!