Hi everyone!


I've not visited for a while. I hope you are all well. This group seems to have been a bit quiet lately. My husband and I have been leading worship for the last few years but have stepped down from that for a while. We have loads of other stuff going on, so I probably won't miss it. At first, at least.


I've been encountering a lot of resistance to the term Worship Leader lately. Setting aside the obvious point that worship doesn't just occur during music (please let's not go back over that, it's something I KNOW!), is WL a term which is common in your area/tradition?


I'm asking this in the UK group because I want British responses. How is the term WL used in the UK now? Does everyone know what it means? Does everyone have the same understanding of what it means?


I'm starting a course run by the Baptist Union in Sept and from the look of the course materials, they obviously think that leading worship is the responsibility of what I'd call the Service Leader.



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Welcome back!

I'm from an Anglican church. Some people in our church do call me the "worship leader", but I think (traditionally) Anglicans would think of the service leader as being the "worship leader". So, I guess those people calling me the "worship leader" have either come from other traditions, or (more likely) been influenced by the global worship industry....

I don't think people usually think too deeply about what the term "means"..... probably it's just used to mean "that person up the front with the guitar leading the singing".

I usually say "I'm in charge of the music group".

What I mean by, 'What does it mean' is what comes under your role?


Service planning, along with others?

Praying/exhorting between songs?

Choosing songs?


Or just rehearsing the music group and leading them on the day?


There just seems to be so many different ways of doing things these days.


I don't "plan the service" but I do choose all the songs based on service themes or reading supplied by the vicar.  Sometimes I'll be bold enough to make suggestions about the service structure.

I don't really pray or exhort between songs, but this is mostly because it's not my style, and I think there is enough praying and exhorting going on from the front anyway. Sometimes people just want to get on with the singing.

And, of course, I rehearse the group, lead on the day, etc.

So, I guess you could say that I lead the musical component of the corporate worship. In this sense I am a worship leader, but not THE worship leader.....
Thanks, Daniel. That's a role I recognise from many churches.
Yeah, I think I'm fairly average ;-)

In an Anglican context the whole service is 'worship' and is normally lead by a priest or licensed lay leader. However the Anglican church is 'broad' and may do things in a variety of ways within that. Heyford Park Chapel tend to call whoever picks the songs the 'worship leader'.


In a community church there is a meeting leader and a worship leader (and, usually, a seperate person preaching if there's a 'word') . The person leading the meeting is responsible for the whole of the time together, and the worship leader looks to them for guidance as to when to start and stop, whether to follow a particular thread or not: they lead specifically the sung worship.

Yes, lots of Anglican churches  (esp in the charismatic tradition) have WL's. St Andrew's in Oxon (not charismatic) has a Service Leader, WL and a Preacher. Not counting those who do the intercessory prayers, Bible readings etc. But others still have a Director Of Music, i/c the choir, orchestra etc

Hi Di Hi,

I don't like the term Worship Leader, in the context of the church music group.

To me, it has connotations of grandeur and authority, a sort of status term that I fight to shy away from.

I feel this way because of the American CCM Celebrity Artists that adopt the term, ones that are always on a tour circuit or convention after convention, I understand what is meant by the term, but I just couldn't afford it to myself.

 I find it sad, when on other discussion on this site, younger folk hanker after the title and want to make "IT" a career thing (bright lights, smoke machines and a recording contract), I consider it far more honest, if what they want is fame, is to seek it in the secular music area. Serve your church in a humble manner and let all the glory be focused on GOD and all will be blessed.

Sorry my reply developed into a rant but I am one of the humpy old men.  

So, what *do* you call yourself, Paul? The leader of the church music group? That could be a bit cumbersome. What does your role comprise?


Thanks for answering.

PS I'm a grumpy old woman, so no probs.

If someone's motivation is as iffy as you describe, there is no way they should be leading worship and there is no way the church leadership should be letting them do so.

In a book I have read recently by Rory Noland, however, he points out that churches often bear with all kinds of bad character from musicians and artistically gifted people, because they are afraid of losing the wonderful gifts.  We need fruit more than gifts, and with fruit the gifts come free anyway...

I don't think worship leader needs to mean glitz and recording contracts, although some might be tempted by that stuff.  If the title is wrong, by all means change it.  But if it is just some people's interpretation of the title, let's fight for a better interpretation.

Re: recording contracts etc, I was once approached with a view to helping lead worship at a prominent Christian conference (I won't say which!) - the second question after 'what instrument do you play?', was 'do you have any CDs we can check you out on?'. :-)

It made me chuckle!

We use the term in Kirkintilloch Baptist.  That said, the precise meaning of the term for our congregation has not really been discussed.  Worship leaders in our church mainly lead the musical part of the service and work with the ministers on the overall structure of the service.  I agree that the term could be taken the wrong way, but it is established and is at least understood by many Christians.


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