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The Addiction of Worship Leading

By Wisdom Moon on March 23, 2011

Imagine yourself on a big stage with hundreds of people looking at you. You’ve got a band of musicians and singers behind you ready to take cues from you. You’re holding a guitar in your hands and singing amazing worship songs into a microphone. The spotlight is on YOU...

I’ve been leading worship for over 12 years now. Before I was an “official” worship leader, I started out as the transparency guy (back in the day) when I was in 7th grade. Then, I learned drums from my youth pastor and learned guitar from the choir director. Then, I was involved on my youth group’s worship team as a bass player. And, eventually became the lead guy as a freshman in college. In my 12 years of leading worship, I’ve experienced first-hand what it’s like to be a volunteer worship leader as well as a full-time worship pastor.

When I first started leading worship as a young college student, I had the oddest experience. After leading worship at the Sunday morning service I would go home and feel VERY down and depressed. I couldn’t figure out why. I would come home from an amazing worship service where I really felt the presence of God while leading, but spend the afternoon feeling so discouraged and depressed.

As I continued to grow and mature as a worship leader, I began to realize what was happening. I realized that I was putting my identity in being the “worship leader”. My identity was so wrapped up in my role of leading worship and leading the youth worship team that it sort of became an addiction.

Leading worship became the highlight of my week. Yes, I loved the Lord! I was passionately in love with Jesus! However, I let the experience and “high” of leading worship become an idol in my life. I was essentially addicted to worship leading.

When I was in the congregation while someone else was leading worship, I found myself judging their worship leading and comparing myself to them. I was either jealous because they were better than me or full of pride because I was better than them.

During my recent conversation with my friend, Michael Farren, I was reminded of how I wrestled with finding my identity in the title and role of worship leader. The fact that I was a child of God (who was crazy in love with me) was not enough. I had to get my fix of leading worship.

In my current season of ministry I am ministering and training up worship leaders more than actually leading worship myself. I could probably count on one hand the number of times I led worship in the past 2 years. It feels a little weird sometimes, but I’ve grown to be content in being led in worship by others.

I no longer rely on the title of “worship leader” to define me. I don’t find my identity in it. I no longer treat it as a spiritual high or addiction. I no longer somehow feel more spiritual because I’m leading worship...

Yes, from time to time those thoughts try to occupy my mind, but I’ve learned not to allow any title or role that God may bring for a season define who I am. I am content just being me...even with no title people may envy...and no important role in the spotlight.

Worship leaders, beware of the addiction of worship leading. Don’t let worship leading define who you are. Worship leading is something you do; it’s not what defines you.

article written by Wisdom Moon

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Wisdom Moon

Wisdom Moon

Wisdom is a husband, father, worship leader, songwriter, and Founder/CEO of All About Worship. He was born in South Korea, but spent most of his life in Silicon Valley (California), and currently resides in Nashville, TN with his wife and three kids. Wisdom has been involved in worship ministry for over 20 years. For more about Wisdom, visit WisdomMoon.com