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A Plea for Serious, Thoughtful Song Leading

Let us offer to God acceptable worship,
with reverence and awe,
for ou
r God is a consuming fire.

My fellow song leaders and pastors,

If we find value in having song leaders (and I am not certain they are always needed), must we make a mockery of the worship of our Lord by insisting upon comedy in the pulpit, physical gimmicks, boisterous cheerleading, and other irreverent antics?

At best, the benefit of a song leader is to keep the accompaning instruments together (the audience naturally follows what they hear rather than what they see, after all), modestly communicate appropriate musical cues suggested by the lyrics, and aid the congregation in giving careful consideration to the content and affect of that which they are singing.

His job is not to entertain.

His job is not to rev up the audience.

His job is not to help the congregation “have fun.”

His job is not to offer commic relief.

His job (if he is necessary at all) is to help the congregation worship our consuming God with reverence and awe.

Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors,
that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain!
I have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts,
and I will not accept an offering from your hand.

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.