Are We Worshipping Our Own Egos Over Jesus?

Worship leader
Are you making sure that your worship is not about your ego? (Lightstock)

"It's not that you shouldn't lead worship. It's just that your passion to lead others has overwhelmed the necessity of leading yourself.

The best worship leaders are those who are in tune with the Holy Spirit—so engaged in the Person of Christ—that they help others to be vulnerable. They lead with an honest, open heart—freeing others to surrender all."

When I first wrote that, I was preaching to myself. I felt God challenging me to step up my leadership.

I mean, how could I lead a room in worship if I was unwilling to lead myself?

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Lead myself in worship—that's something we don't think about, right?

But when your personal times with God drift to few and far between, when you're more excited for the things of this world, and when your passion revolves around the spread of your own name and influence, something needs to change.

Cliche as it is, it's easy for worship leaders to make worship about us. How we sound. Our opportunities. Our reputation.

What Do You Really Love About Worship?

Is it OK if we ask some scary questions?

Sometimes I wonder if we're more obsessed with being used for the glory of God than we are the glory of God Himself. Are we more concerned with our careers and platforms than the Name of Jesus? Are we worshipping our own egos over Jesus?

Sometimes I wonder if we chase a certain feeling over running hard after Christ Himself. It's easy to enjoy the emotional impact of a well-written song, but do we enjoy His presence on Monday morning when the feelings have left? Do we still have any passion left? Do we have anything to say?

What would it look like to be "all-in," "sold out" for the glory of Christ? What would our services look like?

How Vulnerable Are You?

Vulnerability. It's a scary word. It conjures up thoughts of being exposed, found out, known.

But it's the only way effective leadership happens.

What would our worship look like if we were completely honest? Our vulnerable worship just might free the gathered church to find her own vulnerability; to not just sing the songs, give in the offering, and listen to a sermon; to not just attend services and check church off the weekly to-do list.

A better option? Lay bare your heartwith all its secrets, fragility, hurt and history—and run. Run with all your might into the wide-open arms of your Savior.

God sees it all anyway. What He wants is for His children to come home—to be exposed to a love that will change us.

One more scary question:

Think about it: What if at the end of your worship-leading days someone took a survey of your effectiveness. Would people love you and your leadership more than Jesus? Were you leading people to find refuge in Him or your fan base?

I don't say that to fill you with regret; but instead, to re-evaluate. Use today as a fork in the road—a chance to recommit your life and ministry to the fame of Jesus Christ and the spread of His greatness in everyone's eyes.

What do you think? What keeps you from being an honest, vulnerable leader?

David Santistevan is the worship pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh. For the original article, visit

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