Who is the actual worship leader? Is it the musician who leads us from stage or someone else?

I was teaching at a conference the other day in Ohio, and one of the opportunities I had was to speak on a panel with a series of other wise men on worship leading and church leadership! During the course of the panel, one of the other panelist’s used a profoundly unique statement on worship leading, and point us to who the actual worship leader is:

If the church is the bride of Christ, then the lead pastor is the mother of the bride. And though the bride is the center of attention for the bride, it’s also a day that has a lot to do with the mother of the bride.

What an amazing analogy about the role of the lead pastor. Now remember, this is a worship leader conference, so it’s key to recognize that this was said in response to the role of a pastor during worship.


In a wedding, the mother of the bride is the one who sets the mood, sets the environment and sets the atmosphere. When she walks down the isle, everyone is watching. When she stands, everyone stands. When she sits, everyone sits.

If the senior pastor is the mother of the bride, then maybe they are leading worship more than we could ever recognize or realize.


Just the other day I was with a worship leader friend of mine, and we got to talking about the church he leads at. He said “my church doesn’t really engage or sing that much during worship.”

My first question in response was this: “Does your senior pastor sing or engage during worship?” To which he unfortunately said, “no.”

I wonder if our senior pastor(s) are actually the other worship leader in the room, setting the atmosphere and being the model, if you will, for worship! To the extent your lead pastor engages in worship, your community will engage in worship.

[bctt tweet=”To the extent your lead pastor engages in worship, your community will engage in worship.” username=”lukemcelroy”]

I know this sounds weird, but that lead pastor is being watched. More than they know. When they raise their hands in worship, it signals to others that raising your hands is an appropriate posture of worship. When the pastor gets on stage and sings a bit more of the last chorus or bridge of the song just sung, signifies to others that singing isn’t just allocated to a 20 min set, and bleeds over to all areas of service, and ultimately life.

[bctt tweet=”The senior pastor is the actual worship leader in the room.” username=”lukemcelroy”]

You see, the senior pastor is the actual worship leader in the room. Regardless if they want to be that role or not. They set the tone. They lead the room. They’re worship, shapes your community.

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