Confidence is absolutely essential for anyone who leads worship. As worship leaders we’re called to boldly lead people into God’s Presence. You need confidence if you’re going to take people there. I’ve led worship both with and without confidence in the past and it’s just more enjoyable, more freeing, and more powerful to lead with confidence.
Anyone who thinks they don’t need confidence to lead worship has never led worship without it, it’s needed! In my experience, however, I’ve found there to be two type of confidence. On the outside they both look the same, but on the inside, they’re very different. The differences are not so much in how they appear, but rather where they come from. Look at what Jesus said in John 6:63:
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.”
There is a confidence that comes from knowing the Spirit is working in you and through you. But there is also a confidence that can come from the flesh…Jesus said it counts for nothing! As we grow in our experience as worship leaders, it can become easy for us to draw confidence from that to carry us forward. That becomes an obstacle to growth because I need to have experience before I have confidence. That’s not the Kingdom of God way.
If my confidence as a worship leader comes from my experience as a worship leader then if I have a bad experience, my confidence is crushed. I’ll have a crisis over my calling every time something goes wrong. It can take years to build up confidence from your experience, but it only takes one negative comment to destroy it. The flip side is that if a worship set goes really well, then it’s not difficult to move into pride because I feed myself on how well I do.
Experience is not a bad thing at all; I just want to stop pulling the confidence I need for my future, from my past experience. Experience is useful and beneficial for the worship leader to learn and grow in the skills of leading worship. Experience is probably the most practical thing to develop as a worship leader, but the confidence to guide you forward needs to come from God’s Spirit!
This is how the Spirit gives us confidence as worship leaders; Romans 8:14:
“Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God”
Those who know where they are going because of God’s Spirit are sons of God! There is a future-present reality here just like the Kingdom of God! As the Spirit leads us (future) we are reassured that we are (present) sons and daughters of God the Father! If our confidence is rooted in the Spirit’s leading in our lives then we live and lead out of our true identity. We can lead worship with the confidence in knowing who we are in Christ instead depending on our performance to establish who we are in Christ.
As we begin to gain confidence from the Holy Spirit working in our lives we strengthen our foundation as worship leaders. We can go where God is asking us to go, not because we’ve been there before, but because we have confidence in Him! To me, this is what it truly means to be humble…to know who I am because of what he did, and that I trust where I’m going because He’s leading me. God opposes the proud but He gives grace to the humble. Get ready, we’re about to embark on a new season of grace in worship.