the Friday Pickle - could we find a better name than Worship Leader?

Posted by Craig Borlase on 4 October 2013

The debate had a little more volume a while ago, but search hard enough and you can still find people discussing what they see as the possible flaws within - and alternatives to - the term ‘worship leader’.

 

What’s wrong with the term? 

The common complaint is simple: it sounds arrogant. Calling ourselves ‘worship leaders’ makes us sound like experts, as if we’re somehow better at worship than those we’re leading.  

 

Aren’t we?

Musically, it’s a fair point. It’s safe to say that those in the worship band should have the musical skill, confidence and sensitivity to lead others. Not everybody in the room will have the ability to do that, and some musicians do it better than others. 

 

So what’s wrong with being clear about the fact that we’re setting an example for people to follow?

For some people, the rise of social media and the way that it appaears to have unleashed so much narcissism within us means that simple terms like ‘leader’ and ‘follower’ are currently pretty toxic. Add to that the fact that we’re in the middle of a boom time for the worship industry, and the waters are a little murky. As times it seems as though everybody wants to lead and few people want to serve. 

 

What’s the solution?

Redman and Giglio waved the flag for calling ourselves ‘Lead Worshippers’, but while the term managed to shift the emphasis from the authority of the Leader to the action of the Worshipper, to some it still sounded a little superior. 

What other options are there? Some go for Worship Curator, but does that sound a little pretentious? What about Worship Conductor? Worship Cultivator? Church Cheerleader? 

 

Is any of this relevant? 

Maybe you feel like tinkering with the name is only ever going to make superficial changes. Or perhaps you feel that names matter, and what we call ourselves determines what we become. Either way, what’s your take on it all?

 

 

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