Posted by David Binion on 9 July 2014

WeAreWorship: In an interview some years ago, Andre Agassi was asked what he thought was the most important thing about becoming a parent. He said, “How you define success”. How do you define success both as pastors and worship leaders? What’s a win for you?

David Binion: Success as a Pastor means to watch lives of people that you have poured yourself into and see transformation for the good. To see someone who didn't even know who or what they could be and discover their purpose in the Kingdom. I love to see the light come on in their eyes and watch them thrive; not just in life, but in the reality of their Divine Destiny.  

It's almost the same answer for the Worship Leader. I know my strengths. I know the tools God has given me to lead people effectively. In the most difficult of circumstances the principles of leading worship always work. People will follow someone if they believe the leader knows where he's going. But success for me is when one of the team captures the same heart and can learn to lead for themselves. One of the most thrilling things for me is to watch Nicole, or Josh, or Colin lead a worship service without me being on the stage. To see any of them take congregations into His presence without my assistance is priceless. My responsibility as a Worship Pastor is to develop a culture of worship so that when I am gone there will be a community of people who still know how to lead.

WeAreWorship: What vital things do you know now that you didn’t know when you started out as a worship leader?

David Binion: When I started out I thought worship had to do with whoever was on the stage. If they were anointed they could effectively lead. What I've come to understand is that while it takes a good anointed leader, worship is just as much about the role of the people in the congregation. Some of the most glorious worship encounters that I've experienced are when the sound of the congregation overpowers what's happening on the stage. It still takes a leader who understands worship, who knows how to direct traffic and give signals. If what happens on the stage is the only thing that happens then it's just a performance.

WeAreWorship: What are the obvious but too–often–overlooked keys to helping us get better at leading people in worship?

David Binion: I have to say, "Keep your eyes open!" Sometimes we close our eyes because we're trying to close out everything around us and focus. Or we think that's what we do when we pray or try to be sincere. But if you do not open your eyes and keep a handle on where the congregation is, you may lose them and not even know it. 

I always try to make eye contact with as many people as I can. Sometimes it frustrates me when I see someone standing and staring and it's obvious that their minds are somewhere else. But it becomes a personal challenge for me to see them, and know that they see me and a slight nod or grin brings a smile to their face and "bam!" You made a connection! Then before you know it, they're following you, worshiping with you. This happened a couple of Sundays ago to a man standing in the front row. Blank face! I kept watching him, waiting for him. Then it happened. He saw me. I saw him and gave a friendly nod while we sang. He smiled. Before the worship had ended, his hands were half raised and tears were streaming down his face. Something broke in him. His countenance lifted. And just maybe, a little piece of his heart was healed.  

WeAreWorship: Is there any common baggage that you think worship leaders need to get rid of today in order to move forward?

David Binion: A quick easy answer is “SELF". Insecurity, intimidation and inhibition all come from too much inward focus. But the truth is, we will never be adequate or good enough. 

We have to learn the gift of invisibility. To stand in His shadow and not overshadow. The problem comes when we start drawing attention to ourselves instead of directing the attention to Him. 

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