No Cheerleaders Required

Many believe that the sight of the Grand Canyon is the single most awesome view in all of the United States.  To simply stand at the brink and drink in the view is to stand in wonder.  Imagine for a moment that the National Park Service felt the need to “make it more exciting”, you know, bring the young crowds in.  Let’s say for a moment that they hired cheerleaders and a band to whip up the emotions of  the viewers.  Let’s say that to do this, they erected a large platform with big screens which blocked the view, but drew the crowds in order to ‘catch’ the excitement over what God did in the forming of the canyon. How foolish, we say, how unnecessary, how distracting, how dishonoring!

I thought of this recently when I attended a worship event in which yet another  worship facilitator kept ‘getting in the way’ of the praises of  God.  Constantly interjecting comments while the congregation attempted to sing.   “Isn’t He wonderful!”  “Oh, yes, can’t you sing it?”, “Yes!  That grace is so amazing!”.   I found myself wanting to shout, “Get out of the way!!  You’re blocking my view!”

Now if you were to go to the Grand Canyon, thankfully you would not find my nightmare scenario, but  you might well find a Park Ranger.  He would (we’ll leave out the evolutionary bits here) describe for you the details of the Canyon to enhance your understanding.  But he would do so by getting out of the way, he would be standing beside you, pointing.  That’s what those who lead in worship or in preaching ought to do.  Point, get out of the way of the glory, and simply point.

It turns out that God does not need a cheerleader.

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5 responses to “No Cheerleaders Required

  • MarieP

    At the seminary library, we subscribe to a magazine called Worship Leader. The cover title of the most recent issue caught my eye: “Jesus Christ, Our Worship Leader.” The author, Reggie Kidd, points out that Hebrews 8:2 uses the Greek term “leitourgos” to describe the ministry of Christ in the sanctuary. He concludes the article by saying, “Our task as worship leaders? Simple, if not easy. Give the platform to the real worship leader. Let him pray effectual prayers. Let him declare the Father’s blessing. Let him sing over his people in love. Let him set the most lavish of tables.”

    Cyberhymnal includes several verses to Bonar’s “Blessing, and honor” that are not included in our hymnal. One such verse sums up this idea well:

    Into the heav’n of the heav’ns hath He gone,
    Sitteth He now in the joy of the throne,
    Weareth He now of the kingdom the crown,
    Singeth He now the new song with His own.

  • Dallas Goebel

    When I read, “Isn’t He wonderful!” I laughed. Good point, though, Pastor Jim. I wonder, though, how many decisions concerning worship are really made “to reach the culture,” or are made simply out of personal preference.

  • Dallas Goebel

    BTW, I have a new blog. Click on my name for the link. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the Machen quote

  • Getting in the way « The Wanderer

    […] To see why, read this helpful reminder. […]

  • Benjamin James

    Amen Pastor Jim. The worship of God should be focused on God alone and not some cheerleader. The next time I step into a church with a person in the way, I’m sure I’ll be thinking of cheerleaders/this post… Lol

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