Why I Lead Worship (even though I can’t sing)

For the last three semesters our Youth Group was blessed to have a student who was able and willing to lead us in worship through song. But, as happens in Youth Groups, she graduated leaving us with nobody currently willing to lead us. My wife asked me if I would be willing to lead a few songs each week. I am a poor guitar player and and even worse singer, but I agreed to do it. I did it because it is important and because it is necessary. But I also did it, despite my lack of musicianship, for three main reasons.

1. It pleases God

Our worship pleases God even when we don’t do it well. When my son draws me a picture I have never responded, “It’s no Rembrandt, but thanks, I guess.” Likewise, God has never complained that I am not David Crowder. Because worship is not about our pitch or our tempo, but about the position of our hearts. When my son draws for me it communicates a desire to give what little he can to me, the same is true of our worship.

2. It communicates grace

We are constantly trying to communicate to students that God can use them even with their hang ups and weaknesses since broken people are all God has to work with. Imagine the message we  would send if after a lesson on how God can use them even in their weakness I were to say, “We were going to sing some songs, but I am not good enough.” Rather we say, “Even though I am not good at this, God is with us and loves us despite my limitations.” This illustrates the lesson that there is nothing that grace can not overcome.

3. Jesus worships for us

I’m convinced that Jesus did not just die for our sins, but that he also lived for them. We talk often of Jesus suffering the wrath of God for our sin. He took what was ours, but he also has given us what is his. This means when we enter into life with Christ we receive the benefit of his right life and can now participate in it. Jesus lived perfectly. Yes, he followed the law perfectly, but he also prayed perfectly, loved perfectly, served perfectly, and worshipped perfectly. The perfect life of Christ is not just about not committing sins, but it was also about being in perfect communion with God. Just as I can never perfectly not sin I can also never perfectly worship. The best I can do is participate in what Christ has already accomplished. When we come to worship, whether we are classically trained or tone deaf, the only thing we can offer is the perfect worship that Christ has already offered in our name. This is done through faith and the Holy Spirit (see Romans 8:26-27), not through talent.

I do not mean to discount the role of musical talent, but rather to elevate the role of grace. These things are comforting to me, but they should be informative for all worshippers. We must remember that Jesus Christ is our worship leader.

What other reasons are there to worship even when you can’t sing?