As worship leaders, we sign up for quite the public role. Sure, there are elements of planning in secret and praying in private, but our most direct venue for ministry is actually in front of people, leading them in worship. That part requires something special - something that I'm learning is actually rather unique. Worship leaders need to be comfortable on stage.
Just like everything else we do, our comfort and presence on stage needs to be humbly kept in check before God, in order for it to be purified and offered in a holy way.
If we're not comfortable being in front of the masses, I'm fairly certain that those people won't be comfortable following us. If there is hesitation in our hearts or minds about our leadership presence, that might be in indicator that there's an opportunity for growth. The less comfortable we are, the more closed we become, and congregations will have a hard time following that.
What if we truly feel called and empowered to lead, but don't quite feel comfortable on stage? No problem! Just as we can work to sharpen our voices and musicianship, we can also work to gain comfort on stage, but it requires facing some difficult questions. First, look to your heart and consider what it is that's keeping you from feeling free while in front of others. Are you generally worried about what people are thinking of you? Are you not personally convinced of the hope and joy found in Jesus, to whom we are singing? Is there something even deeper that's holding you back?
Great solace can be found when we come to realize what is actually happening on stage. If we're doing our job, we're transparent in our leadership, directing our churches straight to the Father. We become brave models of worship posture and worshipful hearts, and not simply performers who strut our talents and skills. We learn to shout "follow me", instead of "look at me!" We strive to make God's name great, and not our own.
In the end, to whom are we calling attention? Are we actually trying to take God's place in worship? If we're uncomfortable on stage, it could really just be a personality thing, but we can never afford to neglect pondering these deeper questions and considerations.