I love how these thoughts come right on the heals of my previous post on ego. Even with the slippery slope from confidence to ego, it's avoidable. Believe it or not, it is actually possible for one to be both confident and holy at the same time, and I'm afraid our worship leaders might not feel freedom to step into that. Let's see where we can grow our confidence in a holy and righteous ways...
We need confidence in the Triune God. This is the highest call to confidence. The songs we expect our congregations to sing repeat truths about our Great Creator who birthed this world out of love. There are songs about how Jesus' death and resurrection made way for all to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. And hopefully we will sing about how God makes Himself present to us by His Holy Spirit. Now, if we worship leaders aren't confident in those fundamental spiritual realities - if we don't truly believe them and live by them - then we shouldn't be in the position of leading those songs.
If we have holy confidence in who God is, and congregations believe us, then their hearts will be shaped in their own holy confidence as well.
We need confidence in our abilities. As James and Paul remind us, God gives good gifts to those who believe. If God has given you a gift in music, step into that. Jesus tells us that a lamp under a bowl is sort of useless, because, well, the light can't go anywhere. If we hide our talents, or hide from our talents, God's Glory is hidden as well. This type of confidence translates through the lyric in ways we can never measure, but can always sense. A subtle boost enters when words are sung under a confident voice, but be careful not to let this boost cast a sacred space into ego and self-worship.
If we have holy confidence in what God has gifted to us, our congregations will be encouraged to sing their hearts out even more.
We need confidence in our own skin. This is a tough one, but it's just as relevant as the others. If we aren't comfortable with our own bodies, there's no way to hide that on stage. We shouldn't be in positions of seeking accolades from others about how we look, dress, or express in worship. Otherwise, we would be preventing ourselves from the freedom we have to worship as we are (think of King David dancing). This is the very confidence that allows us to relax, smile, and truly connect with our congregations as we lead them. But sorry, this doesn't give us permission to wear distracting or revealing clothing because we know we look good in it.
If we have holy confidence in who we are, our congregations will feel freedom to follow our cues in expressing true worship with whole-body integrity.
So, worship leaders, let's dial up the confidence a bit while respecting the upper-limit of ego and diva. Believe in God and believe in yourself, and your congregations will follow.