Is Worship Leading a “Spiritual Gift”?


OK, the fact that you “read on” indicates you are at least curious, if not downright hungry, to know the answers to one or more of the following questions:

  1. Why? Why is worship leading not a spiritual gift? Simply stated: Worship leading, per se, is not listed as a spiritual gift in the Bible. There are over 20 spiritual gifts mentioned in the Scriptures and none of them make any reference to the leader of praise and worship. This is not to say that spiritual gifts such as teaching and encouragement, discernment and prophecy do not assist a worship leader. Whatever one’s gift or gifts may be – and all Christians have at least one spiritual gift – those gifts will likely be evidenced when he/she stands to lead others in praise. However, each spiritual gift works to enhance worship leading, not define it.
  2. What? Since worship leading is not a spiritual gift and thus not apparently what qualifies one to lead worship, what, then, is required or needed to be an effective worship leader? Glad you asked! Please watch for my soon-to-be-posted article, Requirements To Effectively Lead Others in Worship, for my take on that hugely important question and topic.
  3. Who? Who, then, should be a “worship leader” and how does one know whether he/she should pursue this ministry? In truth, every person who helps with corporate worship should see themselves as a leader of worship – from the praise team and band on stage to the production teams in the rear. It really comes down to calling, passion and opportunity:
    1. Do you sense a calling to lead others in praise? – Whom God calls, He equips and uses.
    2. Do you have a strong, inescapable desire to see others worship your Lord? – This is not some selfish want that you muster up as you imagine the accolades you can garner from showing off your talents. This is a God-given desire that burns within you for His people and for the lost to experience His love and His greatness.
    3. Do you have any opportunities afforded you to lead others in praise? – Opportunities might come in the form of singing in your church choir or going to your local nursing home and singing some old hymns with those precious, senior saints or leading a praise song around the camp fire with your friends or working in your church’s children’s music ministry.

Bottom line: It’s rarely glamorous to be a servant. And that is exactly what a truly qualified worship leader is – a servant who uses music as a tool to glorify his/her Lord and serve other people every chance he/she gets. And every person can serve no matter what their spiritual gifts may – or may not – be.


  • Michael

    I appreciate your thoughts on this idea of worship leading not being a spiritual gift. However, I have known you for a long time and I have seen you lead others in worship. I have to say that leading worship is a spiritual gift and you certainly have it. I agree that it is not listed in the Bible as a gift, but none of the lists of spiritual gifts in the Bible are complete lists. In my experience as a pastor, I have watched people lead worship because they are trained to do so, and I have watched people lead worship because they are gifted to do so. There is a huge difference in the leadership of those two different types of people. Certainly training and experience and wisdom help any worship leader, but the spiritual giftedness of a worship leader is what makes all the difference.
    You yourself were leading people in worship long before you had any formal training in music. I have witnessed you lead people in worship and I stand amazed at your gifts of music, singing, playing the piano, and leading others to the throne of God. Dwayne my friend, you have the spiritual gift of leading others in worship.

  • Administrator

    Michael, I must say that is the kindest rebuttal I have ever seen! You, my friend, are gifted with a way with words! Thank you for your encouraging insights and comments. While I am still inclined toward my original thoughts on spiritual gifts, I will certainly keep an open mind to your wisdom on this subject. Blessings on your ministry! – Dwayne

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