I Am a Worship Leader

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(Author’s Note: My friend and professor in my doctoral studies, Dr. Lester Ruth, while doing research for a book on the history of the Praise and Worship Renewal, found a poem of mine published in Psalmist Magazine in 1986.  Reading it today, I think it still captures what it means to be called to the ministry of leading worship.  SRP)

I Am a Worship Leader

Stephen Phifer

I am a worship leader.
Not by my own doing—God has set me apart to lead His people into His presence.
Not by my own power—God enables. His Spirit moves where He wills and He wills to move in me.
Not for my own glory—God is honored and adored. All that is in me bows in adoration. All my crowns are cast at His feet.

I am a worship leader.
I follow and I lead.
I deal in style and substance—style, the momentary tool for the work at hand, and substance—the manifestation of His glory. This is the work at hand.
The Father longs for His children, for our love, our time.  He made us for His own Pleasure and glory.
We, His children, long for our Father. Our deepest need is Him—His courts of praise, His house of love, the inner chamber of communion with Him.

I am a worship leader.
I hear the Father calling, “Come away, My beloved, come away. Come to Me. Spend time with Me. Seek My face, My heart, and My voice. Then I will send you to your world. I will send you in power and love and with perfect direction.”
He calls for us. The time is this time. The place is this place. We will praise Him. We will worship Him. He will meet us here. Almighty God will meet with His people. This is worship: God manifests His glory in Spirit and in Truth as we adore Him.

I am a worship leader.
He has called me to this end—to bring God and man together in worship.
Then, to my closet of prayer! I must first minister to Him. I must see for myself His glory. I must know Him! I must experience in that Secret Place the communion of His presence. He will then reward me openly. He will manifest His glory. The glory of the Lord will fill the House of God!
So, let us then be one to make one sound to praise and worship the Lord.
So, let me then walk humbly before the Lord my God and seek His face for

I am a worship leader.

The Story of this Poem
I was travelling alone and having a sweet time of communion with the Lord. The plane was in flight over the Mississippi River. I grew up in a Mississippi River town on the Arkansas side, so the big river always captured my attention. When I looked down from such heights, I could see the effect of the river on the land. It reminded me that the Lord has called us to be like this river. We need to have the River of Life flowing through us to bless the land in which we live. We should, as worship leaders, cause growth as the Lord refreshes, encourages, and heals people as we flow through this life. As I concentrated on this, this poem flowed from my pen.

Dr. Stephen Phifer



I Am a Worship Leader

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