As a performing group in a church setting, we run the risk of taking some of the glory due to God for ourselves. Innocently, congregational members will praise us, or even praise the music we play, when that praise should be reserved for God alone. How do we effectively deflect that praise to the One who is worthy of all praise?
Dr. Stephen Newby, Director of the Center for Worship at Seattle Pacific University, has developed the concept of “expository worship leading,” in response to this concern. Most of us are familiar with expository preaching, which is preaching that explains scripture. Expository worship leading explains elements of worship, such as musical selections, by pointing people back to God’s Holy Word. Obviously, if you can’t identify the scriptural basis for any element of worship, or any musical selection in worship, then perhaps you should question whether or not it should be used in worship.
A simple way to put this into practice is to project scripture that relates to a musical selection, while it is being played in worship. Most hymnals will provide a related scripture to each hymn or chorus, or even a simple Google search might give the desired information.