When I was teaching, there were two sorts of courses. The fascinating ones where you got to ‘do’ something new, like art or music, and the boring ones where they chunnered on about stuff like initiatives, methodologies and policies, using all the latest buzz words, of course. One overworked topic was leadership styles. For all the chatter, I came to one conclusion. To be a leader, someone has to follow you.
By this definition, Miriam, in Exodus 15:19-21, was a worship leader. Do not imagine the fine sight of a lithe young girl gathering up her instrument to accompany her own beautiful voice, whilst dancing gracefully. Moses had been 80 years old when he started the conversation with Pharaoh (Exodus 7:7), and Miriam must have been significantly older, since she oversaw his adoption as a baby by Pharaoh’s daughter, so she must have been into her 90’s.
At that age, was her voice still good? What were her dancing energy levels after a lifetime in slavery? And how many years’ training did it take to shake a tambourine? Yet all the women followed her. What she must have had, was a worshipping heart, that drew others in to join her in worship.
So it really doesn’t matter who you are, how old or young, whether you can sing or play an instrument, whether you are up on a stage, or just one of the crowd. If you worship with all of your heart, others will want to join you. Drawing others in to worshipping God, proclaiming his greatness, losing themselves in wonder, love and praise… that’s real worship leading.
So the question then – when I worship, do others around me feel inspired and encouraged to join in?