It Ain’t the Heat, It’s the Humility


HumilityHumility is one of the most difficult qualities for worship leaders to embrace and sustain. It is always a challenge to be both up-front and unassuming.

In the name of artistic excellence we are often unwilling to take a secondary and supportive role to those who are obviously less talented.

Arrogance can even suggest that what we lead and how we lead it holds more value than whom we lead. Former baseball player and manager, Yogi Berra is quoted as saying, “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”

Instead of a desire to be recognized, revered or elevated, maybe our worship leading prayer should be instead, “Lord, deliver us from ourselves.” Jorge Luis Borges wrote, “Arrogance is when the image of the Lord has been replaced by a mirror.” Setting our egos aside and placing others first models a level of worship leadership that platform presence will never achieve.

Having enough humility to tap into the creative abilities of others in the planning, preparation and implementation of worship doesn’t diminish our worship leadership influence it actually enhances it. So when humble leaders leverage all available resources it is a sign of leadership strength, not weakness.

The worship leader who leads from the impression that he/she alone has the ability and even right to be the sole proprietor of the worship service often cares more about elevating him/herself than helping the congregation participate in spirit and truth worship.

So if you alone are holding onto the worship process as an arrogant gatekeeper to receive all the credit when something works, just remember that you alone will also receive all the credit when something doesn’t. Worship leadership is not what you do for or to your congregation it is what you do with them.

“When humility delivers a man from attachment to his own works and his own reputation, he discovers that perfect joy is possible only when we have completely forgotten ourselves. And it is only when we pay no more attention to our own deeds and our own reputation and our own excellence that we are at last completely free to serve God in perfection for His sake alone.”[1]


[1] Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation (New Haven: Abbey of Gethsemani, 1961), 58.


5 Responses to “It Ain’t the Heat, It’s the Humility”

  • Candy Belt Says:

    Humility is the key. We must stay broken before the Lord, understanding that every good and perfect gift is from Him, through Him, to Him and for Him. He is our source and we must always stand before Him knowing that without Him, we are nothing. He is our source, our breath and our song. We are privileged to lead His people into an encounter with His presence!

  • Mark Cole Says:

    Thank you for that excellent insight. Humility is always illusive! 🙂

  • Travis Jeffords Says:

    This is something I need to hear with fresh ears again and again!

  • Michael Murray Says:

    This is a great reminder for all leaders. The Lord has given you great insight.

  • Sandra Wood Says:

    Worship leadership is not what you do for or to your congregation it is what you do with them. – Amen.

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