by Mike Harland

… be sure you have put it down first.

You don’t see carpenters without a hammer, and you don’t see shepherds without a staff or fishermen without a fishing pole. In worship ministries these days, you don’t often see worship leaders without a microphone in their hands.

The secret of spiritual worship leadership is understanding the process of letting go of the parts of it that feed our own ego – the ways we make it about ourselves. Before we know it, it becomes “our song” and “our mix” and “our microphone” and there are plenty of reminders that it’s all ours everywhere we look.

Last year, Teresa and I went to the Michael Bublé concert here in Nashville.  His face was on the ticket. There were giant “MB” banners and backgrounds everywhere. Even the orchestra had a placard on their music stands with his initials on them. Four follow spots were trained on him every step he took all over the massive stage. There was no doubt who this evening was about.

I’m afraid worship ministries can unintentionally be built that way, too. We have the talent, the baton, and the platform. People consider us as a main attraction when they describe our church to others. We are the logical soloist, conductor, planner, songwriter, and creator of everything. The Church has become our worship castle where we are king.

In Exodus 4, God asks Moses the question, “What is that in your hand?” as if God didn’t know. Moses answers, “A staff.” And God retorts with something I believe He says to every worship leader who walks out in front of the church to lead.

“Throw it down.”

Throw down your ego, your ambition, your need to be affirmed, your talent, your appearance, your position, your insecurities, your fear, your motives, your songs, your skills, your choir, your band… and on and on we could go. If we don’t constantly platform others, step back so others can lead and focus on the needs and development of others, pretty soon we have built it all around ourselves.

The next time you walk onto a stage and start to pick up a microphone, make sure you have put it – and everything else – down first.


This post first appeared on the blog It has been reposted with permission.