People said I was leading them into the presence of God. I knew that my synthy keys did something to the faces of those looking at me. And that's when I came crashing to my knees. Petrified at the power that was being attributed to me. Confused as to what I was supposed to be doing. That was sometime in 1998 I think, and it was the moment that woke me up and sent me running to the pages of God's word. All Christians are theologians, but that was the day I really started to get my theology from the Bible. From there I saw afresh that access wasn't by yamaha strings but by Jesus' blood, and that worship is why we exist.. that road also led me to discover the connection between missions and worship which I'd later (in 2001) find articulated much better by John Piper on page 1 of Let the Nations be glad, (though he'd written that many years earlier).
Today I rarely lead worship musically, though I'd like to think my more common activity of preaching is really worship leading too. The lightbulb may have gone on for me many years ago but confusion remains in the church today. What is really going on when God's people gather and sing?
Bob Kauflin once again hits the nail on the head. Here's the conclusion: ...as I'm standing in front of the church, leading them in songs, Scripture reading, and prayer, my goal is not to "lead them into God's presence," but to help them remember and celebrate what Christ has accomplished for them through his righteous life, atoning death, and glorious resurrection. As they place their faith and trust in the perfect high priest, they will most likely experience a fresh awareness of God's nearness. Their position in Christ hasn't changed. Their appreciation of it has. The church will be built up and God will be glorified..
Go read the theology Bob writes up for us, with a little help from David Peterson and Don Carson. Anything that gets us into Hebrews is good. Anything that gets my heart fixed on the cross is great. O for our congregation to have a fresh awareness of God's nearness tomorrow, O to have a deeper appreciation of the accomplishments of Jesus' life, death and resurrection!