The worship wars may have ended, but the concerns continue. In recent years, a concert-driven style of worship has gained increasing popularity in charismatic and evangelical churches. In an atmosphere like this, it's easy for the focus to shift from God to those leading worship.
Singer-songwriter and recording artist Susan Cheatham, a prophetic worship leader who serves on the staff of Katie Souza/Expected End Ministries, shared her own thoughts on worship leading and more with Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of the Greenelines podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. Cheatham said that, whether she's ministering with Souza in a prison, church or other setting, one factor is key: She's not the leader at all.
"The thing about leading worship is knowing that the Holy Spirit is the leader," Cheatham said. "You have your setlist; you have your plan, so to speak. But you have prayed into the service, you've prayed into the event or whatever you're doing in that moment. ... There's an expectation in your spirit that the Holy Spirit is going to guide and lead you. And your confidence is in Him and not what you can do."
Cheatham says the goal of a Spirit-filled worship leader should always be "to point people to Jesus, to point people to Christ." In that way, she says, worship leaders can't take their cues from those they lead. Instead, "We take our cues from the Holy Spirit, and we go with Him," she said. "Yes, we are sensitive to what He is doing in that moment, though, with the people. We have to stay sensitive to how the Holy Spirit's moving, how God's speaking in that moment. And that is very key because we don't want to keep going on and on, and the Holy Spirit just left the building. ... We need to be sensitive to what He's doing; watch what He's doing. I do have eye-to-eye contact, because I'm the minister, and so I don't just go off in my own world."
Cheatham added that for worship leaders, "That's the goal: to take them into the presence of the Lord as you go into the presence of the Lord."
And taking people into the presence of the Lord is also what Cheatham strives to do through her book, Unlock Your Inheritance, and her television show, now available as a podcast, Arise With Susan, on the Charisma Podcast Network. She described it as a "kingdom show" and said she interviews those who are making a difference in the kingdom of God. Through the show, the testimonies of these world changers go across the globe to help those who watch and listen to "come up higher, to be healed, to be set free, to get the keys they need to be successful in their lives," Cheatham said.
For more insight on how to let the Holy Spirit guide you as a worship leader as well as in your own walk with the Lord, listen to the entire episode of Greenelines here. And be sure to check out Cheatham's own show, Arise With Susan, on the Charisma Podcast Network. Subscribe to both this and Greenelines for more stories that will guide you to grow in the Spirit.
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