Don’t Just Sing – Study! Why Theology Matters for Worship Leaders

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Worship Leaders, we need to discuss theology. There’s a stereotype that we are not the most, shall we say, “academically inclined” individuals. Are we enjoyable? Certainly. Are we creative? Absolutely. But theologians? Not typically.

Now, we know there are many intelligent worship leaders who could discuss theology in more depth than most pastors. However, let’s be honest – many of us avoid delving deeply into Scripture and studying the doctrines of our faith. We tell ourselves “I just want to connect people to God through music.” This is good! But consider this – knowing more about God helps you actually know God better. It’s like any relationship – the more you understand someone, the closer you grow. Ask your pastor for book recommendations or take an online theology course. Begin small by memorizing the books of the Bible or the creeds. Even 15 minutes a day of study will enrich your ministry.

Knowing God’s truth will transform how you lead worship. When you grasp concepts like the Trinity or Christ’s sacrifice, you’ll approach those songs very differently. Your new knowledge provides context that allows the lyrics to shine brighter. You’ll be able to explain complex doctrines simply when questions arise. And you’ll avoid potential theological problems that could derail a service.

Alright, let’s be candid – studying theology does not sound entertaining. Here are some ideas to make it more enjoyable:

  • Listen to podcasts while commuting
  • Find a study partner to discuss books over coffee
  • Read your pastor’s favorite theology books on vacation
  • See if your church will pay for an online theology course
  • Make a goal to memorize one new verse or creed monthly

Another issue worship leaders have is lack of time. Most of us are fairly busy between ministry, family, work and other duties. So how can you make time for theology?

Possible solutions:

  • Replace 15 minutes of social media with study
  • Wake up 15 minutes earlier
  • Listen to podcasts during routine tasks
  • Read on your lunch break
  • Have your spouse watch the children for 30 minutes before bed so you can read
  • Replace watching television with reading weekly

Finally, a major reason we avoid theology is because, honestly, it can feel overwhelming. Some people enjoy dense doctrinal books, but for others they are intimidating.

Suggestion: Begin with short, straightforward resources:

  • The Bible Project videos on YouTube
  • Theology primers and concise books
  • Simply explained creeds and confessions
  • Ask your pastor for an introductory reading plan

The key is taking that first step into greater theological knowledge. Build momentum with small successes. You don’t have to become the next C.S. Lewis quickly. Before long you’ll start reaping the blessings in your personal worship and how you lead others.

Bottom Line: Don’t settle for worship leader stereotypes. Become a theologian for the glory of God! Your congregation needs someone who can lead them deeper in Biblical truth through music.

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This Week’s Top Songs

Keep track of the top CCLI, Praisecharts, CCM and Hymncharts along with lyrics! There’s nothing like this list on the Internet! Go to the Top Songs page.

Find Hymns That Match Your Favorite Worship Songs

Which hymns go well with Bethel’s Goodness of God? Search at HYMNDEX.COM.

YouTube Worship Playlists!

From Worshipflow editor Don Chapman:

I like to listen to Youtube videos/podcasts as I drive around and have wished I could find a good, current playlist of all the top worship songs.

I can’t find any! So I made my own on the Worshipflow Youtube channel!

You’ll find playlists for the top CCLI, Praisecharts and CCM radio hits updated every week.

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