The Secret to Authentic Worship

It’s you. You’re the reason—hidden in plain sight. I’m writing to you, pastor. The hidden reason churches nail worship is because the pastor leads out in worship.

Most churches will only worship to the level of their pastors. If you’re the stoic stander, your church will be full of Sunday morning totems. If you raise your hands, then people in the church will follow your lead. When pastors immerse themselves in worship, churches do the same.

Stop blaming your worship pastor for the lack of energy, stop complaining about the musicianship, and stop thinking, if only we could change the music style. Just worship. Dig into it. Sing loudly to the glory of God.

Stand in the front of the worship space and let it out. Lift your arms in surrender. Spontaneously kneel at the altar in passionate prayer. Step into the pulpit short of breath from singing.

You lead with evangelism. You lead with vision. You lead with theology. You lead with shepherding. You lead with prayer. You also lead with worship. Pastor, if you’re not worshiping well, if your soul is not poured out weekly, why would you expect the same of your church?

  • Evangelistic churches have evangelistic pastors.
  • Prayerful churches have prayerful pastors.
  • Passionate churches have passionate pastors.
  • Theologically sound churches have theologically sound pastors.
  • Joyful churches have joyful pastors.

Why would worship be any different?

The hidden reason churches nail worship is you.

You’re the visible prompt. People are watching how you worship. They are observing what you do. They are learning from you during the music as much as during the sermon.

Are you in it? Your job isn’t to wait through the other elements of the service for your time to preach. The lead pastor is also the lead worshiper. You must teach by example. Put your notes down and lift your voice. The best preparation for your soul is to join the congregational singing of the saints.

If you’re only preparing sermons and not preparing for worship, then you’re fulfilling just half your responsibility on Sunday mornings.

The hidden reason churches nail worship is right there in plain sight.

It’s you.

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This article originally appeared on and is reposted here by permission.

Sam Rainer
Sam Rainer

Sam Rainer is the lead pastor of West Bradenton Baptist Church, co-host of the Est.Church podcast, president of Church Answers, co-founder and co-owner of Rainer Publishing, and the president of Revitalize Network.