TWLL #39: Offering Jesus The Real Me When I Lead Worship

Jan 25, 2024

read time: under 3 minutes




When I lead worship, I don't want to offer Jesus a surface-level version of me.  I want to lead from a place of vulnerability and authenticity before Him.

In other words, I want to offer Him the real me when I lead worship.

But sometimes that's easier said than done.  


Sunday Morning Chaos

We've all been there, and sometimes it feels like we live there!  

On Sundays, in order to step onstage and lead worship, several things need to happen before that (set-up, soundcheck, song run-throughs, etc)). 

And if everything goes well, it might still be a bit of a swirl- but throw in the hiccups like a last minute song change, a rough sound-check, or your kids having a melt down in the chairs while you're trying to get your in-ear mix right- and now we're talking about a small storm.

By the time it's time for you to lead out that first song, you've been in chaos-management mode for a good while and the real you is buried somewhere underneath it all.


Bigger Picture Life Circumstances

But sometimes it’s not just Sunday morning chaos that’s making it hard to get to get underneath the surface.

It could also be the bigger picture life circumstances.  Maybe it's been one hard thing after another for you and your family- and you're overwhelmed and exhausted.

To cope you've just pulled back internally and unplugged a bit emotionally because what you’re feeling underneath seems too painful to deal with.

So you've been in a bit of a survival mode, living up on the surface.


The Pause

Whether it's the Sunday morning chaos or the hard life season- when it's time to show up and lead worship, how do you move from functioning up on the surface to functioning down in your heart?

I think it starts by hitting pause internally.  Instead of rushing into the opening song, when I step onstage or when my hands hit the keys I could take a second to slow down inside and literally ask myself 'Jon, how are you doing?' or 'Jon, where are you at?'

And if I can even just put a one-word description to what I'm feeling, it's actually really helpful.  "I am feeling _______ (anxious, upset, excited, sad, hopeful, exhausted)".

If I can name it, it's like I'm acknowledging it.  And if I acknowledge it, I can actually own and even embrace where I'm at.


The Prayer

But then I'm not just going to stop there.  Once I've been able to identify where I'm at, then it becomes a prayer to Jesus.  

"Jesus, you know right where I'm at.  You know, and understand that I'm feeling ______.  So here I am, just as I am.  And from this place I will lift up my voice and sing to You."

Right there, we've moved from living up on the surface, to at least moving towards our heart and beginning to embrace a more transparent, more vulnerable, and more authentic heart posture before Jesus.

And that's all He's looking for.  He's not looking for the put-together me.  He's looking for the real me. 

And the real me is what I want to offer Him when I lead worship.



If you’re in hard season right now, or if your Sunday morning service prep has felt extra crazy lately, I hear you.

As you get ready to lead again this weekend, remember that you can pause, slow down inside, identify where you’re at, and ask Jesus for His help as you lift your voice and sing.


That’s it for today.

See you all next week!



Whenever you’re ready, there are three ways I can help you…

1- If you're looking for more traction in your journey as a worship leader, you might consider joining a worship leader zoom group.  I host these groups once a week for an hour on Zoom over a 12-week period, as we walk through the process of learning to lead worship out of connection with Jesus.  For more details about our upcoming Summer Worship Leader Zoom Group, including schedule and cost, email me at [email protected]

2- If spontaneous worship is a challenge, I'm currently building out something new that might help.  Connection-Based Spontaneous Worship is a practical framework that empowers you to lead spontaneous worship with confidence, enables your musicians to flow with you, and helps your room engage.  It's a self-guided, self-paced 60-minute course that launches next month, and if you want to join the waitlist you can do that here.

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