When Worship Leaders Receive Praise

by Bobby Gilles

in Worship Leading

“Beginning in 1985 I was invited to lead worship at some of John Wimber’s equipping conferences in the United States, Canada and other countries. All of a sudden I was launched into a much greater level of visibility, which carried with it a spiritual test. John Wimber used to say that tough times are not the greatest test of a leader — the times of exaltation and success are. The big question is, ‘What are you going to do when everything is going right?’ One of my favorite proverbs says, ‘The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives” (Proverbs 27:21).”

— Andy Park, To Know You More: Cultivating the Heart of the Worship Leader

What are you doing to keep yourself from developing an unhealthy taste for compliments? It’s a tough matter because it is good and right to encourage our brothers and sisters who labor well for Christ, whether they are worship leaders or not. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 16:17-18

I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence, for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such men.

Our task is not to refrain from encouraging and giving recognition to those who run the race well. Our task is to give all glory to God if a brother or sister bestows such recognition upon us.


Caleb White October 14, 2012 at 5:12 am

Hi guys, I really appreciate your music, your work with Sojourn, and your blog. What I want to know is, how do I “give all glory to God if a brother or sister bestows recognition upon me”? Is the idea to heartily say, “All glory to God, brother”? Or is it more of a gracious, “Thanks for the encouragement”, while inwardly acknowledging our debt to God?


Bobby Gilles October 15, 2012 at 9:02 am

I don’t think either response is wrong — it may depend in part upon whatever you know about the person giving the encouragement or other particulars in the situation. However I think sometimes we can be too quick to shut people down when they compliment or encourage. We may do so out of a pure desire to give God the glory, but He is glorified when His people love each other well. So I think it is often good to accept encouragement at face value and offer thanks to the person, as well as thanks to God.

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