Confessions of a Worship Leader – Perfectionism

This month we are going to get real and personal. You will gain a better understanding of the worship leader role and how to pray for your worship leader. This week, it is our prayer that you are inspired to worship through the brokenness in your life. If you are just now joining the series, be sure to check out the series introduction and other post within this series. Just click the buttons below:

The Battle of Perfectionism

A common definition of perfectionism would be, “the need to be perfect, or at least appear that way.”[1]

We live within a world that is constantly striving after perfection. Taking a look at cultures around the world, it is amazing to see the extraordinary lengths people will go to have the “perfect” skin, hair, outfit, family, job, and so on. However, I don’t believe perfection within itself is wrong. In fact, we were originally called to perfection.

As a worship leader...

Striving for perfection is one of my biggest strengths and biggest weaknesses. I struggle with the idea of every detail, song, rehearsal, and service being flawless, by all means possible. However, I am learning the dangers of perfectionism as I continue to grow in my leadership.

I know I am not the “perfect” leader. There have been times where I have been so nervous to walk up on stage due to a lack of confidence in myself and everything I planned for the service. There are times where I fail to be completely prepared, times I forget words, and times in which I simply goof up on something I rehearsed a thousand times. In these moments, I literally sweat like crazy, and my anxiety goes insane. In these moments, I am more worried about myself, how I will look, how the band will sound, and how the people will respond. The issue is… I am more focused on all the imperfections rather than focusing on God and leading His people in worship.

I absolutely love what issues of perfectionism that Ronnie Martin provides in his article, Hey Worship Leader, You’re Not Perfect. Check this out:

It’s mythical. From the standpoint of a worship leader, it’s the idea that you can create a song, sound, and service of which there are no errors, no mistakes, and achieve a momentary state of flawlessness. Unfortunately, it’s something that doesn’t exist. It’s an aim and an aspiration that can never be accomplished or fulfilled this side of glory. The only perfection attainable for any human being comes in the form of the only perfect person that ever walked the earth, and that’s a perfection applied to our salvation, not to our service orders, songwriting and six-part vocal harmonies. If perfectionism is the refusal to accept any standard short of perfection, then God alone is a perfectionist and anyone insisting on defining themselves as such is attempting to put themselves into a category that is exclusively reserved for One.[2]

The truth is, we live in a broken, imperfect world. We are perfectly imperfect in front of a perfect God. We don’t need to be perfect in order for God to love us. Even in our darkest moments, God still loves us. His love is good and never-ending (Psalm 100:5)! This unconditional love should inspire us to worship.

I won’t lie…

I am convicted of my perfectionism, even as I write this discussion post. However, I am thankful for this conviction. While I want to seek the excellence that God demands and deserves, I still need to ensure that my heart is set on worshipping. At the end of the day, my role as a worship leader is to lead people into a genuine time of worship with God. Sure, the service may not always run as I had hoped and planned, but as long as the heart and biblical foundations of worship are evident, I have done what God has called me to do. Just as God trusts me to lead His people in worship, I trust that He will use me…even in my imperfection.


I have two challenges for us this week:

1. Pray for your worship leader. Perfectionism is something everyone deals with, to some extent. Pray that while we seek the excellence in our positions and church services, we won't lose sight of the heart of worship.

2. Check out Bob Kauflin’s article, “Exposing Perfectionism. I highly recommend this short read on how perfectionism can be extremely dangerous, if gone unchecked. In this article, Kauflin explains how perfection is a delusion, idolatrous, and destructive.

God Bless!

David Conley


Recommended Track of the Week: "Holy Moment" by Chris McClarney

[1] Dahl, Melissa. "The Alarming New Research on Perfectionism." Science of Us. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. <>.

[2] Martin, Ronnie. "Hey Worship Leader, You're Not a Perfectionist." Doxology & Theology., 12 Feb. 2016. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. <>.