Unlocking the Gold: How to Lead Worship with Authenticity and Connection

As a Christian music worship leader, there is one thing that always rings true - music has a unique way of bringing people together. And as we lead people in worship, it is our responsibility to not only lead them in song but to also lead them in the right direction.

Hope Darst, a Christian music artist and worship leader, understands this better than most. She believes that the key to leading people in worship is to focus on the gold in people. In this article, we will explore what she means by this and how it can help us become better worship leaders.

What Does It Mean to Focus on the Gold in People?

According to Hope Darst, focusing on the gold in people means seeing them the way God sees them. It means looking past their flaws and mistakes and recognizing the unique gifts and talents that God has given them.

As worship leaders, it can be easy to get caught up in the technical aspects of leading a worship service. We focus on the music, the lighting, and the sound, and sometimes forget about the people in the congregation.

But when we focus on the gold in people, we are reminded that worship is not just about the music. It is about coming together as a community of believers and lifting our voices in praise to God.

How to Focus on the Gold in People

So how can we as worship leaders focus on the gold in people? Here are some practical steps we can take:

1. Get to Know Your Congregation

One of the best ways to focus on the gold in people is to get to know them personally. Take the time to talk to members of your congregation before and after worship services. Ask them about their lives, their families, and their interests.

This not only helps you connect with them on a personal level but also gives you insight into their unique gifts and talents. You may discover that someone in your congregation is an amazing singer, musician, or writer, and you can then encourage them to use those gifts in worship.

2. Encourage Participation

Another way to focus on the gold in people is to encourage participation in worship. This means not only inviting members of your congregation to sing or play an instrument but also to share their personal testimonies or lead prayers.

When we give people the opportunity to participate in worship, we are affirming their value and worth as members of the church community.

3. Use Inclusive Language

As worship leaders, the language we use in our services can have a significant impact on how people feel included or excluded. Using inclusive language that acknowledges the diversity of our congregation helps everyone feel valued and respected.

For example, instead of always addressing God as "Father," we can use gender-neutral language like "Creator" or "Sustainer." We can also include prayers and songs in different languages or styles to reflect the diversity of our congregation.

4. Focus on the Message

Finally, as worship leaders, we need to remember that the message of our songs and prayers is just as important as the music itself. We need to choose songs that not only sound good but also have a meaningful message that speaks to the hearts of our congregation.

When we focus on the message of our worship services, we are reminding ourselves and our congregation that worship is not just about the music but about connecting with God and each other on a deeper level.

Biblical Examples of Focusing on the Gold in People

Throughout the Bible, there are many examples of people who focused on the gold in others. Here are just a few:

1. Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

In John 4, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well and engages her in conversation. Despite the fact that Samaritans and Jews did not typically associate with each other, Jesus sees the gold in this woman and recognizes her thirst for spiritual truth.

He speaks to her with kindness and respect, and as a result, she becomes a believer and brings many others to faith.

2. David and Jonathan

In 1 Samuel 18, we see the friendship between David and Jonathan. Despite the fact that Jonathan's father, King Saul, is trying to kill David, Jonathan sees the gold in David and recognizes him as a true friend.

Their friendship is based on mutual respect and admiration, and even after Jonathan's death, David remembers him fondly and honors his memory.

3. Paul and Timothy

In 2 Timothy 1, we see the relationship between Paul and Timothy. Paul recognizes the gold in Timothy and encourages him to use his gifts for the sake of the gospel.

He writes, "For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands" (2 Timothy 1:6). Paul sees the potential in Timothy and encourages him to fulfill his calling.


Focusing on the gold in people is an essential part of being a worship leader. When we see people the way God sees them, we can lead them in worship with authenticity and love.

By getting to know our congregation, encouraging participation, using inclusive language, and focusing on the message, we can create worship services that are meaningful and impactful.

As worship leaders, let us strive to focus on the gold in people and lead them in worship with joy and reverence.

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