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5 Rock Stars Who Should Have Been Worship Leaders

These ultra-famous musicians were given a special anointing. What they did with it was up to them. Do you agree that they might have been worship leaders?

Paul says in 1 Corinthians that God didn’t call many noble, nor influential, nor wise as the world perceives it, to serve in His kingdom.

But I believe he does give an anointing, at conception, to certain individuals. After we are born, He lets us decide what we will do with it.

This got me thinking. Are there individuals who received a worship leader’s anointing, but didn’t end up worship leaders? I believe there are, so I put together a short list.

There are many more out there; perhaps every famous musician was set apart for God’s service. But I chose five who have a special anointing — so much so that their music is worship-leaning, whether it turned out that way consciously or unconsciously.

These rock stars were born to lead worship, and not surprisingly, inspire people to worship something.

Bono

Okay, let’s start with the obvious here. We all know about Bono’s faith-leaning tendencies.

He sings a song called “Yahweh” for Pete’s sake. The U2 songs “Where The Streets Have No Name” and “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” are so heavily nuanced that even non-Christians realize where he’s going with them.

I don’t know where Bono’s faith is. But that’s beside the point. He has a worship-leading anointing.

God doles out influence. But he doesn’t mandate what we do with it.

Katy Perry

Perry has some downright inspirational stuff. From “Roar” to “Firework,” you can’t listen to her stuff without your heart leaping out of your chest.

Perry grew up in a Christian home and attended faith-based schools and camps (Wikipedia trivia) and — get this — her first album in 2001 was a Christian record. She even toured with Phil Joel of Newsboys fame.

It seems Perry has strayed from those roots (her first big hit was “I Kissed A Girl” which glorified a lesbian-leaning encounter) but, like I said before, God never takes away an anointing. It’s our choice how we use it.

In 2013, Perry released a song that shows, in some way, she clings to her roots. Once we taste God’s character, I don’t think we ever forget it. Take a listen to “Unconditionally.”

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Bob Dylan

Dylan started off playing acoustic guitar exclusively.

That’s how you know he was meant to be a worship leader.

Kidding.

But he does possess a worship leader’s anointing, and reportedly “converted” (I hate that word) to Christianity in the late 1970s or early ’80s (according to Wikipedia which I’m sure is always right).

[Rant: what does “converted” mean, anyway? Following Christ is turning around and walking in the other direction, toward Christ. You’re not changing life forms or something.]

I believe Dylan has been “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” for a long time, with his music, and was meant to inspire others to do the same.

Jason Wade of Lifehouse

This one is kind of cheating because Wade use to be a worship leader. The first Lifehouse album is basically a bunch of worship songs that also “worked” in the secular world.

Back in the day I used “Everything” in worship sets incessantly. To this day it’s one of the most powerful songs I remember ever leading with.

Lifehouse has leaned less on the worship side since their 2001 breakout debut album No Name Face. Nonetheless, Jason Wade will always be a born worship leader.

John Lennon

Surprised to see this name here? Don’t be. Anyone who has worldwide, generation-spanning influence got there by having a special anointing.

Jesus says all authority and power is distributed by the Father in Heaven. For some reason, John Lennon was given an extra portion.

He said The Beatles were bigger than Jesus. But God wanted him to make Jesus bigger to the world. Musically, we gained by John Lennon’s chosen path. While this is a topic of another post, I don’t believe he would have forged so much ground musically as a worship leader or even a Christian artist (if there was such a thing back then, which there wasn’t) So, yay!, we advanced music history by 50 years in a very short period in the 1960s. However, it’s hard to say how far God’s kingdom would have been advanced if Lennon had somehow heard/learned/obeyed Christ.

Perhaps Jesus would have already returned. [Not kidding].

God’s glory will go on regardless, but what part Lennon could have had in that we’ll never know.

“Imagine” what he could have done.

Thoughts?

This list is just a sample of musicians I thought of off the top of my head. Feel free to chime in on the comments below the “related posts” section. What famous mainstream musician do you think has a worship leader’s anointing?

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Featured image: Yvette de Wit/Unsplash

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2 comments on “5 Rock Stars Who Should Have Been Worship LeadersAdd yours →

  1. Hello. I frequent your site fairly often. I defintely felt led to weigh in on the topic above, “5 rock stars who might have been worship leaders”. I am a worship pastor. While I appreciate your website overall, I find this article disturbing. I don’t know your theological background but it strikes me as more like “charismatic speak” and personal opinion than biblical truth. You say “I believe” but you give no scriptural foundations for such beliefs.

    According to God’s Word, ALL believers have been anointed (1 John 2:20; 2 Cor. 1:21-22)—chosen by God and empowered by His Holy Spirit for service unto Him. I know of nowhere in the NT that suggests that God “does give an anointing, at conception, to certain individuals. After we are born, He lets us decide what we will do with it.”

    Additionally the artists you mentioned at least appear to be unbelievers, and as such could not be “anointed” as described in the NT.

    The comment “perhaps Jesus would have returned already” if John Lennon had somehow heard/learned/obeyed Christ is nothing short of ludicrous. To state that one man could have such influence over when the King of the Universe may return has absolutely zero scriptural foundation.

    If your article were framed in the context of “IF” these people had been believers, they could have been great worship leaders, I would be able to perhaps agree with the premise. As it stands right now, though, it potentially provides a huge stumbling block to new believers and muddies the water between Jesus and the World.

  2. Thanks for your comments, Scott.

    First of all, I want to point out that I put “I believe” in the article because, as Paul said, It is I speaking, not the Lord. I think it’s okay to have your own theories about how the universe works. This article summarizes one of my theories and should not be taken as biblical truth, revelation, or anything more than a hypothesis.

    My reasoning is derived, though, from many biblical examples. Solomon was chosen to be great. He screwed a lot of things up morally, but God did not take away what I would call “anointing” — though that term is debatable as you brought up.

    Call it “gifting”, “talent”, “influence”, or “designated position” — that’s more of the idea. Think of Samson, though he engaged in all sorts of unruly and even sinful activity, retained his anointing as long as his hair was intact.

    You are right, though, that New Testament anointing can’t rest on unbelievers because they are still at odds with God, not able to act in the Spirit. My take is based on an Old Testament anointing.

    It’s a little fatalistic, but you have to admit that some people are born into the world larger than life and carry an outsize influence on society throughout their lives. I believe this ability is God-given, at conception, and nothing can take it away. Call it anointing or something else, it’s real.

    This ability, most often, is not attributed to God, because with that much talent and influence it’s hard to submit yourself to Christ. So most of these individuals end up very prominent in the world but not so much in the Kingdom of God. There are exceptions, of course, like Mark Driscoll of the late Mars Hill Church, Billy Graham, Keith Green, and more. These individuals, if they did not choose the path of God’s service, would have ended up just as large of a force in the secular world.

    In the same way, perhaps figures like John Lennon would have had an outsize impact on God’s Kingdom, speeding Christ’s return. Matthew 24:14 says the gospel will be preached to all nations, then the end will come. Since he left the preaching to us, why could not an influential individual speed Christ’s coming? 2 Peter 3:12 suggests we can do just that. My point about Lennon was that, if a person has massive influence, and uses that to make Christ famous, Jesus could actually return sooner.

    These are controversial views, I know. I hope they are not stumbling blocks as you say. Again, thanks for your insights on this post.

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