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.
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.
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.”
Dylan started off playing acoustic guitar exclusively.
That’s how you know he was meant to be a worship leader.
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.
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.
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?
By the way, I’d love it if you signed up for email updates below. I’ll let you know where there’s a new post or resource on Worship Deeper.
Featured image: Yvette de Wit/Unsplash