Geoff Surratt Asks and Answers the Question, Should “Fat” People Lead Worship?

Should Fat People Lead Worship

[I was reminded this weekend that my friend Sherren Wilson would have turned 54 yesterday. A couple of years ago, when a blogger suggested that fat people shouldn’t lead worship, I wrote a post about Sherren. I wanted to share it again. Sherren is someone you should know.]

The question seems to be, “Should fat people lead worship?” My answer would be yes and no.

Let me tell a story and then explain.

One of my favorite worship leaders was Sherren Wilson. Sherren was not only excessively overweight, she was chronically late and consistently unprepared; but when she led worship, something mysterious happened.

As Sherren led children in worship, they would jump and spin and wiggle and dance along; and they would be swept up in genuine worship. I saw second and third graders’ hands raised, eyes closed, tears running down their cheeks, expressing love to God. Sherren taught hundreds of children that worship comes from the heart and flows out through every muscle.

What was truly remarkable, however, is that adults were swept along with the kids when Sherren led. Many leaders told me they connected more with “children’s” worship led by Sherren than any other music at our church.

Sherren had a rare gift. God enabled her to pull back the invisible curtain between “here” and “there” just enough so we could peak inside.

Sadly for us, God called Sherren “there” not long after her 40th birthday, but when she led worship, we experienced a little of what Moses saw when he had to cover his face with a veil, what Isaiah experienced when he saw the Lord high and lifted up, what John wrote about when he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.

Sherren led children and adults into the throne room of God and allowed us to experience the awe of his presence a few minutes at a time.

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Geoff Surratt, having served Saddleback Church as Pastor of Church Planting and Seacoast Church as Executive Pastor, is now the Director of Exponential. ( He also works with churches on strategy, structure and vision as a free agent church encourager and catalyst. He has over twenty-nine years of ministry experience in the local church and is the author of several books including The Multisite Church Revolution and 10 Stupid Things that Keep Churches from Growing.