Have you ever wondered why in Genesis, God rejected Cain's offering?
Genesis 4 says this:
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Seems to me like an honest attempt. What's wrong with offering the fruit of your labor to God? Does God hate vegetables as much as I do? Maybe God just really prefers the smell of a good steak to grilled veggies which makes sense. Have you ever accidentally burned an onion? Disgusting.
No doubt Cain and his brother Abel had grown up hearing the story of how their parents had been evicted from the garden in Eden. Adam and Eve sinned and tried to cover themselves with fig leaves. God said "Let me cover you with garments of skin." They tried to do it on their own and God said "let me do it for you."
That is a picture of the grace of God; God doing for us what we could never do, even when it's our fault.
So back to Cain. Knowing full well that he was required to offer a blood sacrifice, he offered vegetation. He came to God with an offering that he knew was an insult to His grace, and God rejected it. Cain in essence was declaring that he would do things his own way and in his own power, outside of the plan and the requirement God had put in place; that he could atone for his sins by the sweat of his brow and the fruit of his fields. Cain was spitting on the grace of God so God rejected his offering.
As worship leaders, it can be tempting to bring our offering to God with the attitude that we have done all the work in practice and in preparation. We put in the hours learning chords and scales, we picked out the songs, we spent the time figuring out smooth transitions. We can fall into the trap of thinking that outside of the grace of God, we can do anything. God's grace is that He has given us the gifts and the talents and the anointing to bring worship to Him. When we think that we can do it on our own, we spit on that grace.
So how do we avoid that? By acknowledging His grace to us and not trying to do things in our own power. Instead of making our offering the focus of our worship, make God the focus of our offering. He has graced us with everything we need to bring an acceptable offering to Him.