Excellence in musicianship and leadership is extremely important. But more important is time alone in the Word and with Jesus.
Plan time for personal worship each day as you prepare to lead corporate worship.
If you plan to help a new church plant by leading worship, you need to first understand being “ALL IN” as a church planter.
Your number one goal should be to work closely with the pastor in ANY AREA that is needed with helping lead and shepherd the people.
engaging with individuals in the community
loading in and out
and so much more
You are a church planter whose skill set is music and leading worship, not a worship leader that happens to be at a church plant.
Keep your priorities in line as you lead.
Most of the congregation will not notice, but FLOW is crucial in worship planning.
Spend time really thinking about your transitions as you plan.
What key are you leaving and going to?
What are common words in the songs that connect?
What is the style of the song?
What are some common themes in the songs that connect?
When will you say something between songs?
Why do you say something between songs?
Are you using scripture on the screens and if so, how do they help the flow?
If you begin working on better flow, spend time afterwards evaluating.
Remember, it is not about the songs or the flow, but about pointing those who are worshiping to the throne!
When leading, it is important to encourage the congregation to sing.
It is all relative.
If they are singing a little, have them sing more.
If they are singing some, have them sing more.
If they have lots of energy, lead them to have more.
Worship grows stronger when the majority of the congregation is singing. You, the worship leader, are responsible to get them to participate and sing.
So, try this the next time you lead.
1) As you start the chorus for the second time through, ask the congregation to “sing out.”
2) Get them to sing louder and louder as you lead, then drop all the instruments out and let them hear the voices a cappella.
Confidence in congregational singing will help lead to stronger worship experiences.
I Peter 5:5 says, “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
This week, walk with humility toward each individual on your team.
Care for them.
Seek to walk with a heart of humility all week long, then approach the stage with the same heart as you lead the congregation in worship.
Recently I had the opportunity to spend some time with a dear friend who sings, leads worship, writes songs and has a heart for shepherding the local church. He has developed a passion for teaching God’s word and now has opportunities to both lead his band AND to teach.
As God has given him new passions for teaching, I encouraged him to move in that direction, but to not give up his gifts in music and leading worship.
It reminded me that we are all created with unique gifts. God is opening the door for my friend to be able to teach at times and to lead worship at times. Someday he may have to choose which one will receive the most of his time, but for now, it is great to do them both as God opens the door.
Take a moment and think about your gifts. As you get older, try new things. Lead in a different way. It does not always have to be music. You may be gifted in media, or writing, or songwriting, or shepherding. Allow God to work in your life and lead your steps to new things.
Seek HIM first in everything and keep your heart focused on him. That should ALWAYS be your number one passion.
If you are responsible for leading the congregation in worship, you are also responsible for leading your team of vocalists, instrumentalists and media technicians.
Commit some time each week to pray for your team. Use Paul’s pray in Colossians 1 as an example.
1:9 “…we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” ESV
Pray this for your team:
- that they may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding
- that they would walk in a manner worthy of the Lord
- that they would be fully pleasing to the Lord
- that they would bear fruit in every good work
- that they would increase in their knowledge of God
God will be honored as you lift your team up in prayer to him.
When you lead worship, consider yourself a shepherd, caring for the people and leading them somewhere. There may be individuals who do not know the song you are leading, who are attending for the first time, or who are uncomfortable singing.
As the leader, constantly observe those who are singing. Encourage them and bring them into your worship experience.
Use words or phrases during the songs such as:
“sing with me”
“a little louder”
“put your hands together”
ENGAGE THE PEOPLE!
A little encouragement will go a long way in helping the congregation feel more comfortable in joining you as you sing and as they sing.
Lead your people.
If you realize you made a mistake that caused pain and heartache for your congregation or worship team, it is easy to pass the blame to someone else or just ignore it.
Those under your authority already know that you were responsible. However, in many difficult situations, leaders simply pass the blame on to another person or event instead of themselves.
If you want to grow as a leader, take responsibility not only for things that go well, but also for the rehearsals or events or relationships that fall apart because of your decisions and leadership. It is part of the high price of leading, but those under your authority will learn from you in how to handle difficult times.
Ask God to teach you to be a stronger leader in the seasons of both good and difficult times.
TO DO: Read all of Philippians at one time. Ask God to show you how to have the “mind of Christ” as you lead your team.
Many times worship leaders have the pastor or someone else on staff to help keep them accountable spiritually. But what about the members of the band?
If you are the worship leader in your church and you have instrumentalists and vocalists who are helping lead worship, consider encouraging them on a regular basis to be in God’s word. Help them to spend time in prayer. Help them to understand the songs being sung in worship.
They will appreciate your time and your investment.