Lead When Leading?

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”
“everyone sing”
“a little louder”
“put your hands together”


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.

Plan ahead.
Be intentional.
Lead your people.


Take Responsibility

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.



Healthy or Unhealty?

Have you ever been to the doctor for a physical? The doctor checks vital signs, blood work, family history, etc. and asks a lot of questions. He or she wants to help you be as healthy as possible. However, YOU must choose to first go to the doctor, and second, YOU must do what the doctor recommends.

What about the areas of your life the doctor does not check? Ask yourself these CHECK-UP questions?

How is my…

time in prayer?
time in Bible study?
time alone with the Lord?
time with family?
time with staff?
time leading volunteers?
time studying?
time preparing?
time being honest?

Take time to be intentional about moving unhealthy parts of your life to healthy. Start NOW!


Keeping Your Band Spiritually Accountable

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.

Lead Out of Your Team’s Strengths

Each person on your team has strengths and weaknesses in musicianship and in worship leadership. Both vocalists and instrumentalists many times do not want to admit or discuss their own weaknesses. Instead, they quickly say they can handle the situation or musical challenge. Therefore, if you are the leader, you MUST be able to see where each of your team struggles, even when they won’t tell you. At the same time, look for their strength not only individually, but look for how their strength gives strength to the entire vocal / instrumental team.

As you select others to lead worship with you, consider…

vocal strength
vocal range
ability to harmonize
ability to blend
ability to lead out on a solo or teaching a song to the congregation
ability to play piano and sing at the same time
ability to play guitar and sing at the same time
ability to lead worship while playing lead guitar
ability to speak while playing the guitar
ability to get along with the team
ability to plan worship
servant heart
ability to memorize
helps bring unity to the team
ability to transpose

As you plan worship, consider…
1) your leadership style (your strengths when you lead);
2) your team’s strengths when they sing, play and lead;
3) your church’s worship style.

Apply this filter each time you select songs and every time you plan the order of service. Use YOUR gifts of leadership and music to truly LEAD your team to be stronger each week than the week before.




burnout or balance

Wikipedia says: “Burnout is a psychological term for the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest.”

Those in the ministry, including worship pastors, are not exempt from burning out?

We try to be everything to everyone.
We are pulled in all directions.
We plan.
We organize.
We counsel.
We rehearse.
We learn new music.
We practice our skill.
We prepare to lead every week.
We prepare a team to lead each week.

The list goes on and on.

When you feel that life is getting out of balance, stop and evaluate. Tell trusted friends. Let them help you see how to find balance in your busy world.

Balance in life (at home with family and at your work place) will allow you to minister to others over the long haul.

Be aware of burn out, then do everything you can do to avoid it.



Find What Works for You When Teaching a New Song

Teaching new songs to your congregation is one of the unwritten job descriptions for every worship leader.

Try pointing your congregation to a source for them to listen to the song before you ever present it. You could simply post a blog or send an email with the songs that you plan to lead in upcoming weeks. Include links to iTunes or Spotify, etc. Encourage your congregation to listen to the songs several times before they attend worship. Help them to understand that corporate singing is stronger when everyone is singing and knows the song.

You may try singing a verse and chorus one week, then include the entire song on the second and third week. Experiment until you find what works best for you and your congregation.

The songs you teach may become a part of your worship repertoire for years to come.



Average, Good, Excellent

Take a few minutes and determine if your worship band is average, good or excellent.

Now, write down the WHY.

What would be their evaluation of you as their leader: average, good or excellent?
Be honest with yourself about how they would answer.

If your team’s level of musicianship, leadership, discipleship, etc is equal to you, you may not be able to help them grow stronger in these areas. If your team is below your level, with patience, you can bring them to a higher level. If you team is ahead of you in musicianship and leadership, they will be frustrated with as a musician or as a leader or both.

Take a look at yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Work weekly to strengthen yourself in order to be a better leader, a better musician, and a more disciplined follower of Christ. Those you lead will appreciate your example.


Get Check – Go Home

If your church is able to pay musicians, it is important to find individuals who are not serving just because they are paid. Some musicians (both vocalists and instrumentalists) can become more interested in getting paid than in playing or singing. Your event becomes just another gig.

So, if you are the leader responsible for hiring musicians, be sure to check their heart, check their references, and check their attitude before committing to hire them.

Is this person I am considering hiring a team player?
Is this individual already volunteering in other ministry areas?

Strengthen your team by helping them understand the reward of serving others in ministry, whether they get paid or not.





Background Check?

In “church work” we expect everything to be true on an application or in the information that is told to us in an interview. However, there are individuals with criminal activity on their personal record who interview for ministry positions. If you, the interviewer, do not ask the right questions, or if the interviewee lies with his/her answers, you may not find important information that will help you make the right decision about employing the applicant with your organization.

The money and time spent on helping you make wise decisions in your interview process will pay off with quality employees who bring value to your organization.


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