Monday 16 January 2012

How to become a great worship leader.

It looks easy
I have been a worship leader for a long time. I have seen worship leaders come and go. Some have done well, while others failed miserably.
Like any role I'm ministry, leading worship probably looks a lot easier than it really is.  I mean surely it can't be that hard to pick your 5 or 6 favourite songs each week and have great worship where people are touched, healed, delivered, set free:  
Well in my experience I'd say "if only". Over the years I have had some real struggles even just choosing a few songs. If you have read any of my previous blogs, you will have caught my suggestions on preparation for worship leading. 

The first step: Serving

So if just choosing a few songs is not the key to being a great worship leader, what is?
Jesus said that if any of us want to be great in the Kingdom, we have to be the servant of all. Now there is a key! Serving. 
Serving is about being others focused and Christ -centred. It is about taking my eyes off me and how cool or great I think I am or want to be, and looking at ways to serve others. In worship leading, we are doing just that. We are gently taking the congregation member by the hand and ushering them into the presence of Jesus. The same Jesus who says: "come unto me all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you for my burden is easy and my yoke is light.";  is the Jesus that people need to know and be reacquainted with. You see, it's not about me or you, it's about Jesus. 

Step 2: It’s not about me

   Worship leading is not about me and how great I am.  It is about my willingness to serve. 
And if God chooses to raise me up to lead worship in front of thousands, I'd better have the same attitude to leading worship in a home group or a small country church of a congregation less than 20, otherwise I'm not what Christ has commanded me to be. 
Want to be a great worship leader? Love people, honour them where they are at, notwithstanding that their week may not have been as trouble free as yours. Value them; To Jesus they are important enough to die for, let's see them through Jesus' eyes.  
Do all the preparation required to produce excellent worship. Never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit and what He is capable of if you let Him. If you are standing in front of a large congregation, your commitment should reflect ( in fact it will be reflected ) in the success of your worship service. 

Step 3: You’re a part of a Team

Remember you are part of a team, who include your Pastor, your fellow musicians, backing vocalists, other Worship Leaders, Your sound engineer, Even the greeters at the door are there for the same reason you are: to bring people into the welcoming arms of Jesus.
Submit to your Pastor in love. Communicate with him (or her) bounce ideas off him, ask him questions like: “What is your theme for the week?” or “Is there any particular song that has been on your heart that you would like me to do?” Work together with your Pastor and Leadership to show Unity and a common vision.

 Step 4: What happens on Stage

You may have any number of co-workers with you on the stage, (unless you only do solo); so value them (your team) as fellow Workers. No one is less or more important than anyone else. I have had people on the stage who could scarcely stay in tune, but their attitude and heart for worship was a vital ingredient to arousing the congregation into Worship. Make sure that the stronger, more confident singers and Musicians are there to support and encourage the less confident members. Remember Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:21 “The eye can never say to the hand: “I don’t need you...”” We need each other. You are an anointed Worship Leader, others are anointed with their instruments, voices, gifts of helps, you get the message...

Step 5: It doesn’t happen without the Holy Spirit

I have put this last, but it is first and foremost. Without the Anointing of the Holy Spirit we are like the Corinthian Loveless vessels: Noisy gongs and clashing cymbals. Pray constantly for the infilling and outpouring of the Holy Spirit: On your leading, on your songs, on your team, on your Pastor.

Want to be a great Worship Leader? Here’s a few steps to take you towards that goal.
And remember: Your idea of Great and God’s idea of Great may well be 2 different things. Remain faithful, humble, and obedient. You can do it, I know you can!

If you would like more information on how to become a great worship leader or could use some great tools, check out the website. There is also a great podcast with weekly uploads on which we discuss all sorts of great topics on this site. Check us out!

God Bless you