By Billy Woods
Let me challenge you today to think about your motives when it comes to your role in the life of the body of Christ as a worship leader. I scribbled down 5 thoughts that came to my mind to challenge you (and me) as we re examine our motives as worship leaders.
- Be a worshipper yourself.
It is so easy to be caught up in the mechanics of leading worship. The to do list is long including but not limited to: making sure the gear is all prepared, music is prepared, tech is all prepared, rehearsal schedule is set, making sure harmony parts are correct, etc. Sometimes you just have to stop, refocus on who Christ is, what He has done, and who you are before Holy God and simply worship Him.
- Learn more about the One you are worshipping.
Spend time in the Word every day. Read through the Book of Psalms– one Psalm per day. (You will have to divide Psalm 119 into several days. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible.) Find ways to know more about the One you worship. Remember, you cannot worship someone or something you know nothing about. If we are not careful, we can find ourselves worshipping idols in our lives. We spend all our time thinking, looking at, and studying other things besides God. These are idols. Make it a point to learn more about God everyday.
- Truly love and care for your team.
You must care for your team. Be sensitive to each person on your team. Sometimes it is difficult to tell when a team member is hurting. Sometimes the Holy Spirit may prompt you to check on a team member. Maybe take them for a cup of coffee or lunch and simply ask, “How are you doing?” A simple conversation after rehearsal can go along way in caring for your team.
- Each team member needs to push themselves.
Each team member needs to be thinking, “How can I improve and get better at my craft?” Whether that is your instrument or voice, challenge yourselves to get better. Maybe challenge yourself to work from memory and not use music. Maybe it is making an extra effort to be prepared for rehearsal. If one team member pushes themselves, the other team members will immediately attempt to up their game too. This is a good thing. I know that God is more concerned with our hearts than putting on a slick presentation. However, God is a God of aesthetics. Just think of the beauty of His creation! Think of the beauty of music: God created sound waves, the human ear, the human voice, the rich melodies and harmonies that we hear and enjoy. All of this is beauty is created by God. We get to take these gifts and offer them back to Him in praise. God is worthy of the very best of our offering of praise to Him.
- Really know your audience, the group you are leading in corporate worship.
In a multigenerational church this can be difficult. A song may profoundly move a senior adult but have no connection to a teenager. On the other hand, a young adult may be moved by a more modern expression of worship but an older adult may have no connection to that expression. This problem is a major challenge in a multi-generational church. But it is not a bad problem. You have to have an understanding of the dynamics of your church extremely well. This takes time to develop. This task is accomplished by trying various different expressions (new songs, use various instrumentation, scripture readings, responsive readings, re-arranged familiar songs, pulling up an old favorite not done for a couple years, etc.) in worship and then alternating the elements throughout the church year.
Worship leading can be one of the most rewarding areas of church ministry. Let’s do our best to maintain our walk with Christ, and our passion to see lives changed through the power of the Holy Spirit.