Top 5 Worship Leader Tips

If you’re just starting out in worship leading, the right of worship leader tips could make a huge impact on your ministry.  The problem is, getting useful worship leader tips out of experienced leaders can often be extremely difficult, because they do not want to reveal the secrets that allow them to lead praise and worship successfully.

The Top 5 Worship Leader Tips

I have been leading worship in small and large meetings around the world for the last 25 years, and I believe it is time those of us who are experienced encourage others who are following!  The purpose of this article is to share with you my top five worship leader tips, ideas and techniques that I have proven again and again on stage, in hope that it will encourage you in your ministry if you’re just starting out.

Worship Leader TipsWorship Leader Tips 1: Choose Your Songs Carefully

One of the best worship leader tips I can offer is that you choose your songs carefully.  One of the classic mistakes young worship leaders make is that they choose songs that they like, rather than ones that the audience enjoys.  Only ever introduce one new song, and make sure all the other songs are known and loved by your congregation.  In fact, even if you lead poorly, if you have chosen the right songs that people love and enjoy (and know) then you’ll be popular!

Worship Leader Tips 2: Keep to Time

If you want to avoid criticism one of the best worship leader tips I can offer is that you keep to time.  To go grossly over time is disrespectful of your pastor and also your congregation, but young worship leaders often get so caught up in what they are doing they think that everybody is enjoying it as much as they are.  So whether the worship goes well or badly, always make sure you keep to your allotted time.

Worship Leader Tips 3: Blend Your Songs into a Continuous Experience

Blending your worship songs into each other provides a continuous experience for your listeners, and one that they will enjoy far more than a series of stop-start songs.  If you are competent musicians, try to select songs in a similar key that allowed them to be run together, and if all goes well your audience will lose themselves in worship!

Worship Leader Tips 4: Read your Audience

One of the most important worship leader tips I can offer is actually a skill that you need to develop.  It is important that you learn to read your audience, so you can see if they are with you or not as you worship, and you can encourage them along the way.  Many novice worship leaders are worshiping on stage, but the congregation are yawning and checking their phones!  You need to read your audience and lead you audience into a deeper experience of God.

Worship Leader Tips 5: Get Some Training

One of the most important worship leader tips is to get some training.  There is some great worship leader training courses, and many of these are far less expensive than attending a conference!  However, because you can read the material many times over and slowly but surely apply to your own ministry, the right sort of worship leading training can make a vast difference in your ministry.

As a long-term and experienced leader, I have many ideas and techniques that I’ve made available to the young worship leader.  If you take the time to study the right material, you can supercharge your leading by incorporating the right worship leader tips into your own ministry.

If you are involved in leading praise and worship in a non-westernized society, you may be facing the question of whether you should modify your worship style to fit your culture. Most of the styles of leading praise and worship are heavily influenced by the church in the developed nations, and if you are in an emerging nation it is important that you do not reproduce what you hear on worship CDs, but start leading praise and worship within your own culture.

Leading Praise and Worship is About the Lord

Contrary to what you might believe, leading praise and worship in a developing nation is not about westernizing your church! Admittedly, there are many wonderful praise and worship songs that have been beautifully produced by the Western Church, and it is tempting to play and sing the songs exactly the same way that you hear them in recordings, but I do not believe that this is what should be done.

Leading praise and worship in church is about pointing people towards the Lord, and I believe that the Lord wants to meet people where they are at and in their own culture to impact their lives. If we continue to use music as an excuse to introduce Western culture, and we are conveying to the people that the Lord commanded us to worship in an exclusive way, the way of the developed nations. If you are leading praise and worship, this is your opportunity to show people that God is relevant to them in their culture.

Leading Praise and WorshipLeading Praise and Worship is About the People

As I write this article I’m sitting in a room in northeast India, where these beautiful Indian people are singing songs that I recognize but in their own language. Some songs are in English, but many of them are in a language that the people understand best, and this is part of leading praise and worship in your own culture. This style of music and worship, however, would not be out of place in any American, English or Australian church, and this way I feel that those leading praise and worship are misled.

One of the great difficulties facing the early and medieval church was that much of the original writings were in Latin, a language which the common people did not speak! However wonderful a worship song is, if the people have no understanding of the meaning behind it is practically useless! If you are leading praise and worship and you want to make it relevant to your culture, one of the first steps is to translate the words into a language that your people will understand.

Leading Praise and Worship is About Expressing Your Culture

However, leading praise and worship in your own culture needs to go beyond simply the words. Most cultures have a specific way of expressing themselves musically, and I believe it brings great joy to the heart of God when he hears people worshiping using their own cultural instruments in their own cultural style. For some strange reason, those leading praise and worship seem to always want to make the sound more Western, rather than embracing the music and style of their own culture. Perhaps there is a mystique to Western culture, but when you are leading praise and worship you have an incredible opportunity to blend the Western sound with your own cultural instruments and style!

So if you are leading praise and worship in your church, and if you live in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, India and South America, please try and express your own culture in your worship. This will bring much joy to the heart of God, and also to your people and your country. Western music is attractive, especially to young people, I would suggest the two blamed on the styles of your own culture with Western music to create a unique expression of worship the Lord.

If you are leading praise and worship, you are in the perfect position to blend words and music styles to create a form of worship unique to your culture.

If you have been leading is worship for any length of time you will realize that there are mornings but don’t go well!  Even those experienced in leading praise and worship will have good days and bad days, but the big questions after you have a day when things do not go right are how do you face it, how do you overcome it and how do you not to repeat it?

Leading Praise and Worship is Not That Easy!

The first thing to point out is that leading praise and worship is not easy!  It is a ministry that requires you to discipline yourself, train yourself, and seek God with all your heart, allowing Him to lead, guided and shape the way you lead worship.  When you have a day leading praise and worship where things do not go to plan, it is natural to blame yourself, your preparation or your team and feel like a failure!  Your pride may have gotten the way, your leadership skills may be questioned, and you will feel disheartened and disillusioned.

However, the overwhelming reason for worship not going well has nothing to do with your pride, the state of your heart or God trying to embarrass you!  The main reason people do poorly at leading praise and worship is that they are untrained and unprepared for the job they have taken on.

Leading Praise and Worship

It Can Happen, Even If You Are Experienced in Leading Praise and Worship!

The fact is that “a bad day at the office” can happen to anyone, even the most experienced at leading praise and worship!  You might have sound problems, technical problems, difficulties with members of your band, or simple things like the breaking of a guitar string.  You may have had a fight with someone just before you went on, there may be trouble brewing within the church congregation or there may be no other explicable reason for any of this to take place.  The question is not necessarily what causes the morning to come out, but rather what is your response?

Leading Praise and  Worship When Everything Goes Wrong!

Speaking as someone who has been leading praise and worship for over 20 years, in everything from home groups and churches to stadiums, the most important thing to remember is that leading praise and worship is not about you!  I know if things do not go according to plan that I feel embarrassed, disillusioned and let down, and I feel like getting angry at myself, my band or even God.  It is in these moments that I pause and remember that leading praise and worship is not about promoting myself, making me look good or making me feel good because the job was well-done it is about leading the people in my church to be the worship of the Lord!  As John 3:30 says, “He must become greater and I must become less!”  If I examine myself and no problem with my heart is revealed, the reason for the morning going poorly could be anyone of 1000 reasons completely unrelated to my walk with God!  Leading praise and worship is a spiritual journey, and as in life not every day is one of triumph!

If you have had experience leading praise and worship that you feel has not gone well, and you know what your heart you want to serve the Lord in this area with humility, then the best advice I can give you is to get some training.  If you learn the basics on leading praise and worship, and if you understand how to structure a great worship time and flow with the Spirit wherever He leads, then you will find that the number of times worship fails will decrease.  If you get the basics right then press in to the Lord, you will find but you’ll have more incredible case of worship and less what have leading disasters!

Leading Praise and Worship Requires Training

If you get practical and powerful worship leader training, and keep your heart humble then you will find that almost every time you are leading praise and worship will be a powerful and wonderful experience!

how to lead worshipIf you are looking for ways to learn how to lead worship in three easy steps then this could be one of the most important articles you’ve ever read.  Leading worship in church is a responsible and respected position, but many times people who are inexperienced are thrown into the job, even though they do not know how to lead worship effectively.  So here are a few points on how to lead worship powerfully and effectively, especially if you are inexperienced.

How To Lead Worship Step 1: Prepare Your Material

The first step in learning how to lead is to prepare your material thoughtfully, carefully and most importantly prayerfully.  I cannot emphasize this point enough: if you want to learn how to lead worship in a powerful way that is well received by your audience, you must select your material carefully.

The best praise and worship songs to use, especially when you are learning how to lead praise and worship, are ones that people are familiar with.  This will of course very from church to church, but there are a number of great “standards” that people know and love and will immediately respond to.  Great praise and worship hymns such as “I Surrender All”, “How Great Thou Art” and “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” are often sure fire ways two great worship times, as are more modern songs such as “Shout to the Lord” or “How Great Is Our God.”

The thing to remember when you were learning is that praise and worship leading is more about your audience than it is about your preferences.  One of the biggest mistakes those learning how to lead make is they choose songs they liked that the congregation is unfamiliar with.  If you want to make a great impression lead worship with anointing and great favor, select songs that everybody knows!

Step 2: Prepare Your Worship Team

If you are starting out, you need to prepare your worship team so that they are 100% with you and supportive of what you were doing.  You need to spend time with them not only practicing and playing, but also enjoying coffee and laughs as you build a relationship that will be transferred into your praise and worship leading.

Make sure you spend time preparing your team in prayer, and also explaining to them why you were doing certain songs in the order you have chosen.  As you arrange the songs, try to include their ideas because there is great power in unity, and if you are learning you must also be learning how to lead men and women.

Step 3: Prepare Your Heart

The third area of learning how to lead worship is to prepare your own heart.  You need to spend time with the Lord if you are going to lead others into his presence, and that includes prayer and devotions, reading the word of God and seeking him as to which songs he wants to use in the worship time.

Of all the areas of preparation, if you are learning how to lead worship the most important is to prepare your own heart.  If you have seen in your life, confess it and get it out of the way.  If you have distractions in your life, deal with them and make sure they do not interfere with your mind or your heart as you come to lead worship.

I believe that if you take these three simple steps to heart, you will learn how to lead praise and worship in a powerful and effective way for your congregation.  Remember, you are not just learning how to do it but you are learning how to lead your team, prepare your hearts and direct your audience into a greater worship experience.

So when you have the opportunity, don’t just stand up and sing a series of songs but learn how to lead worship in a powerful, anointed and effective way.

Worship Team Training is a far more complex role than most worship leaders realize! They start off thinking that all they have to do is sing and the rest will follow, but over the years I have learned many things about worship team training and handling my musicians and singers. In creating and working with different worship teams I have also made hundreds of mistakes, most if which I do not want you to make when you are worship team training. I would like to share with you a couple of things I’ve been taught, in the hope that you’ll be able to duck these little bumps along your own journey.

Worship Team Training is More Than a Passion

worship team trainingWorship leading needs to be a passion for the worship leader, but for most of your band and singers and that is why worship team training is so essential.  However, you may be dispirited to find that they are not as passionate as you when it comes to your worship leading!

We must not forget the members of the worship groups are volunteers. I know there are some churches that have paid musicians and singers but ninety percent of us have volunteers. In that we must remember that while we must have a group of basic rules of our teams, we mustn’t be harsh in our worship leading policies.

Worship Team Training is More Than Rules

Here is what I mean by that. If your rules are too strict and or they are too controlling you will have trouble keeping volunteers, no matter how good your worship team training or how big the church. This is a mistake that I made early on and soon found out very quickly that a volunteers heart is to serve not be proscribed by a handful of rules. As I recall scripture has something to say about rules that are too stern. Are we going to act like Pharisees, or are we going to stand up and act like true worship leaders!

The best leaders lead by motivation, not by orders and rules. If you want the very best from your worship team training, become a worship leader of the highest order, and inspire the adulation and devotion of those you lead in your Worship Leading ministry.

Worship Team Training and Team Requirements

Another point to consider is that we have got to be open to changing to the requirements of the team. Remember this is a worship leading ministry. For instance, say your drummer just got a new job. And part of that job needs him to take some night classes. He still wants to be on the team but his classes happen to be on the booked walk through nights. He knows that he must rehearse as part of your worship team training to be on the team. What do you do?

Simply ask the remainder of the team if there is another night or time that they could meet. Almost all of the time you will be able to work something out for your worship team training. I have done this for many different situations. Whether it be childcare or job related or what ever. The point is this is a Worship Leading ministry. Adapt to the requirements of the people as long as it will not hinder or affect the worship team training or dynamics in a negative way.

Another common mistake many worship leaders is making worship team training too structured. Yes you want the band to be musically tight. And you have new songs you want to work on. But make sure you have fun too. Often the team just wants to fellowship awhile before worship team training or before you rehearse. Often you might want to jam together on a good chord progression for fun. As an important point I can see these jam sessions making the musicians tighter.

Again, helping your team enjoy worship team training and rehearsal is a key to having great dynamics within your team. We must never forget that. People must come before music. Don’t only get together for worship team training, rehearsals and the service. Do not simply rehearse and serve together, you need to play together also. Have parties. Go on barbecues. Have a games night or go out together. Simply put, have fun together away from the band setting and away from worship team training. Fellowship together. This is a superb way to get to know one another and to build friendships and trust.

Remember, all work and no play will make the singers and musicians stay away.  There is more to worship leading than worship team training, rehearsals and the service!

I am often asked advice on how to lead praise and worship with an inexperienced team.   If you want to learn how, you will have to face this one some day: the situation whereby you have to carry a member of your band or singers, for whatever reason, even though you know this will seriously affect your worship leading and the spirit of worship in the church that service.

how to lead praise and worshipThere are many facets to this problem, but the central fact is this: you can still be a great worship leader even if your band is imperfect, or even incompetent!

How to Lead Praise and Worship But Carry Some of Your Band!

If your church is anything like mine, you are not worship leading with seasoned professionals, you are dealing with amateurs, which means that you have to be a servant and coax them along with a spirit of love and tolerance. In my book on how to lead praise and worship, I teach that there is never a reason to speak down to these people, or to embarrass them. Your job as a praise worship leader is to encourage them, even if they are poor, even if they mess up the wonderful worship leading time you had planned. I believe that the Lord will honor you for this!

Most often these individuals are trying hard, and will be crushed if you convey that you are upset with them, so please be careful even with the way you look at other band members. Remember, if you have lots of talent but no love, you are only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal (1 Corinthians 13).  Just as you are always learning how to lead worship, so they can have a learning curve for their role too!

How to Lead Yet Carry These Guys?

There are ways and means of carrying an underachiever, but it is certainly easier in some parts of the band than others.

Singers are easy: Turn them off in the front of house with a quiet word to the sound man, but keep them in the foldback so they think they are singing. if they are actually off, turn them down a bit in the foldback.

Guitars: Similar to the above.

Bass: Much harder to hide, so I would suggest rather that you rewrite the music in a much simpler for, using basic notes with a minimum of changes per bar.

Drummers: This is the hardest. I have this situation now, and these are tough. I must say, inexperienced drummer have a habit of either slowing down in faster songs, or completely mixing up the kick and snare, so the snare is on beat one, and the kick beat two. in my church, you will often see me off mike calling out to the drummer, “the other one”, which means they have to change the kick and snare back!

The bottom line is, when you learn how to lead praise and worship and continue to serve and love with the right attitude, you will be able to bear with your less competent band members. I would chose simpler songs, even if you don’t want to. When I have one of these guys on, I will often change the songs I am doing to find something within their abilities.

Learning How to Bring the Best Out of Your Team

Finally, recognize that learning how to lead is about learning how to bring the best out of your team.  Pray and believe the Lord for an awesome worship time, even if it is not up to your standards! After all, when you are worship leading God is listening to your heart, not necessarily the quality of your music!

If you manage your team correctly, both the good and the bad members, the competent and the incompetent, then you will truly be learning not only how to lead praise and worship, but also how to lead men and women in godliness.

When you are leading praise and worship one of the key questions you face, indeed one of the greatest sources of criticism for worship leaders in general, is how long the worship time should go for? A second and related question is, “How long should you leave people standing?”, which will be deal with in another post.

leading praise and worshipDifferent Views of Leading Praise and Worship

The first thing to point out is that those of us who are leading praise and worship come from a different perspective to most of the congregation, and also the pastor. We love to worship, it is our passion and that’s why we became worship leaders in the first place, so as far as we are concerned, long worship times are just fine. However, not all the people in church share our enthusiasm or passion for leading praise and worship, so for many of them the worship time is the preliminary act to the main show, which is the preaching. Most pastors feel this way too, because to their perspective, the preaching is the main part of the service.

When you are called to leading praise and worship you may think that your most important role is to lead people into worship. That’s not strictly true: it is your main role, but it is not the most important role! The most important role is to serve, the Lord, the pastor and the congregation. So, as a general principle, if a large number of your congregation, and your pastor think the worship service was too long, then it probably was!

I have written hundreds of pages on leading praise and worship in my manual “Worship In A Nutshell,” to teach practical, useful and easy to apply techniques that will transform your worship leading starting the very next time you lead. I would now like to share an extract of that discussing this very issue…

Leading Praise and Worship Services of the Right Length

While we all want to be flexible enough to allow the Lord to work in our church service, we cannot escape the fact that everyone has an opinion as to how long a worship service should be. Be aware that those leading praise and worship and musicians will always think it needs to be longer, while many of the congregation believe it ought to be shorter. Most churches I visit have very long worship times, which resemble endurance tests or in some cases even torture as people are made to stand with their hands in the air for hours.

To sit during one of these sessions seems to convey either weakness of lack of spirituality! The reality is it probably conveys cramps and commonsense. Any fool could see that this is not appropriate, but apparently not some worship leaders, who continue to drag out worship times to the max.

I once ministered at Hills Christian Life Center, the Mecca for Aussie musicians (do we all face Hills when we pray?), and saw Darlene lead worship. It lasted 20-25 minutes. Shock, amazement! They were straight into the Lord’s presence from the first song, and they did not labor the worship as some do for over an hour. This should speak volumes to those of us who lead worship. Worship needs to be ENJOYED, not ENDURED!

So, in the name of time management and common sense, here are a few ideas on timing in worship:

Tips For Leading Praise and Worship Services that Are Not Too Long

1. Start on time when leading praise and worship:

Regardless of how many or how few are in the room, START ON TIME. This may not be applicable in some 3rd world situations when people travel hours on foot to be there, but for the rest of us, let’s get it right and start on time. It is not a performance, and you are doing this as unto the Lord, so it should make little difference how many are in the room. To start late and then encroach on the pastor’s sermon time is an affront to the pastor.

2. Be prepared to reduce the length of the worship time.

You are there to be a servant, not a star, so always be the first to volunteer to cut back. If something else goes overtime, you should volunteer to reduce what you are doing. When I lead worship at Bill Newman meetings, if time is tight I am always the first to volunteer to cut back, because that’s what real servants do! And, at least half the time, Bill kindly refuses the offer and asks me to sing my full quota of songs. You see, there is a blessing in serving a Man of God!

3. Have a couple of songs up your sleeve:

It is often a good idea to have a couple of songs in reserve, just in case you need them. So, when you choose the songs for the service, you don’t have to play them all!

4. Don’t get locked into a program when leading praise and worship

Be flexible enough to change songs, cut songs or even add songs if the Spirit permits. I am always wary of the printed orders of service. Sometimes they are timed, which is even scarier! Now, I know we need some sort of order of service, and that everything needs to be done in order, but let’s not sacrifice the move of the Spirit on the altar of an orderly programme! If something happens, we need to be free to change.

5. When do you stop the worship?

I always tell the pastor, “Please come up on to stage at any time for any reason and feel free to take over.” I am subject to the pastor, so whenever he is good and ready (or if he feels things have changed) he needs to feel free to stand up and join us in worship or take over. Again, it is all about being a servant, not having your own way!

6. Ask yourself, “How many times do we need to do this song?”

One of the most frequent criticisms of worship leaders is that they repeat songs or sections of songs to the point of frustration. It is a song of worship, guys, not a mantra!

So, when preparing for a service, consider these ideas and be sensitive both to the Spirit and also to those in the congregation. You are called to lead worship, not perform and not torture. In the end less is usually more when it comes to leading praise and worship.

When you are called to leading praise and worship, there is a huge amount of joy, but this can be counterbalanced by a certain degree of pain in getting your worship leading to the point that you want it to be.

leading praise and worshipWhat Leading Praise and Worship is About

Leading praise and worship is, in fact, about those two phrases; praise and worship and leading! Sure, it helps if you play an instrument or sing well, but this is not essential when it comes to leading praise and worship. The two main requirements are that you have a heart to worship (and many people can sing or play well, but do not really know the first thing about worship!), and that you are able to be a true leader to your band and your audience.

So, what does leading praise and worship actually mean in the context of worship? We know that the Biblical definition of leading involves serving (Mark 10:45), and I believe that this is an excellent frame of reference when you consider leading praise and worship and a team.

What to Do When Leading Praise and Worship

When leading praise and worship, you ought to be responsible for the overall direction and execution of the worship in your church on any given Sunday. Most often you should decide the songs, the order of the songs, the way these songs are linked together and the style of music used, as well as specialized areas of worship such as open worship or blending into communion, etc. This should be your domain, and that means that you need to take full responsibility for every decision you make, whether it works out well or poorly.

As praise and worship leaders, we all want to know that in the successful worship times, where you really sense the Lord’s presence and power, we had a huge part in it. But when things go wrong, when the worship is tough, when the band or singers miss the mark, or the audience is bored or lost, we too have to realize that, as Franklin D Roosevelt said, “the buck stops here!”

So, leading praise and worship involves you not only setting the direction and pace of worship, it also sees you bearing the responsibility for whatever goes right or wrong during worship. You cannot have one without the other.

Leading Praise and Worship Means Leading Your Team and the Congregation

Leading praise and worship also involves leading your band and singers, dealing with the difficulties they can present, which can sometimes draw more pain than tears. YOU have to decide who is on this week. YOU have to decide what part each will play, and YOU have to tell them when they are out of line, but do this always in love!

Yet throughout all of the worship leading trials and tribulations, ultimately you mus always remember that you are in this position of  leading praise and worship to serve; to serve the Lord, to serve the Pastor and to serve both the congregation and your fellow musicians and singers. A great leader leads by serving others. A great leader leads by inspiration, not by a climate of fear and intimidation, yet as I travel the world I see gain and again worship leaders who believe that they are dictators, ruling in a climate of fear.

Leading praise and worship is first and foremost about worship, and worship is about serving. Worship leaders, I beg you, please do not laud it over your troops with an iron fist. Be strong, but also be full of love, full of grace and full of a serving heart. Then you shall truly rise to be the worship leaders you long to be. If you want more teaching on leading praise and worship check out the full Worship Training package.

True confessions: I love praise and worship hymns!  I am a modern worship leader and I LOVE praise and worship hymns!  Hymns are great!  They are majestic, and many contain more theology than the average sermon these days!  Old folk love them, conservative folk love them, but many younger praise and worship leaders have thrown them out (along with everything before 2000) when they are leading. Gee, they even think the Beatles are uncool (such ignorance!).

praise and worship hymnsPraise and Worship Hymns Are Cool!

Somewhere in the middle cries the voice of reason. Now granted, some praise and worship hymns are funeral marches, long, slow, boring and brain-numbing. Some contain rubbish theology and some are just plain irrelevant in both use of language and subject matter. Some are practically unsingable, except to 13th century monks! However, in amongst these types of praise and worship hymns are some of the greatest songs ever written, and some of the most majestic songs you could ever sing when worship leading!

Praise and Worship Hymns Add to Your Worship

Now, if you are young, and don’t believe me, check a few of them out. Praise and worship hymns like, “And Can It Be,” “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” and “How Great Thou Art” are awesome. As worship leaders, we need to be considering these songs for inclusion in our worship services, because there is an amazing level of worship and teaching in the songs.

My preference, both personal and of my church, is that we sing at least one of our favorite praise and worship hymns every Sunday service. If you are creative and musical you can play it in such a way that it is exciting and awesome, and you can venture into the very presence of God using these old songs. On top of that, the old folk in the church will be thrilled. So you win either way. Trust me, guys; there are some great songs you cannot live without in the hymns section!

But if you are going to do a hymn, don’t make it into a funeral march! The older folks will love hymns done in a new and a fresh way, so pray and ask God for some innovative ideas to make the hymn into a modern masterpiece. Then watch God unite all ages as they worship Him using this old but new song!

A Word of Caution About Praise and Worship Hymns in the Service

One word of caution, especially to the conservative evangelical denominations. There is a huge tendency to have the worship songs, with the modern beat and instruments, and then insert the token hymn for the oldies, doing this with only an organ or a piano, played in a traditional yet boring style. I strongly caution you against this, because this only promotes the “us verses them” scenario, the “your music verses our music” polarizing we see in churches.

The best way is to just roll from the modern worship songs into the praise and worship hymns, seamlessly, and using a similar modern style. The majority of older folk will appreciate the fact that you are including their song preference, and making it your own, and trying as hard to make it special as if it were your own style of song. Thus, you can use well played hymns to join hearts in worship, rather than having the separate song for the oldies.

Praise and worship hymns should provide a wonderful theme to unite the old and the young in your church, but there are keys that will help you bring these grand old songs to your church in a new and fresh way. Our calling in worship leading is not to stay stuck in the past, but to draw the very best of the past into the present day and adapt the best of Christian heritage to today’s modern worship.

If you want to learn more about worship leading with praise and worship hymns, I am giving away a free report entitled, “Arranging Hymns For A Modern Church”.

be a Worship LeaderIf you want to be a worship leader on a regular basis you will recognize this feeling: it’s Sunday morning, it’s early on and you do not feel well, however you have a responsibility to the Lord, the Pastor and the audience to be a worship leader, and do it skillfully. Even world class worship leaders confront days like this and, because I had one of these on Sunday last, I would like to cheer those of you who meet the week in, week out worship leading burden.  If you want to be a worship leader, you have to make sure it does not turn into tedium!

To Be a Worship Leader

There are many reasons why, when we truly want to be a worship leader, we can feel down.  It can be as straightforward as coming off a late evening, feeling worn-out or sick or simply plain worn out, right through to having major events disturbing our sense of joyfulness, things like marriage trouble, the passing away of a familiar friend or a fight with someone in your band just prior to the service.

In my case it was unquestionably a late night after a journey to a near by city which left me feeling fatigued, lackluster and a bit down or miserable when it came to worship leading.

Be a Worship Leader Despite How You Feel!

Uninspired was definitely a good word, and I looked around at the others in my worship band, recognized that if I was going to be a worship leader in the truest sense of the word I would have to carry quite a few of these guys since their skill was not great, but then I saw something else.  They too were fatigued and lethargic.  Perhaps it was infectious!

I prayed and asked the Lord to assist me to be a worship leader not only on stage, but also on a personal level with my team.  I realized that when we are weak, He is strong (2 Cor 12:10).  I realized again that this whole vocation of worship leading is not about me, and how I feel, it’s about Him!  I took a good, hard look at myself, and realized that in truth I am merely a servant, not a singer, not a guitarist and definitely not a star!  I recognized that no matter how I felt inside, to be a worship leader is to required a change in my way of thinking and continue to serve, no matter what the price.

Then the Lord started to move with magnificent power, firstly in my own heart, and then in the hearts of the singers and musicians.  I shared my labor with them for a short time, and we paused to pray as a team and give the morning to the Lord.  Whether we use our hands, feet or voices, all of us above all use out hearts, and this is the appropriate attitude of a servant, and if I want to be a worship leader I must first be a servant.

So when the worship leading began, almost from the very first song, you could feel the presence of the Lord, and His delight at our change of heart, and at our choice to do our best no matter what we felt at that moment.  In our weakness, He showed Himself strong, and we were rewarded with a magnificent and very intimate time of worship.

You Can Be a Worship Leader No Matter How You Feel!

So, fellow worship leaders, if you want to be a worship leader please accept this highly frank, open and graphic article to motivate you, and to tell you that, even if you are feeling downhearted, fatigued and uninspired, you are not alone.  All worship leaders feel this at some stage, all worship leaders labor to keep the flame of inspiration flourishing, and all worship leaders require reminding that worship leading is never about us, and our talents and our enthusiasm, it is, and continually ever will be, first and foremost about HIM!

To be a worship leader is to be a servant, no matter how you feel!