Learning top worship leading tips and hacks can make a world of difference for many worship leaders around the world.

And there are definite things you can learn which will immediately improve the standard and even power of your worship leading. Some of these may be a surprise to many, but all of them are easy to learn and apply so that you can start using them this Sunday as you lead worship.

Learn Top Worship Leading Tips and Hacks Today…

Worship leading is not just about singing or playing, and no matter how experienced you are, there is always room to learn a little more or be reminded of something you may have learned before.

These worship leading hacks and tips will help to make you a more effective worship leading powerhouse in your church, but they are not going to automatically mean that you will lead people closer to the heart of God in your worship leading.  There is always a spiritual element to your ministry, which is more dependent on your heart and your personal walk with the Lord.

That being said, saying you are anointed of God and following the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean that you have arrived as a worship leading.  Learning the right tips and hacks can make you an even more anointed worship leader, so this is an excellent podcast to challenge and give you the fast track towards better leading of worship in your church.

We all want to become excellent at what we do, and we all want to be used by the Lord in a powerful way in our worship, so this is a fantastic opportunity to grab hold of some simple worship leader tips and hacks that really do work.  Listen and enjoy, then get ready to apply this to your worship leading, starting this Sunday. You are going to love these incredible worship leading tips and hacks…

 

And if you want to go even further, and learn more tips and hacks, there’s a brilliant worship leader training school that is available to you a fraction of the price of going to Bible College.

It’s a complete 6 month course covering all you need to know to lead a worship team, from selecting the best songs, joining and arranging songs and going up keys, right through to managing the worship team, handling personalities, conflicts, encouragement and all the rest.

So if you’re leading worship in most any capacity, don’t stumble in the dark! For only $29.77 a month find the training you need to not just survive, but step up to become the worship leader that you’re destined to be.

Enhance your worship leading abilities today (maybe even get your church to sponsor you… best investment they could ever make!).

Hit the image below to check it out now with our free webinar, From Zero to Awesome Worship Leading

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Worship Leading at Christmas

Worship leading at Christmas presents an incredible opportunity. When leading worship week by week in church, you get to minister to the same people again and again.  Hopefully you have the privilege of leading them into the presence of the Lord, but Christmas itself presents a completely different scenario.

The Opportunity of Worship Leading at Christmas

Pursuit opportunity you have a Christmas time with your worship leading is that people who are attending the service are often not the same as the ones who attend weekly.

Many people go to church at Christmas time as a special event, and this presents a unique opportunity.

Therefore, you need to choose the songs that you are leading carefully, mixing in Christmas carols that makes sense and focus on Christ rather than snow or Santa.

Also, look for opportunities to weave the Gospel message into and around the carols you choose. With so many people who don’t know the Lord in the room, you have an incredible opportunity to speak into their lives.

One method I found that works particularly well at Christmas is to encapsulate the carols and songs in and around a story. People love stories, and weaving carols in and around the story can add to the power of the words.

However, given that you often have many unchurched people in church at this time of year, if you are worship leading Christmas you must be sensitive about time. Shorter is better than longer as far as your presentation goes.

Another tip is to make sure that the carols you sing are singable! I know this sounds ridiculously simple, but many times we try to get people to sing songs that are in the wrong key more difficult to sing. If you have a beautiful song like “O Holy Night”, you may be wise are doing it as an item rather than congregational singing.

Finally, make sure you pray long and hard about your worship leading at Christmas services. The opportunities to minister to people who would never come into your church under normal circumstances are endless at this time of year.

So worship leaders, get out there and enjoy the Christmas period even though it is likely to be busy. Take every opportunity and work hard because worship leading at Christmas services could be one of the most productive things you do you will year!

I recently had someone approach me after church who was new to your church, with an interesting compliment about my worship leading.

I know my motivation for leading worship is not to receive compliments from people, but you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t get excited when someone wanted to say something positive about your Ministry. So while I don’t fish for or seek a compliment about my worship leading, this interesting compliment was one that made me stop and think.

And that is what I want to pass on to worship leaders around the world… This simple compliment once again cause me to refocus what I’m doing in my worship leading, and hopefully hit the mark when it comes to leading people closer to the presence of God.

She simply said that she loved every single song that I did when leading worship. She was referring to 4 weeks of many and varied songs, and I believe this is more important than just the fact that we have similar tastes in music.

What she mentioned was that many of the songs that I’m doing are slightly older, and therefore she related to them. As a new member of the church, she felt immediately welcomed when she heard and recognised songs that we were doing in worship. When someone comes to your church and only hears new songs off the latest CD, chances are they won’t know any of them, and the effect on a new person in your congregation is immediate and dramatic.

When you sit through a worship time but cannot relate to or recognise any of the songs, your first thought is, “I don’t belong here.” What made this lady feel at home, and what has made her stay on in our church community, is the fact that she knew and related to many of the songs that I’d chosen when I was leading worship.

Are these the songs that I like? Well, some of them are, but some of them are not. I don’t choose the songs I’m doing in worship just because I like them, I choose them because I feel that people can relate to them and can genuinely worship God in and around those songs. At the end of the day, it’s not whether I like the material, it’s whether people can relate to it, worship the Lord to it and lose themselves in His presence.

So I would encourage you, worship leaders, if you want to be powerful and anointed at what you do, choose your songs carefully. This little compliment about my worship leading has caused me to refocus on the songs that I choose, and why I choose them. I’m not saying you need to do lots of old songs, because many churches are doing more modern material, but what I am saying is that you need to choose songs that people can relate to and love. Very often these will not be the latest and greatest songs, but they will be songs that have become classics through the years. Don’t just churn them out the way you use to 5 years ago, give them a new and modern twist and that way you can sound modern but still be doing songs that people know and love.

So while you’re not fishing for compliments, and either am I, you do want to do material that is accepting and welcoming for people who are new in your congregation. After all, saying I’ve taught a song well or sounded great means very little to me. The ultimate compliment about my worship leading is that I’ve lead people into the presence of God, and I’m prepared to do any song that will draw people closer to God’s presence!

praise and worship leadingWhen you are leading worship, are you doing it for yourself or as unto the Lord?

It’s easy to say you were doing things only for the Lord, but the reality is many of us have hidden agendas behind what we are doing, even when we are leading worship in church.

Worship leading for an audience of one

Leading worship is one of the greatest privileges in the church today, but many times we miss out on the blessing of pure servant based worship because it comes to us disguised as hard work.

However, when you make a conscious decision to do everything “as unto the Lord”, you start to obtain a different perspective when it comes to the role that you off fulfilling in the church.

As we have said many times on this praise and worship leader website, leading worship is not about singing a selection of songs in a given order but rather it’s about leading people on a journey from wherever they are right through to the throne of God.

The fact is, your true motivation needs to be one of total service for the Lord rather than promoting yourself, your taste in music or any other hidden agenda that might cloud your vision.

The fact is that the Lord can look right through whatever we present to people to our heart. This means that if we are offering something that is motivated by our own selfish desires, opinions or preferences, the Lord is not fall for a moment and can see right through to our true motivation.

But how can you lead worship with a pure heart as unto the Lord alone?

The first step is to make sure that you are spending time with the Lord each and every day. It is not enough to pray only on Sunday before you lead worship, but worship should be a reflection of your daily walk with the Lord. If you are not spending time every day with the Lord in devotions, then your effectiveness as a Ministry will be reduced, and the purity of your motives be brought into question

However, even if you are spending time in a quiet times during the week, it is still tempting to use your skills, abilities and talents to promote yourself or your own agenda will stop in fact, musicians and singers are amongst the worst people in the world for self-promotion!

You only need to attend a Christian music festival, or hang out at a Christian battle of the bands to see pride, arrogance and self-promotion right before your eyes.

As worship leaders, I do not believe we should ever pursue self-promotion. Unless the Lord builds the house we labour in vain (Psalm 127:1), so if we try and promote ourselves all the time, we are building something our Ministry in vain.

While many praise and worship leaders don’t promote themselves actively, they still promote their preferences and musical tastes ahead of the members of the congregation. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a praise and worship leader doing songs that they have chosen which the congregation simply have no interest in. It’s not only ridiculous, but it is the height of arrogance to pursue the songs we like at the expense of being servants.

Many praise and worship leaders also use their skills and talents as a means of intimidating and controlling other members of their team. Perhaps the true measure of a servants heart in worship leader is how they react when a more talented person joins their team.

How do you react when someone who is more talented than you is on your worship team? Do you embrace them, build them up and allow them to become everything they can be for the Lord, or do you put them in their place and make them do things your way because you’re the boss?

No, worship leaders, if we truly are servants and if we truly are leading worship as unto the Lord, we need to put the Lord first and worship to the audience of one rather than fulfill our own selfish desires and preferences. Also, we need to serve our congregations, doing songs that they prefer rather than the ones we prefer, making sure we lead them in true and righteous worship, rather than teach them a bunch of new songs that we like.

Leading praise and worship in church is one of the most incredible privileges I have in my life, and I’m sure it is the same for you. However, we must be certain that we do not abuse the privilege but rather see it as an opportunity to serve bless others, because the only way to lead through praise and worship is as unto the Lord.

 

words and musicWhen worship leading, do the singers need to have words and music on stage? Do the musicians need their music on stage? Do I use music on stage?

In short, yes, yes and NO! I rarely have the words and music in front of me. I memorize them, and flow with the chords so they make sense, playing them from the heart (or by ear if you like) rather than reading them.

The Argument Against Words and Music Onstage

I have to admit, seeing music stands across the stage is something I really hate, and I think it looks terribly unprofessional. As I said before, when was the last time you saw a secular rock band on MTV with written music on music stands in front of them? They work hard, remember their words and chords, and I think we should be able to do the same. Sure, cover bands who are doing 500 songs from the 50s and 60s may use songbooks, but I think, if we are doing only 4-8 songs it a morning, there really is no excuse for us!

The Argument for Words and Music Onstage

However, it is better to have the words and music in front of you than forget what you are supposed to play/sing. I think each worship band should have a song book, enabling a quick change of songs if needed, but ideally they are only for reference. If you aspire to excellence and professionalism in your worship band, MINIMIZE THE USE OF MUSIC STANDS!

words and musicThat being said, some like me find it much easier to play by ear than others, who are not comfortable working without seeing the words and music. I occasionally sneak a look at the projected words on the screen if I am in doubt.

The best way to do it, if you must, is to blow the songs up big and place them on the stage in front of you. Then the audience cannot see the fact that you are operating off a book, but the words are seen by you on stage.   Any complaints that they cannot see them should be met with this response… they are only there for EMERGENCIES, not to be sight read through the entire song. The words and music are simply references if you need them.

I would also add that I have witnessed some incredibly uninspired worship featuring musicians who simply stare at the pages in front of them! It is extremely difficult to lose yourself in worship while sight reading music or words. So, guys, put in a bit of work, memorize the song as best you can, then play by heart and concentrate on worshiping the Lord, not reading the words or music. After all, the worship team is not really there to sing or play, but to lead others into worship.

Interestingly, Erick and I differ completely in our views of music and words onstage.  I hate them, and he thinks they are great, so obviously there is no blanket ideas when i comes to this area.

So, everyone is different, and you need to make a decision about your band.  But if you do need them, please keep words and music onstage to a minimum and make sure that your team are not just staring at them… At least make it look as though they care enough to learn the song properly!

Choosing Songs for Worship

Much debate exists as to who should be choosing songs for worship in a church service. I notice that pastors will often tell each other that they must choose all the songs in the morning service, and in fairness this is born out of a long history of the praise and worship leader stubbornly doing his own thing and not being teachable or correctable. By the same token, I have seen many a senior pastor get up at the end of worship and kill the Spirit of worship (shock, horror: yes, pastors are not always right!).

The first point to make is that WORSHIP IS NOT A SUPPORT ACT FOR THE MAIN EVENT, the teaching. Some people and indeed some pastors view it as just that. It is a “preliminary”, padding out the service while the late comers, who don’t like the style of music, arrive just in time to hear the Word of the Lord preached. Others think it helps us to “get the wriggles” out of us, ready for the preaching.

At the other end of things, many worship teams make worship into a marathon designed to exhaust you on your feet until you collapse in the seat ready to listen.

I believe that both of these views demean a gift God has given us to draw near to Him. Let me explain what I believe worship should do in a service:

 choosing songs for worship  

1. Open our hearts,

Turning our eyes away from the cares of the day and towards the Lord.

2. Fellowship with Him, intimately, and lose ourselves in worship to the Lord.

3. Prepare our hearts for the message to be preached. Worship and music can spearhead the gospel, and make our hearts more responsive to the Lord. It should settle our hearts and make us ready to reach out to God.

4. Provide corporate unity as we worship. Joining together with others in worship is a special experience which binds our hearts together in joy and fellowship.

 

Having been the worship leader for a major Evangelist, I know the power music has to unite, and also to divide. I also know that, as Bill gets up to preach, I can make it easy and flowing, or extremely difficult for him to bring the message, based on how I have behaved in the worship time.

As a praise andworsking together worship leader, you provide the same service for your Pastor. You are not the support act, and you are not the fill in. Yours is the awesome responsibility of preparing the hearts of the people to receive the Word of God, and you can make life easy or very hard for your Pastor.

So, if the morning goes well in worship, feel a sense of accomplishment. If it goes badly, be the first to apologize to the Pastor and accept responsibility. Then, do your level best to get it right the next time.

The success of a worship time can depend to a great degree on choosing songs for worship that facilitate worship, so the next area we will examine is how to choose the appropriate songs.

The big question is who should be choosing songs for worship? In my completely unbiased musician’s opinion, they should do it together, where the worship leader should choose the songs, but the pastor should have final say as to what is in and what is out. This is important because, ultimately, the responsibility for the service rests with him. However, the worship leader is the guy who should know how the songs will flow together, and he should be constantly making sure that the service is heading where the pastor wants it to go.

A Matter of Trust

P1010295 (FILEminimizer)The ideal situation is a trust that develops between the senior pastor and the worship leader. The worship leaders must, repeat MUST, be 100% subject to the pastor, because as we serve one another we serve the Lord (Mk 10:45). He has to ask the pastor what he wants, where he wants the service to go, what he is preaching on and, if the pastor senses a change in what God is doing, he is absolutely free to stand up and take over.

Pastors, your praise and worship leaders are like other leaders in the church. You cannot do everything, all the time (remember Moses). You need to train them to minister according to what the Lord wants in your church; otherwise you will have trouble on your hands. I have seen quite a few churches blown apart by unhappy music teams rebelling against an overbearing pastor. NONE OF THIS GLORIFIES GOD!

The ultimate situation is similar to the one that exist between Bill Newman and myself. After many years of ministering together, I kind of know what he is thinking, and he knows what I am thinking. Thus, with a minimum amount of consultation together, I tend to select exactly the songs that fit with his message for the day. Leaders, it is awesome when you reach this situation consistently, for you will see that the Lord really anoints such unity!

He trusts me enough to allow me to be the one choosing songs for worship, and I trust him enough to listen to every suggestion he makes!

Worship leading Holy cowAs someone who teaches worship leading all around the world, I am frequently asked some worship leading holy cows… in other words, controversial questions. Many of these are things that are dear to the heart of many worship leaders, or things that they have been taught are truths, but the reality is that they are not.

 

So, in the name of a bit of good natured butchery and possibly a barbeque with some yummy steaks, I want to slay a few of the Holy Cows we worship leaders hold near and dear.

 

We must do the Latest Songs

 

In an effort to be current, hip, groovy and cutting edge, we always want to do the latest songs from the latest CDs. I like many of the latest songs, but our calling as worship leaders is not to teach new songs but to lead people in worship. By all means, do new songs, but sprinkle them through your service and surround them with songs people know and love.

 

Would you rather be cutting edge or lead anointed, powerful and life changing worship?

 

We have to do songs as they are arranged on the CD or YouTube

 

This one, frankly, is a really stupid Holy Cow, worthy of barbequing… Even the band that recorded the CD you are trying to emulate does it differently a month down the track! If you love the CD version so much, just put it on and have your congregation sing to that.

 

You are better to make the song your own! Start with what the CD does, then change it so your band and your style is represented, and your team is creating beautiful music (depending on how good your team might be!)

 

We have to have a session of open or free worship

 

Do we? I mean, I love free worship and I love when the Holy Spirit takes over, but most of what I have ever heard has been forced rather than the Holy Spirit taking control, and I think if we are totally honest, we have all been guilty of this at some time.

 

Once you have experienced a true move of the Spirit, the fake version just seems, well… faked! Are you brave enough to have a worship time without free worship? If you are, then you can reserve free worship for the times when it truly is free, no coerced!   I know, radical thought, but it is another Holy Cow we cling to that needs to be barbequed!

 

We have to do all the songs we have planned

 

We start with a list of songs we want to do in our service, and we go through them no matter what like they are a Holy Calling! We need to butcher this cow as well, because a truly anointed worship leader has to be flexible, and also has to be listening to the Holy Spirit, not the worship leading holy cows!

 

OK, start with a play list, that’s fine. But it is not written in blood! It is not Holy Scripture! Be ready to change and be open to listen, to read your congregation and adjust as the Spirit leads you.

 

So if a song is going great, do an extra chorus or two. If it is going poorly, or going nowhere, if people are checking their cell phones rather than singing, bail out and move to the next song. I doesn’t mean it is a bad song, it’s just not what is happening that morning.

 

And it you go too long, don’t finish your list of songs, finish the worship service. Going overtime without permission from the pastor is dishonouring to your leadership, the congregation and even the Lord. Keep to time, even if you have to cut a song or two!

 

So, after slaying these Holy Cows, I hope that worship leaders are open to the Holy Spirit and ready to follow Him into the most anointed and powerful worship your church has ever experienced. Worship leaders, follow the Holy Spirit, not the worship leading Holy Cows!

new worship songsHere is a “holy cow” I just cannot keep away from… How do you introduce new worship songs successfully, for both you and your congregation?   Most worship leaders have an insatiable, obsessive, almost crazy lust for new worship songs, and I am telling you now, the congregation HATES IT!!!!

The question arises, what is a new song? You see, from the congregation’s point of view, a new song is any song introduced in the last 3-4 months. The band thinks a new song is one played for the first time, so the second time you do it, the band doesn’t think it is new any more, mainly because they have playing it a hundred times at practice during the week. Here is a basic conflict of interest.

For any service, I believe 80%+ of your songs must be well known to the people. Add too many new songs, and they will not relax and enjoy worship, and your job description is not to teach people new songs, but to lead them into meaningful worship. Given the choice, most people in the congregation would prefer to just sing the old songs they are familiar with, so you must win their trust by carefully and lovingly introducing new songs.

Now, I know you want to be cutting edge and do the latest material!   We need to be introducing new songs, lest we be left behind forever (not a bad thing some would say). However, this does not mean you are under compulsion to do every song on the latest Worship album! Be thoughtful, be prayerful and be smart!   Here are a few thoughts on new songs, and their introduction to your repertoire.

  1. Pick the best: You don’t have to do every song on a new release album! Some you mightn’t like, some are not where your people are at. Some might be too hard, complex, difficult to sing or theologically suspect. Choose wisely, carefully and prayerfully, introducing new songs to church sparingly.
  2. Don’t introduce too many, too quickly: I usually only ever introduce one song in a service. Any more than that means people are not worshiping, they are trying to learn. I might introduce 2 songs across a couple of services. Take it slow and steady, and remember, when you hate the song and are sick of it, the congregation has just about learned it and it is no longer a new song to them.
  3. Do it every other week for 6 weeks: Do it each week, or 2 weeks and the people will begin to be familiar with the song. A classic mistake for worship leaders is to introduce a song, consider that people now know it, and move on to introduce another new song a week later. The audience hates it, and feels pressured by such actions. Take your time! That’s why you should only introduce the very best ones!
  4. Have a coordinated approach: The Music director must control the introduction of all new songs. Otherwise, every worship leader you have in the church introduces new songs, and the people are inundated to the point of overload by new songs. Get all of worship leaders to introduce the same songs, and take it slow. If you have 4 worship leaders in a month, and each introduces a new song (their own choice), then the people don’t hear it again for another 4 weeks. So, their learning is never reinforced, and every song sounds new each time they hear it. Don’t laugh, I have lived through this very scenario, and the congregation hates it!
  5. One or two at a time: Worship is not supposed to be a memory test. The more new songs you introduce, the more people will be READING off the overhead instead of WORSHIPING. So, keep them worshiping by limiting the number of new songs being introduced.
  6. Try introducing new songs initially as an item: A really pleasant way to introduce new material is as a feature item, sung by one or two of the worship team. This decreases the pressure people feel that they have to learn the song, and allows them to relax, absorb the words and what the song is saying, and fall in love with the song, just as you probably have. They will always find it easier to learn a song they love already!
  7. Your Own Songs: I believe every fellowship should be using some songs written by local church members. Now they should not use only these, because then the people miss out on the best that is on offer across the world, and when churches get together for combined meetings they don’t know any of the songs! But your people and perhaps you yourself may have a song that is from the Lord, fresh for your congregation! Ask Him and see!

introducing new worship songsSO, worship leaders, HERE’S THE BAD NEWS…

Follow this through with me. Consider this wise advice…

  1. For the congregation to really accept a new song, they should sing it at least 2 weeks in a row, miss the third week, and sing it again in the fourth.
  2. You should not try to teach more than one song at one time.

Therefore: According to the parameters listed above, if you can only introduce one song a month that the congregation will effectively learn (and that is pretty much the way it is), guess how many new songs you can introduce in a year??

12… maybe 14 or 15 if you are lucky!

I recognize that most worship leaders are introducing new songs by the truck load, and the really crazy thing is that they throw most of them out after a few weeks, never to be heard again!

new worship songsNow, come on worship leaders, who is guilty on this count? I have to confess, I was doing this (like most other worship leaders I know) for many years, until the futility and, indeed, utter stupidity of the situation struck me. I was hammering my people with new song after new song, many of which were tossed aside a month or two down the track.

So, according to what we have seen, we can only effectively introduce around one new song a month, so that the people learn it and are comfortable with it.

Therefore, when our team looks at new songs, we ask each other, “Is this song worthy of being one of the chosen 12?”   Think of it this way: when you know you can only get to introduce 12 new songs a year, you find that you are very, very particular about the new ones that get through. You watch the words, and the tunes, and the feels, and narrow the field so that you get something your church is really up for.

After all, this whole process is NOT about you, it is about your Pastor and your people, and the level that they can cope with.

So, introduce new worship songs wisely, carefully and sensitively, and at a pace that your church can happily cope with.

Worship leader tips can be a valuable asset, whether you have just started learning your ministry or whether you have been doing it for years!

The problem is that many experienced worship leaders do not want to reveal the tips, techniques and ideas that have worked for them.  However, given that we really are all on the same team, we should be open and honest about what we do that works so that we all can benefit.  With this in mind, here are this year’s Top 5 worship leader tips.

 

The Top 5 Worship Leader Tips for 2013

Tip 1: Choose Your Songs Carefully

I cannot emphasize this enough, because this is where many leaders go wrong… right at the very start!  One of the biggest problems is choosing songs that you know and love rather than those your congregation love.  This especially applies to new material.

Your congregation will not like a lot of new material, but they want old songs that they know and love.  Perhaps this brings back memories of wonderful times, or maybe it is simply because they can relax and worship God, rather than try to learn new words and tunes!  Whatever the reason, if you truly are a servant, don’t push your preference onto the church, but humbly serve by doing songs they love.

This does not mean you cannot do new songs, just be smart about it.  One a month is all most people can learn, so fill the rest of your time with songs they love.  Trust me, it is much easier to lead worship with better known songs, and the anointing will generally be far greater because they already know and love the songs.

Tip 2: Keep to Time

You might enjoy long worship times, but I guarantee your church doesn’t!  Avoid criticism and keep to time.  Put your senior pastor first and do not impose on his preaching time.  By keeping to time, you show respect for the pastor and the people.  Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and if the pastor wants you to continue longer, let him say so.  Then go as long as he permits.  If you can shorted the worship time, this is also a good idea, because most congregations are not as into your worship leading as you think they are!

Tip 3: Blend Your Songs into a Journey

Leading worship is like taking someone on a journey.  There are mountains, valleys, highs and lows, light and shade.  Don’t lead a bunch of songs butted up together, lead your congregation on a wonderful journey right to the throne of God!

To do this, you probably need to take a good look at the keys of the songs you have chosen.  Can you blend well from one song to the next?  Can you flow, gradually going up a few keys during the course of the journey?

Your people will love this type of journey much more than an unrelated series of songs!

Tip 4: Learn to Read your Audience

One of the most important worship leader tips I can suggest is a skill you must develop, and surprisingly, many worship leaders have no idea about this!  It is essential that you learn to read your audience, so you can see if they are with you or not as you worship. You can encourage them and direct them as you lead, but many worship leaders miss all the signs and just “do their thing.” Rule of thumb: if the congregation are yawning and checking their phones, it’s time to stop… and quickly!

Tip 5: Get Some Training

No matter how experienced you are, you don’t know everything.  Check websites, attend conferences, read books and ebooks like ours, and listen to CDs and DVDS, gleaning everything you can along the way.  It is worth the effort and study to improve at your God-given ministry.

In my years of leading, I have seen all sorts of ministries come and go, but the ideas and techniques we use are fairly universal.  I recommend that you take the time to study the right material, so you can supercharge your leading by incorporating the right worship leader tips into your own ministry.

Embarrassment in worshipWorship leading should never be about you but rather about God, and leading people into His presence.  That being said, we are all human and hate being embarrassed, even when it is our own stubbornness or ignorance that causes the embarrassment!  This article is about the top five potential sources of embarrassment you can face when you are worship leading, and how you can avoid them!

1.    Ignore What Your Pastor Asks For

When your senior pastor directs you in a certain way, you need to honour him and be obedient, even if you don’t agree with him!  If he is taking the service in a different direction, it is up to him to make that decision, and to bear the consequences.  If you disobey him, then you will probably be embarrassed with the results, and you will not do your relationship with him any good either!

2.    Choose New Songs Nobody Knows

A classic mistake made almost every Sunday, worship leading is not about teaching new songs, it is about leading in worship.  People take weeks to learn a new song, so just because you know and love new material, don’t think the congregation shares your enthusiasm!

New songs are great and keep our worship leading fresh and new, but the older songs that people know and love are what really lifts worship, and ministers to our congregation.  I always counsel young worship leaders to introduce new songs very slowly, and use songs people know and love for the bulk of any worship leading.  Using too many new songs will usually have congregations disengage from worship as they try to learn new material, so make sure you avoid this common pitfall.

3.    Go Too Long

Asking worship leaders to judge the length of a worship service is like asking a drug company how effective their drug is!  If you want to avoid major embarrassment, make sure the time you lead for is shorter rather than longer.  If the pastor has to stand up and give you the eye, you have gone way too long.  It is far better to have him ask you to continue, than ask you to stop!

4.    Leave People Standing for Too Long

Worship should be enjoyed, not endured!  Sometimes worship leaders leave people standing so long it is like an endurance test.  Joy, peace and tears are the signs of a great time of worship.  Sore legs are not!

5.    Underprepare

Perhaps the biggest and most embarrassing mistake is when you under prepare.  We tend to do this as we gain more experience, mainly because we become complacent and rely on our own abilities rather than totally seeking the Lord.

We must prepare individually, spending quality time with the Lord in prayer as we choose songs, as we prepare for the morning and even during worship leading.  We also need to prepare properly as we organize our team, working out arrangements and harmonies.  Failure to put in enough preparation will always leave you open to mistakes, and some of these can be pretty embarrassing!

 

Worship Leading needs preparation

 

You need to prepare, both for the team and in your own heart, and it needs you to choose the right songs, for the right length of time as you listen to the Lord and obey your pastor.  Cut these five mistakes out, and you will become more confident, and even more powerful in your worship leading.