Learning how to lead worship in a small group is often different to worship leading in a large group, yet it uses many of the same principles.  In fact, I recommend that young leaders learn how to lead worship in a small group first, before stepping out in front of the whole congregation only to find mistakes are being made.

The Advantage of How to Lead Worship in a Small Group

How to Lead WorshipThe big advantage of learning how to lead worship in a smaller group of people is that any mistakes you make are only among a small group.  will result in mistakes, wrong decisions and sometimes embarrassing moments, and it is far better for these to be done among a small group of people you know rather than a large group.

It is in this small group setting that you have the chance to try things, explore techniques and ideas and form close relationships between singers and musicians.  The penalty for one of these ideas backfiring is far less when you are before a small group rather than the entire church.

How to Lead Worship for Smaller Numbers of People

While many worship leading techniques are the for every size audience, there are some specific ideas you should think about as you learn how to lead worship to small groups.

Go For Intimacy:  I find that loud, rocky music which works well in a larger group frequently falls flat in a small group, where you most often have less instruments and no amplification.  When learning how to lead worship, I recommend doing one faster song maximum, or even skipping straight to the more personal, intimate worship songs.

Go for Flow:  In a small group, especially if you only have one or two guitars, flowing between songs, linking songs and generally creating a wonderful, deep, intimate and special atmosphere is easier than in a large group with lots of instruments and noise.

Learn How to Lead Worship with Integrity:  In a small group most people know you well, and so if your worship leading is performance orientated, or fake, they will see through you immediately.  If you lead honestly with integrity you will learn how to press into the Lord and truly lead others to a deeper walk with Him.

When you learn how to lead worship in a small group, much of the bravado of the big meeting falls away.  There are no sound checks, no amplifiers and no big band to manage.  It’s just you, a guitar or two and your small audience who knows you well, and this strips away a lot of the performance traits and exposes the real you!

Starting your worship leader career in a small group might seem to be wasting time, but in reality it is setting the foundation for a powerful and effective worship leader.  You can learn your style, explore new ideas and try new techniques without fear of major embarrassment and without the complications that big congregations bring.

Learning how to lead worship in a small group is a great place for a humble, powerful and mighty worship leading career to start!

About Darin

Ps Darin Browne is an international worship leader and singer/songwriter who loves teaching praise and worship leading and encouraging worship leaders around the world.

4 Responses to “How to Lead Worship in a Small Group”

  1. joel

    Thanks for the info! I’m a worship leader of about 50-75 a week and it can get somewhat discouraging when i visit other larger churches with friends. There’s cool lights, perfect transitions with professional musicians and pro gear. It’s the stuff of dreams….for a performance anyways…It’s been pretty great being able to build a relationship with each person in the church. It makes what I do more meaningful and helps me focus on my real purpose.

    If you’re interested, i’m getting ready to publish a series (4 or 5) of posts about my worship philosophy and experiences as a younger worship leader in a small church. You could check my website link for updates or… there’s a nifty follow button. I’d love to get feedback from others with experience similar to mine.

    • Darin

      Joel, YES! I would love to read what you write and stay in touch. We do this with lots of folk around the world and it is real cool growing together! And I can see that it can be pretty discouraging when you visit the big, successful church. Personally I would go there with a pen and paper and write down everything that I want to implement in my own church, because there is so much we can learn. However, you can lead the worship in a smaller church without all the bells and whistles, but with a strong anointing of the presence of God. In a small church, that is where we need to focus. We have a free book for download on how to lead worship in a small church which may help. So bless you, learn heaps and keep in touch.


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