The last song of your worship set is often the most important. It is the point to which you are leading the congregation, the culmination of leading worship in your church service.
The Last Song Should be the Best
So why is the last song so important, and how can you make it the height of worship that you long for and that your church deserves.
Everything you do in your worship set should be done with the end in mind, the hope and the wonderful privilege of leading people closer to the Lord. Ours is a noble calling, taking people from where they are when they walk into the room, right through to an encounter with God Himself.
So we need to be mindful of how we are leading worship, and especially how it all leads to the last song, the one that reaches the highest heights of worship, and prepares the way for what follows, even into the delivery of the sermon.
In fact, if you get this area of your worship leading right, you can prepare the way for your pastor to share a more powerful word, and preach more effectively for the Kingdom. So it is not an over-exaggeration to say that the final song you share in your worship set can affect people’s lives.
So settle back, have a coffee or tea and learn how to make the final song of your worship set the best song ever! Apply these simple yet effective ideas, and you will find that the 12 minutes you invest right here could yield a lifetime of powerful and effective worship leading…
Does size matter in worship leading?
Worship Leading has Never Been about Size!
As worship leaders, we say size doesn’t matter, but we secretly think it does, and we all would love to be leading worship in a stadium full of people rather than a home group. Come on, admit it!
Whether your church is huge or small, whether you meet in a home or a stadium, whether your team is 20 people or just you and a guitar, God can still use you and your gifts to lead people into an incredible worship experience.
In fact, some of the best worship experiences I have ever had have been in small churches. When you have fewer people, it is sometimes easier to all be on the same page, loving and seeking the Lord together.
Now I know that big churches, big stages, big speakers and lights, and stuff are cool and attractive, but in God’s economy, they carry very little weight. It is not about the size of your team, or your church, it’s about the size of your heart for Jesus!
Worship leading has always been about the heart, the heart of worship, not the excitement of a big crowd or a large worship team. So does size matter?
The answer to that is probably yes to us, but no to God. We often talk about the audience of one, the Lord Himself, and having led worship at some pretty big and famous venues, I always try to concentrate on the audience of one… my Lord and Saviour!
So take 12 minutes out of your busy day and tune into this week’s 12 minutes for worship leaders podcast, and discover how being in a small church can open up a large blessing as you serve the Lord in your worship leading gift.
Negative opinions are something we all need to face at some time or other, and especially when you are in the public eye.
You Can Be Positive about Negative Opinions!
As a worship leader, you can be positive about negative opinions. I mean, opinions are like noses… everybody has one, and most of them smell!
However, if you simply ignore every opinion, you are making yourself a dictator, so there has to be a way you can process what has been said about you and your ministry, while at the same time protecting yourself from the attacks that come your way.
This 12 minutes for worship leaders podcast is about how you can be open, listening to the Lord and to others, how you can be seen to be approachable and authentic, but how you can also surround yourself with the protection you need to be insured against discouragement and fear that negative opinions inevitably bring.
And those opinions can cut like a knife. I have seen many worship leaders destroyed by stinging, often unloving words directed at them from members of the congregation, from fellow band members and from pastors and leaders in the church. Part of what we discuss here is about not letting the dissenters be the deciders, and not letting criticism, whether valid or not, ruin your career in worship, and your life in general!
We explore how you can gather a team around you, to be honest with you when needed, and be supportive of you at all times. Facing these opinions is not a journey you should embark upon alone!
So worship leaders need to recognise that we are targets for negative opinions, and that’s why Darin and Erick are keen to share their more positive opinions on how you can deal with these criticisms. Listen to this, it could protect you from a lifetime of hard knocks and pain…
Harmonies… one of the most difficult, challenging yet incredibly satisfying aspects of singing, and of worship leading.
Harmonies have always been an area that even many accomplished singers find difficult to master. So OK, it’s a challenge, but hey, who doesn’t want to rise to a challenge, especially one that musicians and singers find so exciting.
And they are exciting. A beautiful harmony will inspire the people singing it, and harmonies will blow your congregation out of the water! If you want to catapult your worship team into the spiritual stratosphere, if you want people deeply touched and blessed by your worship leading, then harmonies are definitely a way to do this.
And they are not as difficult as everyone would have you believe. You can learn them, train in them and you can teach your team simple ways they can use a 3rd or 5th part harmony to make your worship sound stunning and amazing.
Generally, in worship practice, we spend hours working with a team of musicians, trying to get our sound as a worship team to be amazing. We know that a great sound in the band makes it easier for people to worship. Yet I am telling you now that simple music and amazing 3 or 4 or 5 part harmony will impress people more, and open their hearts amazingly more than nicely played music.
Learning how to sing harmony takes time, takes practice and takes commitment and patience, but trust me, the end will justify the hard work.
As a singer, there is very little in your craft that will satisfy as much as harmony singing.
So if you want your worship leading to get to the next level, then learn harmonies and teach your team how to sing in harmonies. This podcast will start one of the most incredible learning experiences you will ever experience…
Modulation is a fantastic thing to do, especially for worship leaders, but there are a few techniques and ideas that can make you look like a phenomenal worship leader, even if you’re not exactly sure what you are doing!
Modulation is going up a key… or two… or three… or, well you get the picture. Going up a key does something amazing for the congregation, and can easily see them move into deeper and more meaningful worship.
In this podcast, Darin and Erick reveal some awesome ways in which you can raise the stakes and raise the level of worship as you raise the key! And listen, anyone can do this. When you learn the techniques, it is easy to apply this powerful technique to your worship leading.
Going up a key really lifts the energy in your worship. When you go up a key, without them even realising it, the audience stretches more to reach the notes, and thereby open their diaphragms, and their hearts!
Now I know some of you are thinking, well it is really the Spirit of God, so these guys are crazy teaching techniques and thinking God will move. OK, let’s sort this now. Techniques do work, but they do not replace the Spirit of God moving, of course!
What I can tell you is that techniques like modulation can enhance what the Lord is doing. So please do not write this off, because as you learn techniques like this one you will enhance your worship leading skills, and the people will be more and more blessed!
So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and relax and open your heart to learning a powerful new technique for your ever progressing worship leading. Listen to this podcast, and master the subtle art of modulation!
Song arranging is an art in itself, but as a worship leader, you want to know how to arrange songs so that they sound great, flow well and lead people into worship.
Song Arranging is One of the Best Parts of Leading Worship…
Arranging music is a real joy for many worship leaders, and this podcast is a great chance for Darin and Erick to share their love of song arranging. We want you to share the incredible blessing of taking a song you’ve heard on the internet and making it special, arranging it so that it becomes an amazing song, with highs and lows, special features and powerful vocals.
You can use techniques like build-ups, silence, syncopated beats and vocal harmonies. You can repeat parts of the song, you can go up keys, you can end on a high or a low. Truly, arranging songs is one of the great joys of being a musician or a singer, and we want to share this great joy with you…
And this is not something that is beyond you, and of you! If you have a creative mind, song arrangements become easy and have an infinite number of variations. If you do not see yourself as creative, you can still start to arrange songs in your own special style. Your whole band looks to you for leadership, and arranging songs is a great way to lead your team and see your congregation worship in true spirit and truth.
This podcast is an awesome opportunity to learn the song arranging secrets from 2 guys who have been leading worship and producing records for decades. All is revealed in this week’s 12 minutes for worship leaders podcast, and we are excited to bring this information to you and see you reach higher heights in worship as you serve the Lord.
Does worship require music?
Of course, the answer is no, but surely music and singing can enhance the worship experience and promote unity when it comes to worship in a church environment. We know that we can worship anywhere, any time and that no music, words, artifacts, religious ceremonies are needed. God is God, and he is longing to connect with us, using any means possible.
This podcast is all about how worship can go beyond just the music played and the lyrics that are sung, and permeate all of your life and the life of your worship team and the whole church.
If you truly love the Lord, then you will want to pay any price and do anything to connect with Him in worship. And while some might disagree with the question itself, does worship require music, if we as worship leaders are dedicated to making that true and honest connection with God, then the method really is not important.
We worship the Lord with our money and giving, with our time, with our speech and with every aspect of our lives, but certainly when we are feeling down or flat, maybe distant from the Lord, we answer the question of does worship require music with a resounding, “No, but it sure helps when we are flat.”
And as this podcast explores, sometimes times of quietness and contemplation, times when music is specifically not there, can be very powerful in worship. We live in noisy environments every day, and there are times when we should not as worship leaders be filling up people heads with more and more sounds, but rather allow them space and the liberty to worship the Lord without music or noise.
Take 12 minutes out of your busy day to realign your heart with a true heart of worship in this challenging podcast…
Most of us can play music or sing, and we can hear songs on Youtube, read a chord chart and play the song. However, if that is all you do with music, then you are missing out on the greatest inspiration you could have… making a song your own.
How to Make a Song Your Own
So what do we mean by make a song your own? It means doing it in a way that is unique, that is inspired, that is something you can make the song into.
So rather than just reproduce what the band on Youtube does, why not adapt it to suit your style and musical tastes.
If you want to play a song in church, and you only want to do it exactly how the CD does it, then why not just play the CD in church? I mean, why spend countless hours just trying to reproduce what someone else has done? You are better than that! God has given you a creative spirit, and with a few select changes, you can make a song into something special, into your own version, full of God-given creativity and inspiration.
In this 12 minutes for worship leaders podcast you will learn how to make a song your very own, and be inspired to change things to create inspired and wonderful worship songs, different and even better than the ones on YouTube or the latest CD. You can give these songs a different style, different feel and a different structure than the ones the bands play. And here’s the crazy thing… that same band, the one you are watching on the internet, they will play the same song differently next week!
So if you want to explore a whole new area, if you want to supercharge your worship and do worship in a new and inspired way, then this is a great pod to listen to…
Smoke Machines and Laser Lights are often used as part of the modern church worship experience. Now if you go to a secular conference or concert, you will see the same thing… Smoke and Laser Lights everywhere, providing a spectacular and exciting show.
But are Smoke Machines and Laser Lights Necessary for Great Worship?
I often hear people jokingly say, “The presence of God was not in church this morning because the smoke machine was broken.”
Now, this may be a joke of sorts, but if you go to most modern churches, you can see the point. Many are magnificent spectacles, lights, lasers, smoke, darkened rooms, and one wonders whether people can actually worship God without all that stuff.
And I must confess, I actually like all that spectacular stuff! I love the excitement and visual stimulation that incredible presentations like this provide. However, I do not for a moment believe that we need anything technical to usher in the presence of God in worship.
That’s what this podcast is all about… We ask the big question, Do we need smoke machines and laser lights to truly worship, and if we don’t, why do so many churches use them? Is it that we need to relate to the young generation? Is it that we feel the need to hide substandard worship behind smoke and mirrors? Are they just great fun, and they catch the attention of a world seemingly obsessed with shiny objects, more and more spectacular films and shows and anything new and, well, laserish?
Whether your church is a laser and smoke lovin’ place or not, check out this slightly controversial podcast. In all seriousness, we are not just slamming lasers and smoke, but we are suggesting that if your church cannot afford such a visual display, then genuine, heartfelt and powerful worship will attract people more than smoke, lasers and a spectacular performance.
Using the Bible in your worship leading is important, not only in your personal walk with God but also on stage.
Why Use the Bible in Your Worship Leading?
The bible should be a huge part of the life of every believer, whether they are on stage or off stage. The Bible is not some ancient book covered in dust we like to read. No, the Bible is, to quite the Bible itself,
Hebrews 4:12 New International Version (NIV)
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
So we wanted to do a podcast refocusing our many worship leaders back onto a pivotal part of leadership, and being a Christian. Using the Bible in your worship leading life will energise, transform and empower not only your ministry, but every aspect of your life.
And to help you in this regard, we want to give away our Bible reading program, which takes you through the entire Bible in just one year, by only reading 2 chapters a day. How is this possible? We hit the highlights only, and keep the passages moving and exciting, enabling you to invest just 5-10 minutes per day and cover all the important aspects of the Bible in just one year.
Sometimes we get so involved in the music and presentation of our worship, that we forget the pivotal role that the Bible must play in our lives. We can use the Word of God between songs, we can make sure our songs are accurate, and we can live each day with the power of God’s Word leading and influencing us.
So settle back and invest 12 minutes into making the Bible the central part of your life, both on and off stage…