As a worship leader., you’ve probably figured out that sometimes, despite all your preparation and rehearsal, it all goes wrong!

But Don’t Panic When It All Goes Wrong in Worship!

Even the best, even the pros have times when, despite all their preparation, skills and checking, things go wrong!

No matter who you are, how good you are, how experienced you might be or how much you pray, sometimes things just don’t happen the way we want.  It might be a power issue, a broken guitar string, a dodgy cable or something worse!

I’ve learned that the best worship leaders are not those who have talent, big capable teams or a massive reputation.  Many times the best worship leaders are those who can flow with changes and wing their way through potential disasters.

I hesitate to use the term “fake it til you make it”, but frankly sometimes this is a reality.  Accomplished worship leaders tend to be really good at doing this when things are getting grim!  I know, I’ve probably done it a thousand times, and mostly the audience had no idea!

I remember singing my own material, forgetting the starting words of one of my songs and making up and entire verse on the spot… rhyming and all!  No one knew, except my wife who commented that she really loved the new verse.  I was so panicked I could not remember a thing!  These are the time when you have to let go and flow with the Holy Spirit, and it takes courage and obedience to do this.

We want you to become that kind of worship leader.  Listen to this week’s 12-minute pod and learn some of the secrets to adapting, overcoming and even triumphing through the times when it all goes wrong, and how your congregation might not even realise that you’ve had these struggles!

As a leader, you should pastor your worship team!

Being a worship leader is not just about singing and playing.  It goes beyond choosing songs and arranging the music.

Worship Leaders Should Pastor Your Worship Team

Worship leaders need to become worship pastors, caring for and encouraging the worship team just as the pastor works to shepherd the whole church.

It is not enough to just make music.  Your team comes to practice, and they need direction and help in their music.  But they also come to practice at times with personal crises, having had financial issues, fights with their spouse, a tough day at work and might even be in sin.  It is not enough to care only for the music or the singing, because when you pastor, you should be caring for the whole individual.

Musicians and singers are, by nature, emotional.  That’s what makes them creative and awesome.  However, this comes with its own kind of baggage, and this needs the care and love of a shepherd.

And if you decide to pastor your team rather than just produce it, you can have an amazing impact on their life, and they will usually respond with incredible loyalty and respect for you as a leader.

Leading is not just creating, it is leading, and good leaders lead every aspect of their team’s lives.  It doesn’t mean you meddle and stir up things that should be left alone, but it does mean that you are available and ready to care for the people the Lord has given you to pastor.

So we thought we would do a 12-minute pod on what it actually means to pastor your worship team, and how you as the leader can care for not only the musical needs but the entire person on your team.

If you love people and love your worship team, this special podcast is for you…

Christmas carols are upon us once again, and many worship teams, possibly yours, are madly rehearsing for the Christmas festivities.

So This Year We Want to Make Christmas Carols Special Again!

When you sing Christmas Carols year and year, how can you make them special?  I mean, what can you do to change the drab, boring, run of the mill songs and transform them into something just awesome and incredible.

And while some of these carols are amazing and beautiful songs, some come across as very old fashioned and out of date, and this makes them especially hard to sing them in a way that modern audiences will respond to.

And I have to admit, as a worship leader, I actually spent many years just dreading this time of year!  I know it sounds a little “bah humbug” of me, but the thought of churning out the same old songs the same old way just about gave me nightmares!

Don’t worry, I have converted back to someone who loves this time of year, and part of that transformation came with being able to make these beautiful and majestic songs into something special again!

So, worship leaders, don’t be bored or negative about this time of year, because we are going to change not only your mind but also your heart where Christmas Carols are concerned.  We are about to show you that these songs can become a tremendous tool in enabling you to reach out to those who would otherwise never come to church.

That’s what this podcast is all about.  Giving you 5 ideas on how you can transform the humble carol into a spiritual and musical masterpiece!

Give us 12 minutes and we will throw some great suggestions your way as to how you can make Christmas special this year…

41- When is Worship Too Loud?

When is worship too loud in your church?

Is Worship Too Loud, or are People Just Too Old?

You may have heard it said that if you think it’s too loud, you’re too old.  That was probably coined back in the late 60s or early 70s, when rock music was loud and, well, rocky, but the very ones who once said that are today complaining that the music in church is too loud, even though they are partially deaf these days!

So in your church, how do you know when the sound level is overly loud, or too quiet for that matter?

It is a balancing act because if you have worship too loud, people cannot hear themselves sing and so stop singing.  However, if you have it too soft, people can hear themselves too much and they stop singing also.  We have to get this balance right, worship leaders, because the success of your worship leading is at least partially tied in with the level of the sound, like it or not!

So when is worship too loud?  Is it when the little old lady who sits in front of the speaker complains, or is it when the guy in the back row has blood flowing from his ears? Is it when you are comfortable with it, or is it when the old man with sensitive ears turns his hearing aid down?

We know that perceived loudness does not simply depend on volume, it involves equalisation, bass levels and whether the singing can be heard.  So we reveal some secrets and show you how you can have a great volume without the complaints and people leaving the room in pain!

In so many churches the question of whether you worship too loud is a hotly debated and often highly emotional issue, and that’s why we decided to do a podcast and spend 12 minutes figuring out what constitutes too loud, and what you can do about it…

40- Raising Leaders

Raising leaders is one of the great challenges in any leadership, especially in worship.

Raising Leaders is What True Leaders Do!

There is a huge tendency for leaders to just do everything themselves.  They know how it should be done, they can do it, there is little risk in the short term and everything looks rosy.

The problem is that that is not leadership!  If you are not raising leaders you are failing as a leader, even if worship seems to be going OK.

If you are not training leaders and giving them the chance to improve in their ministry, what happens if you get sick or travel away?  Your church will suffer if you insist on being the only trained leader, and your leadership will be questioned because you are not producing the fruit that real leaders produce… Other leaders, trained and ready to go!

I know some worship leaders feel that they are not qualified to train and equip others for the position, but if you are called and in the job, you are automatically qualified.  Some don’t want to bring leaders up because they are afraid the trainee will be better than them.  However, true leaders know if you raise others who are better, you yourself are also lifted up.  Training and equipping leaders is a win-win situation.

So we wanted to do a special podcast on raising leaders, and how you can have the incredible satisfaction of reproducing your ministry in the lives of others.  Take 12 minutes and listen to this to become a better leader, and watch how the Lord uses you to make an incredible impact and leave an amazing legacy because you took the time to train, equip and pour your life into raising leaders…

39- Worship and Performance

Worship and Performance is a balance we all need to strike as worship leaders.  In truth, none of us claim to be about performance, but we really are performing when you think about it (please don’t get offended).

Worship and Performance are Both Needed

However, we all should agree that performance is not the most important part of what we do, because worship is far more important. So how do we strike a balance between worship and performance?

Perhaps the first step is to realise we do both, like it or not.  When your pastor preaches, there is an element of performance, so there is nothing wrong with acknowledging this.  Great preachers and great performers generally, and the same can be said of great worship leaders!

So while we do not major on performing, we still should recognise that we do perform, and we can use and even improve our performance skills if we need to.  We don’t major on our clothes either, but we still generally dress neatly and nicely.

So the essence here is one of balance.  Some worship leaders go right over the top and perform like rock stars, and I believe that is not only counterproductive but it is almost offensive!  God is not impressed with a big show, He wants genuine worship.  Other worship leaders are so concerned about worshipping and not performing that they are painful to watch and listen to.

Surely balance is the way to go, and somewhere between the two extremes serve both worship and performance well

Listen to this 12 minutes for worship leaders podcast and discover how you can find the right balance between worship and performance, and I would encourage you to seek the Lord as to what this balance looks like for you in your church and in your ministry.

Those new songs, we often hear them in church or at a convention, but I wonder has anyone stopped to think about them… their content in particular?

New Songs are not Always Better

This podcast is a funny look at those new tunes, the ones that are un… !  What do I mean by that?

Well, we are talking about some of those songs certain worship leaders madly promote that are un-something, be it unscriptural, uninspiring, unbelievable or just plain unbearable.

The things they talk about, the thing they focus on, the amount of ME rather than JESUS, these are all common criticisms of modern songs, but is this just a bunch of oldies hating everything and anything new, or is there really some valid concerns about the kind of music we are having in our church services.

So rather than writing them all off, or blindly accepting them as cutting edge and we all have to sing them, we thought we would take a “tongue in cheek” look at the kind of new songs that are being promoted out there.

This is loosely based on my experiences at a recent church convention, where I looked around at 1200 pastors and leaders of our denomination and found most pastors, especially those over the age of 30, staring straight ahead, bored or concerned about the quality of the worship.

So this is not a dig about loudness, smoke, lights or anything else, we just wanted to have a look at the content of modern songs and ask the question, “Does this really promote worship?”

Come on and join in the fun as we have a look at and discussion of those new worship numbers, and what we see as the problem with them.  Yes, it is our opinion, but I do believe we have to, in all honesty, examine the content of the songs we share in church and use to encourage intimacy with God…

Communion is something most churches love to do.  It is a command of Scripture, but it is also a great time to contemplate and worship the Lord, both individually and as a body.

Communion is a Part of Worship

While many churches perform communion differently, with different traditions and ways in which the rituals are performed, we all agree that it is important as an act of worship.  When Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of Me,” He was not thinking of the church traditions that were to form in and around this act, but rather He was talking about a heartfelt act of worship and submission, and a relationship that requires intimacy to flourish.

There is much debate about the frequency of communion, with some churches having it every week, some once a month and others only once a year.  Who is right and who is wrong?  That’s the thing, no one has everything totally right, so there is room for church tradition to come into play here.

No matter how communion is done or how often, it should always be an act of worship, and that’s where you as a worship leader has something special to offer!

Many churches separate communion from other areas of the morning, but we have found that this leads to a very disjointed service, and also affects the preparation of the heart that people go through as they approach it. This is why we strongly suggest that you incorporate it into your worship set, not separate it out.

When you make communion part of your worship set, it becomes easy for the speaker to role into the bread and wine seamlessly from worship, and this means that people’s hearts are already centred on Christ and worship from the start.

This podcast looks at the ways you can make your communion time even more special by including it as part of your worship time…

36- Worship Team Building

Worship team building is an important part of being a worship leader.

Worship Leaders Must Be into Worship Team Building

Many people think worship leading is just about singing, arranging songs, looking good and telling people to raise their hands. But true leadership goes far beyond this… To excel at what God has called you to do, you need to be able to build your team and to do so in a godly and winsome way.

So we encourage you to look at your worship team.  Your role is to lead them into the battle week by week for Jesus in worship, sure.  But long term you are called to forge a winning team.  You are called to pull singular, often selfish and self-absorbed musicians and singers, and to create a team where everyone works together, pulls together, grows together and becomes a unit that brings glory to God, both now and long into the future.

Team building is a lot harder than you might think.  Your team doen’s need a friend, and they don’t just need a figurehead.  What your team needs is a leader, a true and godly leader, full of integrity and godly wisdom.

You are not just a song leader, so don’t stoop to just be one.  You are a leader, an on-field general or quarterback who leads, sets the course, inspires and cares for their team.  You need to learn how to be there when they struggle, to inspire them when they are down and flat, and to let each member of your team reach the full potential they have in Christ Jesus.

If you are not worship team building your influence for Christ will be limited, and you will fall short of what the Lord has for you as a worship leader!

So this podcast is for those worship leaders who want to go beyond just being a song leader. This is for those who want to establish a long term ministry that yields fruit for generations. This is for true worship leaders!

35- Structure vs Free Worshipping

Free worshipping is something most worship leaders want to explore, but it is at odds to the structure that most worship leaders need for them and their team to function properly.

Free Worshipping Ain’t Cheap!

Free worshipping, that is the kind of worship that is not planned but flows “as the Holy Spirit leads” is a wonderful thing.  However, it often takes a lot of strategic and dedicated planning to allow the Spirit this kind of freedom, which really sounds contradictory, doesn’t it?

Often times worship leaders need to be structured, but we also have to make room for free worship in our meetings.  The blend between beeing free and flowing verses the need for structure is a pressure many worship leaders face and struggle with.

I often think about it like an egg, where the structure is represented by the shell, and free-flowing is represented by the egg white.  If you have all structure, you look like an egg, but there is no life within, but if you are all free-flowing, without structure, then you can look like a big mess.

And that’s the important secret… we need both structure and freedom to truly lead dynamic and powerful worship.  Too much of one or the other leads us to become out of balance.  However, if we get this right, we can lead incredible worship the way God wants us to.

So if you are structured as a worship leader, or free-flowing, listen to this and learn how to create the perfect blend of both, so that you, your team and your church enjoy worship on a whole new level.

In this podcast, Darin and Erick look at how you can program it into your worship set, and how you can balance the freedom with the right amount and kind of control.  This is a must for every worship leader