Very few people can tell you how to lead worship if you do not play an instrument. Many of the great worship leaders you hear of today are also musicians, and many of the most songwriters as well, so clearly there is an advantage if you play an instrument when learning how to lead worship.
As a worship leader for over 20 years, I find it much easier to lead worship if I am playing my guitar. Having my own instrument allows me to control the ebb and flow of music, to create the atmosphere that I feel is necessary, and to control the pace and key of the song. My guitar serves as a bridge between the singers and musicians in the worship team, and therefore, if you can play an instrument, I recommend that you lead worship from your chosen instrument.
Learning How to Lead Worship Without Playing an Instrument is Hard, but Not Impossible
Learning how to lead worship if you are unable to play an instrument is difficult but it is not impossible. The jump you need to make mentally is that you are doing more than singing. You have to take control of the situation, and lead your band and singers in the direction you feel in the Lord the service needs to go.
Here are some steps which may help you when leading without an instrument…
- Choose songs carefully, but choose them as a musician would! Make sure that you choose them incompatible keys, and do your best to select songs that are in keys which lead comfortably into each other. I like to start any lower key like F, and progress through the key of G and then finish in the key of A. This is a nice and gentle progression throughout song service.
- Talk to your musicians. Talk to them before the program begins, clearly outlining the direction each song will take, and the number of times you will sing each session of the song. This way you can control the direction of the song service despite not holding an instrument to coordinate this.
- Liaise with one member of the band. While it is great to communicate with all the band, make sure you select one person to act as a linchpin between you and the rest of the musicians.
- Talk to your musicians during the service. As a singer, the easiest way to communicate with your band is to pull the microphone away from your mouth and speak directly to them of mic. This way you can communicate what you want, when you want and be able to lead and guide them directly during the song itself.
Although learning how to lead worship when you are not playing an instrument is more difficult, it also opens great possibilities to concentrate on your singing and leading, and to move about in a way that is not possible when you are playing. It allows you to better communicate with the congregation and, if you learn how to communicate with your worship team effectively, you can certainly become a competent amazing worship leader, whether you play an instrument or not.
You can become an effective and powerful worship leader whether you play an instrument or simply singing when you lead. Learn how to lead worship by learning the right techniques and communicating effectively with your worship team.