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!