As I travel the world and visit many churches, this would have to be one of the most overlooked areas I witness. Time after time I see the praise and worship team up there singing and leading away while the congregation just staring at them, or worse, checking their cell phones.
Learning how to lead worship in an anointed way must involve the worship leader engaging the congregation. There are simple ways to do this, but the issue is that we are not there to “do our thing” while others watch. In fact, if that’s all that happens that I would say that, no matter how good the worship, the music or the presentation, we have failed in our sacred calling of worship leading!
Engaging People is How to Lead Worship
Our calling to not to play great music but to lead our people on a journey to the throne of God. The come to church with troubles, distractions and things they are thinking about, and out duty and privilege is to lead them on this incredible journey from where they are at as they walk in to an incredible experience of worship and fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
The tools we use for this include our instruments, our voices, the things we say and the songs we choose. Therefore, we must use all of these tools to not just provide a good experience, a great sound or a terrific show, but to provide a way whereby people can worship God deeply in Spirit and in truth!
So next time you lead worship, take the time to look at your congregation. Are they with you? Are they truly worshiping? Are they checking their phones or chatting to friends? It it is the latter, no matter how good your music is, you have failed in your calling!
If you notice that a lot of your people are not engaged with you, don’t just keep barreling on hoping that they will get it right. Have a good look at your song list, and ask yourself if they like the songs as much as you do! Try listening to the Holy Spirit as you lead, then modifying what you are doing to make sure that you are actually engaging the people.
By doing this you can learn how to lead worship more and more effectively and become a huge asset to your church family, as well as filfilling your sacred calling as a worship leader.