Holy Spirit in worship leadingWe all know that we need the Holy Spirit in worship leading, but not all of us are able to be totally Spirit led every time we lead worship.

The fact is, we tend to rely more on our programming and down natural musical ability when it comes to Sunday morning, even though we realise that what makes the difference between a good performance and anointed performance is the leading of the Holy Spirit.

This podcast is about the Holy Spirit in worship leading, and how you can be more led by the Spirit as you lead your people.

This is not a podcast about a formula, techniques or crazy ideas designed to improve your performance, but rather it is a discussion about how you can take whatever performance you have, with you are on top of the world or experiencing great weakness, and hand it over to the Spirit of God to allow him to move silently through your worship leading.

So grab a cup of coffee or tea, settle back and listen to today’s worship leader podcast. If you can even capture a tiny amount more of the Holy Spirit and His leading in your worship, it will be worth the time you are investing in listening to our pod!

So have a listen and be blessed worship leaders!

presence of GodHi and welcome to this week’s worship leader podcast, where we are going to ask the very controversial question, “Do you fake the presence of God?”

We all want His presence to permeate our meetings, and sometimes we want the Spirit to move so much that we think we need o give God a bit of a nudge to get it.  If we are honest, we have all thought about it and some of us have done it.  Does this start God’s Spirit moving?  Are we just kidding ourselves?  And most importantly,

How do we bring the genuine presence of God into our church services?

Are you seeing the Lord move powerfully in your meetings?  I hope you are, and I hope it is the genuine article, but I have seen so many worship services where the band misses the mark and, frankly, tried to fake it.  Like you, I want and earnestly desire the real thing, the genuine presence of God.  But how can you recognize when you are starting to fake it, and how can you see the real thing.  This is part of a 2 part worship leader podcast series, so check it out and make sure you see the real presence of God in your meetings…

 

And remember, you can still download a lot of pods without cost either from this site, or you can download for free from iTunes, or subscribe to it so that you don’t miss any episode ever!  Nearly every week there’s a special edition of the pod coming at you, so subscribe on iTunes and be a part of our worship leader community.  And if you like us, and I hope many of you do, PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW so iTunes knows that we’re helping you along!   Whether you’re driving to work, mowing the lawn or simply chilling out (maybe with a pleasant cup of tea!), let us teach you, brighten up your entire day and maximize the use of the time you’ve got for the Lord!

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Or, in case you are really keen to understand more about all aspects of worship leading, from managing your team to arranging your songs, from discovering how to worship lead with a small band to conditioning your voice, plus a bunch of other tips and techniques, check out the full list of  Worship Leader Podcasts, so you are able to hear all of them!!!

OK, it would take you some time, but you will certainly get some ideas about all aspects of worship leading, how to help your voice, manage your band, and a whole host of other things (and also have a few laughs).  Or, save yourself the trouble and buy the Worship in a Nutshell package, to help you get the very best information ready to apply right now in the church.  It costs a small amount, but boy it saves you quite a lot of time learning!!!

worship devotionLamentations 3:22-23

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

 

This worship devotion is more than just a grand old hymn; it is a great way to face every new day!  Recognizing that the compassion of the Lord for us is what keeps us alive, and that they never fail but get renewed every morning is a great way to face whatever you have to face in this day.

 

Unlike our faithfulness, God’s faithfulness is great, constantly renewed and able to be relied upon no matter what each day brings.  Have you got a tough day ahead?  The Lord is faithful!  Are you facing financial problems?  The Lord is faithful!  Are you grappling with sin or temptation? The Lord is faithful!

 

Whatever it is that you face today, you need to recognize that He is faithful!  He is not trying to peddle yesterday’s love and compassion, He has renewed it for you, freshly baked and ready for consumption right now.  So no matter what you went through yesterday, you need to feel assured that today is a new day, and His compassions are also new, just for you and everything you are looking at in your life!  In fact, now is a great time to not only read the worship devotion, but sing the song a few times and get it into your spirit!

 

Most of us have sung this song for years, and we love it.  But maybe it is time for us to not only sing it, but to also live it, and face life like we mean it!  Get your head around it today, that God’s compassions never, never fail, but are constantly renewed for you, morning by morning.  You are blessed, you are chosen and God is with you full of compassion, love and faithfulness, even if we fail!  This is the only way to live a life of victory, resting in the arms that will never let you down, never fail and never run out of love, compassion and faithfulness for you!

 

Hope you have enjoyed this worship devotion.  We will have more in our  worship devotion series throughout the year.

 

God Hurts Too!

God hurts tooGenesis 6:6

The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.

It may come as a spectacular shock, but God hurts too!

That’s right, God the Creator of the universe, God the Saviour of mankind and God the indwelling Holy Spirit all grieved at some time, hurt by what mankind has done.

[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”0310245729″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51fJxM9XebL._SL160_.jpg” width=”100″]When you think about it, God is omniscient, which means that he has complete knowledge and understanding of everything including human sin and the terrible effects that it brings upon His creation.

God the Father felt pain when He looked upon the people He had created and saw how sin had corrupted them (Genesis 6:6). Jesus looked across his favorite city and His chosen people and His heart just broke both for the sin and hardheartedness He saw, but also for what was to come for these people (Luke 13:34). And the Holy Spirit is grieved by a sinful ways (Ephesians 4:30).

God is not a Creator who sits back and lets a sinful world take its course. He is not some cosmic computer completely devoid of emotion and feelings. He feels are sin, He feels our pain and, just as we do, God hurts!

Sometimes when you lead worship you will feel and understand the hurt Our Father feels when He looks at us.  The times we have let Him down, His great yearning for our love and devotion, as we worship we can sometimes catch a glimpse of these.  He is not an aloof God, sitting back watching a world out of control.  He is a loving, caring and intimate God, reaching out to us despite how we have hurt Him.

So if you feel pain today, bring your pain to God because he understands exactly what you’re going through and how you feel. Be open with Him, share your heart with Him and even your frustrations, because if we hurt, then remember God hurts too!  Cast your cares on Him because He cares for you! (1 Peter 5:7)

Do you want to be a worship leader who really impacts the church? Where does your power as a worship leader come from? I am sitting here in Singapore airport waiting for flight into India. I have just been doing my quiet time, and have been struck by the thought of where our power comes from as worship leaders.

be a Worship Leader

Be a Worship Leader of Power

All of us have the desire to be a worship leader of power, and most of us are smart enough to know that it does not depend on ourselves. How well I lead depends to a certain degree on my abilities, and my training, but the real power manifest in our worship leading must depend solely on the holy spirit.

Be a Worship Leader Without the Spirit?

I have just been reading about the Chinese Christian who coma on visiting an American Church, commented that it is remarkable what Western Christians have achieved without the Holy Spirit. Those of us in Western countries Mayfield this is a bit harsh, but I believe I know what this Chinese brother is saying. We can do so many things with the right programs, equipment, teams, etc., and be so good at what we do we can do it without the help and power of the holy spirit.

In fact, for the experienced worship leader, if God failed to show up in our worship many people would not even realize it!

Be a Worship Leader Who is Weak!

I am always reminded that when I am weak, He is strong, and I want to be a worship leader who is weak enough to see that strength. It is 4 AM and I am sitting in the airport at Singapore feeling very weak (I clearly need more coffee!). I face a rigorous two weeks of demanding ministry, and I simply cannot do this under my own strength. These are the moments that cause you to stop, look at yourself, examine yourself and realize that you are simply a vessel, no matter how talented, clever or confident you may seem. With all the training, teaching, podcasts, and so on which we offer on this website, I recognize at this time of the morning on my way to India that it is all about Jesus, it’s not about myself and my ability.

If you want real power when you lead, don’t get too cocky and overconfident! Be less reliant on what you know you can do, and more relian on who you know.

If you want to see the Lord do something amazing in your church, pause and reflect that it is all about Jesus, not you or your ability. At 4 am with. It enough coffee far from home, I am more aware than ever that I am weak and I have to rely on He who is strong.

That’s how to be a worship leader of real power!

Recently I had the honour of being in the music team with my Daughter leading praise and worship.

Whilst she has been leading praise and worship at the church youth group for some time now, she has little experience in leading praise and worship in a Sunday morning service. Let me tell you: She did a great job. God was in the house, and you could sense the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit.

Working Together When Leading Praise and Worship

Alexie does not really play an instrument, but she has an amazing voice. The challenge with being relatively new to leading praise and worship and not playing an instrument is that there can be a tendency for “Gaps” . These can quickly lead to awkward silence if the leader is not on the ball, so this is where I stepped in. With guitar and microphone, and having a very good idea of where Alexie was taking the worship, (We had practised all songs prior, and she had communicated what she wanted to achieve and how she planned to do that), I “filled in the gaps”, allowing for a smooth transition while she “caught her breath” so as to speak.

The Keys to Leading Praise and Worship “Tag Team”

Leading Praise and WorshipThe key to the success of this session was in two parts: I had to remain in the background. It is important for anyone who is supporting up and coming worship leaders to allow them the freedom in doing what they are doing, and helping them to achieve that.In other words, let help them discover their leadership qualities. When Alexie looked a little unsure, I took over, gently so as not to make it obvious, and as soon as she regained her confidence, I stepped back and let her take over. Tag team.
The second part is that it important for the up and coming worship leader to be teachable. Alexie was both humble and gracious enough to allow me to help her, and step in. Sometimes I could see a questioning look on her face, almost uncomfortable saying “Where do I go from here? How do I get to the next step?” I merely took the reigns, directed the band and we continued on.

In a way, because Alexie and I are related and we have shared the stage together over the years on many occasions, she is comfortable around me and knows to trust me. I had to make absolutely sure that I did not abuse that trust. This is another important key to Tag Team Worship Leading.

 

Reproducing While You are Leading Praise and Worship

My fellow worship leader, I encourage you as you read these blogs and listen to the Worship Leader Podcast, look at the members of your team, and find people who can be trained up to lead worship. Whether in a Youth Group, a Home Cell, a mid-week meeting or a Sunday service. Remember you can’t be there all the time, and the congregation loves variety. (I mean, I don’t eat peanut butter at every meal! ) Be prepared to do some Tag Team when leading praise and worship. This may be as simple a beginning as your ‘apprentice’ leading just one or two praise songs at the beginning of the service. As they become more confident, loosen up the reigns and let them take more on. You are always there for them to fall back on.
And make sure that you get together both before the service to plan, and after the service to analyse. Don’t use the after service to criticise your apprentice for short falls or hiccups. Chances are that if things didn’t go to plan, and the music wasn’t brilliant, they are already punishing themselves. Use every experience to build in readiness for the next one. Tag Team when you are leading praise and worship is very important and can be amazingly affective in bringing your congregation into the presence of God.

The outcome of Last Sunday? My wife and our Pastor came to me after and said: You two worked really well together leading praise and worship this morning…” We were a team with a unity of purpose. And when the people dwell together in Unity, God commands the Blessing!

Be sure to tune into the latest podcast, and have a listen to the ones you haven’t downloaded yet.

God Bless you real good and have a great week!

Erick (And keep on leading praise and worship to His glory!)

If you are thinking about worship training then chances are that you are serious about leading praise and worship.  I believe that leading worship is one of the greatest privileges we can have as musicians and singers, and for that reason worship training is essential to make us the very best we can be at our chosen spiritual vocation!

Why Get Worship Training?

This is an obvious question with an equally obvious answer… to become the best we can be!  Some people have told me that they see no need for worship training because the Holy Spirit will lead them into all truth, but I think that this is not only lazy but it is also a slap in the face for the many thousands who have paid good money and set time aside for worship training , to study and improve their worship leading.

Why do Pastors train and why do they go to college?   To hone their skills and become the best they can be!  Why do counselors study?  To improve their skills and abilities.  So why should worship leaders seek and undergo proper worship training?  For exactly the same reason!  Just because you have a natural ability of gift does not mean that you don’t need to strive to improve it!

Worship Training Helps You Train Others

worship trainingIf you set out to obtain worship training, then this is not just for yourself and your church, but it is also for your worship team.  As you learn tips, techniques and new ideas, you have the ability to pass these on to those around you and also improve their abilities.  So once you are trained, you have the opportunity to train others and thereby improve your entire worship team.  This is a great reason to consider worship training even if you are experienced yourself.  Not only can you improve yourself but you can also influence others for good as well.

Find the Right Worship Training For You

The most important thing when considering worship training is finding the right type of training for you and your team, and your specific situation.  It is not enough to just attend a worship conference or two and say, “I’m trained now!”  No, worship training is an ongoing thing which enables you to continue to hone and refine your abilities, no matter what stage you are at!

So if you are considering improving your worship leading abilities, you need to find the best worship training for your situation.  If you are unable to attend a conference or course, then why not check out internet based learning.  This will enable you to use and apply and sift through the information you receive so you can process it and apply in the best way for your situation and church.

For long term results that can be applied immediately yet will last years, internet based courses are probably the most effective worship training you can get!

If you are involved in church worship then chances are you are searching for some worship leading tips to help you do a better job.  While a few worship leading tips here and there will not replace a full worship training course.

The Top 5 Worship Leading Tips

5. Don’t Overcomplicate Arrangements- Some of the best and most loved songs of all time are simple, yet many modern praise and worship songs are so incredibly complex!  Try to keep your arrangements simple and you will find your musicians able to play them, and your congregation able to sing them!

4. Choose Songs that are Well Known- Your role is not to teach new songs.  This is one of the best worship leading tips you will hear: use songs that your congregation know and love.  Worship will be easier, more powerful (because they will not need to read the words) and you can still introduce new material, preferably slowly.

Worship Leading Tips3. Blend the Songs Together- You want the worship experience to be a continuous, wonderful experience, not a stop-start, clunking experience.

2. Go Up Keys to Go Up in Intensity- Modulating up a key in a song makes everyone stretch, sing louder and raises the intensity of the meeting, so do not be afraid to go up a key.  Of all the worship leading tips I am offering here, this one is the most practical for seeing an immediate effect in your worship leading.

1. Head Towards Higher Praise and Worship- I always try and start with songs about ourselves and our feelings, needs, desires, etc.  As I head through the worship time I try and culminate with a song focused on the Lord and solely on worshipping Him!

Worship Leading Tips Don’t Replace the Right Heart

Remember, these worship leading tips are not an alternative to having a right heart and a right attitude before the Lord.  They are techniques, yes, but they are most effective when coupled with a humble and serving heart.  As a leader you need to be open to not only the leading of the Holy Spirit, but also to correction from your pastor and great ideas from your team.  Use the worship leading tips but don’t forget to keep your heart right!

The King of All Worship Leading Tips

The ultimate of all of the worship leading tips I could share with you (along with keeping your walk right with the Lord) is to get some training, whether you are experienced or not.  I have been leading worship for years, yet I always try and remain open and humbly teachable so that my journey does not plateau or peter out but continues to grow in strength and power.

I am sure you want to become the very best praise and worship leader you can be.  Stay humble, stay open and stay close to the Lord.  Get some training as often as you can and apply  these worship leading tips to better your chosen and anointed gifting.

Worship training should be an essential part of preparation for the worship leader.  I have had thousands of people attend my training seminars across the world and the feedback is that they have gained valuable insights from the worship training which they would not have discovered by themselves.

Every now and then I meet someone who says, “I don’t need praise and worship training, I will just follow the Holy Spirit!”  The question is, would the Holy Spirit ever lead you to get training in your gift, and would such training ever become a valuable asset for you and your church?

Worship Training Enhances your Gift

There is no denying that praise and worship leading is a gift.  We can clearly see that some people have it, and others do not, and it is not whether the person can sing or play that determines it.  Some people sing beautifully but when they try to lead the worship service falls flat!  It’s a gift, sure, but can this gift be improved in any way?

I believe that, whatever your level of gifting, the right type of worship training will enhance the gift on your life.  You will pick up ideas and techniques which can only add a new and fresh element to your praise and worship leading and make you a better praise and worship leader.  It is the same principle that applies to a musician, or a football player.  However naturally gifted you might be, going to practice will make you a better musician or footballer.  You will learn new techniques, ideas, skills and be able to perform to a higher level.  Why should these same principles not apply to praise and worship leading?

Worship Training Keeps you Sharp

worship trainingI have been leading worship for many years, and I teach on the subject all around the world, yet I am still learning!  Frankly, I haven’t arrived yet, and if you are honest, neither have you!   I am always keen to learn more and improve my craft, and I believe that worship training keeps you sharp and helps you to continue to grow in your skills and abilities to become all that you can possibly become in the Lord.

At very least worship training will challenge you with new ideas and concepts.  It will cause you to examine how you lead and maybe modify what you are doing.  Those who decide that they do not need any worship training but only need the Holy Spirit are missing out, and they are misunderstanding the work of the Spirit in their lives.  God uses anointed, experienced worship leaders to train others, just as He uses preachers and teachers to train others in the Body of Christ!

Worship Training Makes You a Better Worship Leader

The whole purpose of worship training is to improve your worship leading ability and make you the very best leader that you can possibly be!  So whether you are average or awesome, experienced or untried, you will never lose round but will always gain when you pursue worship training!