Learning how to lead worship inside a conservative church is a real challenge, but I believe that it is a sound and worthwhile thing to pursue.

Does YouTube Show You How to Lead Worship Effectively?

Have a look at some of the awesome praise and worship leading displayed on YouTube and you will certainly be inspired to lead effective worship.  Here is the catch… almost all the clips you are watching take place in mega churches or huge conferences, most of which are very Pentecostal or charismatic in nature!

So, in a more conservative church, is it possible to apply some of the ideas showcase on these clips and learn how to lead worship in your local church, regardless of the denomination?

Th answer lies in being wise and choosing the right techniques and ideas to apply, not transplanting the entire performance into your local church!

Many conservative churches long to have powerful worship in their meetings, but do not want what they perceive as some of the excesses that many Pentecostal churches have.

Learning How to Lead Worship… What is In, and What is Out?


Firstly, anything that is offensive to your denomination is foolish to try and bring into your conservative church. If your people don’t raise their hands, learning how to lead worship effectively must involve you not commanding people from stage to do the very thing they hate! So if I was leading worship in this environment, I would not instruct people to raise their hands.

Next, and style of music that potentially offends your people should be avoided.  Many in more conservative churches dislike heavy or hard rock, so I would only be leading worship that is more subdued with perhaps a soft rock or folk basis.

Finally, choose the songs carefully, because doing songs that are theologically dubious is sure to cause offence!  When exploring how to lead worship in a conservative church environment, I would make sure that almost all the songs were those my people recognize and love.

And yes, in a more stayed church it is a perfect opportunity to do beautiful arrangements of hymns.  Hymns do not have to be boring and dull, but if you do them right, they can become masterpieces of God’s love, touching hearts in both conservative and charismatic congregations.

So if you are learning how to lead worship in a more traditional church, be careful what you command people to do, choose a style that most will love, and do songs they know, especially new or even rock arrangements of some of the classic hymns. With a little bit of wisdom and care, and the right training, you can have a major impact on your local conservative church and touch people’s lives every time your lead worship!

Learning how to lead worship in a small group is often different to worship leading in a large group, yet it uses many of the same principles.  In fact, I recommend that young leaders learn how to lead worship in a small group first, before stepping out in front of the whole congregation only to find mistakes are being made.

The Advantage of How to Lead Worship in a Small Group

How to Lead WorshipThe big advantage of learning how to lead worship in a smaller group of people is that any mistakes you make are only among a small group.  will result in mistakes, wrong decisions and sometimes embarrassing moments, and it is far better for these to be done among a small group of people you know rather than a large group.

It is in this small group setting that you have the chance to try things, explore techniques and ideas and form close relationships between singers and musicians.  The penalty for one of these ideas backfiring is far less when you are before a small group rather than the entire church.

How to Lead Worship for Smaller Numbers of People

While many worship leading techniques are the for every size audience, there are some specific ideas you should think about as you learn how to lead worship to small groups.

Go For Intimacy:  I find that loud, rocky music which works well in a larger group frequently falls flat in a small group, where you most often have less instruments and no amplification.  When learning how to lead worship, I recommend doing one faster song maximum, or even skipping straight to the more personal, intimate worship songs.

Go for Flow:  In a small group, especially if you only have one or two guitars, flowing between songs, linking songs and generally creating a wonderful, deep, intimate and special atmosphere is easier than in a large group with lots of instruments and noise.

Learn How to Lead Worship with Integrity:  In a small group most people know you well, and so if your worship leading is performance orientated, or fake, they will see through you immediately.  If you lead honestly with integrity you will learn how to press into the Lord and truly lead others to a deeper walk with Him.

When you learn how to lead worship in a small group, much of the bravado of the big meeting falls away.  There are no sound checks, no amplifiers and no big band to manage.  It’s just you, a guitar or two and your small audience who knows you well, and this strips away a lot of the performance traits and exposes the real you!

Starting your worship leader career in a small group might seem to be wasting time, but in reality it is setting the foundation for a powerful and effective worship leader.  You can learn your style, explore new ideas and try new techniques without fear of major embarrassment and without the complications that big congregations bring.

Learning how to lead worship in a small group is a great place for a humble, powerful and mighty worship leading career to start!

Learning how to lead worship effectively is not an easy task.  You can watch all the DVDs, imitate famous leaders and search the internet yet still not really confidently learn how to lead worship, so where does a young man or woman start in their quest to become a powerful worship leader in their church?

Learn How to Lead Worship by Study

How to Lead WorshipAll the good intentions and humility in the world cannot take the place of some basic training.  Learning how to construct songs, arrange music, go up keys, blend songs and choose wisely are basics that every potential praise and worship leader should learn.  These can give you the raw materials with which to build a successful ministry.

They are not, however, the power and anointing of God!  They are simply the tools needed, the framework if you will, that you can use to allow the Holy Spirit to move powerfully in your congregation.

Some feel that training is not necessary if you really long to serve, but I would disagree.  Your pastor has trained to preach, your keyboard player has learned to play and your local doctor has hopefully trained in his profession.  Don’t gloss over the fact that you have things to learn with a spiritual veneer.  If your pastor has trained in his skills, surely you should do the same in yours if you want to learn how to lead worship properly!

Learn How to Lead Worship by Relationship

The most effective way to learn how to lead worship is to sit with and under a successful worship leader.  Part of this relationship is the transfer of information, much of it not revealed in any other way.  Most successful worship leaders have some tips, techniques or ideas which they don’t reveal, but spending time with them can show you how to lead worship in a similar way to them.

As a successful worship leader for over 20 years in churches around the world, I confess that I do not have time to mentor all the worship leader I am in touch with through our website.

I cannot sit with them, discuss issues with them or show them exactly how to lead worship in their context and their church.  However I can and have written down everything I can think of about how to lead worship, from how to choose songs right through to how you react to adversity.  Teaching can reveal lots of things like how to link songs, blend songs, arrangements, relationships in the team and a host of other areas that I have learned over 20 or so years.

So get some training and establish a relationship with an already successful worship leader if you really want to learn how to lead worship effectively.

How To Lead Worship

how to lead worshipIf you are looking for ways to learn how to lead worship in three easy steps then this could be one of the most important articles you’ve ever read.  Leading worship in church is a responsible and respected position, but many times people who are inexperienced are thrown into the job, even though they do not know how to lead worship effectively.  So here are a few points on how to lead worship powerfully and effectively, especially if you are inexperienced.

How To Lead Worship Step 1: Prepare Your Material

The first step in learning how to lead is to prepare your material thoughtfully, carefully and most importantly prayerfully.  I cannot emphasize this point enough: if you want to learn how to lead worship in a powerful way that is well received by your audience, you must select your material carefully.

The best praise and worship songs to use, especially when you are learning how to lead praise and worship, are ones that people are familiar with.  This will of course very from church to church, but there are a number of great “standards” that people know and love and will immediately respond to.  Great praise and worship hymns such as “I Surrender All”, “How Great Thou Art” and “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” are often sure fire ways two great worship times, as are more modern songs such as “Shout to the Lord” or “How Great Is Our God.”

The thing to remember when you were learning is that praise and worship leading is more about your audience than it is about your preferences.  One of the biggest mistakes those learning how to lead make is they choose songs they liked that the congregation is unfamiliar with.  If you want to make a great impression lead worship with anointing and great favor, select songs that everybody knows!

Step 2: Prepare Your Worship Team

If you are starting out, you need to prepare your worship team so that they are 100% with you and supportive of what you were doing.  You need to spend time with them not only practicing and playing, but also enjoying coffee and laughs as you build a relationship that will be transferred into your praise and worship leading.

Make sure you spend time preparing your team in prayer, and also explaining to them why you were doing certain songs in the order you have chosen.  As you arrange the songs, try to include their ideas because there is great power in unity, and if you are learning you must also be learning how to lead men and women.

Step 3: Prepare Your Heart

The third area of learning how to lead worship is to prepare your own heart.  You need to spend time with the Lord if you are going to lead others into his presence, and that includes prayer and devotions, reading the word of God and seeking him as to which songs he wants to use in the worship time.

Of all the areas of preparation, if you are learning how to lead worship the most important is to prepare your own heart.  If you have seen in your life, confess it and get it out of the way.  If you have distractions in your life, deal with them and make sure they do not interfere with your mind or your heart as you come to lead worship.

I believe that if you take these three simple steps to heart, you will learn how to lead praise and worship in a powerful and effective way for your congregation.  Remember, you are not just learning how to do it but you are learning how to lead your team, prepare your hearts and direct your audience into a greater worship experience.

So when you have the opportunity, don’t just stand up and sing a series of songs but learn how to lead worship in a powerful, anointed and effective way.