small group worship leadingSmall group worship leading is not something we talk a lot about, and to be honest, most of us would really rather prefer to lead worship in front of thousands than a few people in a small or cell group.

Yet small group worship leading can be one of the richest, deepest and best experiences for a praise and worship leader anywhere, and it isd an awesome place to train as well!

Why is Small Group Worship Leading So Good?

In a small group you have a unique opportunity.  Usually you do not have the array of musicians that you have with a larger group, so flowing between songs, modulating and tempo changes are much easier.

So is open or free worship. You can flow and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit easily and adventurously, and that is one of the huge advantages of worship leading in a small group situation.

So, tune into the guys this week and discover how small group worship leading can transform your own abilities as a leader, and bless your people incredibly…

For more information on all aspects of worship leading, check out our Academy site !



lead bad worshipOK, I know it sounds like a crazy topic for a worship leader podcast, but learning how to lead bad worship and what makes worship leading really bad can be a stepping stone to learning how to lead worship which is great and awesome!

So it’s about time you learned how to lead bad worship, right?

In this pod we will actually teach you what you can do to really mess up your worship leading and make it terrible… super terrible!  It will be a lot of fun, it will also make a lot of sense and the end result is you will see phenomenal results in your worship leading and avoid some of the classic pitfalls that so many worship leaders face, and fall victim to!

So settle back and listen to this amazing and incredibly fun pod, and learn how to lead bad worship… then do the opposite, right!

Plus, if you really want to avoid discovering how to lead bad worship, then check out out exclusive video on the Top 10 Mistakes Worship leaders Make… it is definitely worth a look, and in a few minutes you could improve your worship leading and avoid potential embarrassment (and we all want to do that!)

How to Lead WorshipVery 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…

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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