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”
The 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!)