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!

As a worship leader, one of the hardest things to do is to learn how to lead praise and worship when you are feeling down.  I know we read in the scriptures about Paul and Silas praising God in prison, but if you have had a tough week, a personal tragedy or struggle with depression it is entirely normal to struggle also with leading others closer to the Lord.

Yet if we really are servants we need to learn how to lead worship no matter how we feel, whether happy or sad, high or low, depressed or rejoicing.  Our calling is a noble one but it can also be a difficult one because most of us are emotional beings.

How to Lead Praise and Worship When You Are Empty

When you are on top of the world it is easier to lead your team forth in triumph.  However, if you are feeling low for any reason it is much harder, so it is important that we learn how to effectively lead praise and worship in those circumstances.

The most important thing to think about if you are feeling down is that, while we are weak, He is strong.  Real faith is there whether we have the feelings or not, so if we are empty and lifeless it is a real opportunity to let Christ shine through us.  As John said, “He must become greater, I must become less.” (John 3:30)

When we lead our congregations at times we are so empty and we have nothing to offer.  It is here that we may discover a true secret to how we can really tap into the depths of our walk with the Lord and our worship of Him.

Leading When You Are Angry

how to lead praise and worshipSometimes we may simply be feeling angry, maybe at something that happened on the way to church or even with someone in the band, singers or sound.  In these circumstances we need to avoid feeling righteous, or even right, forgive and move on.  I use to have a sound guy who would explode minutes before every service, ruining the atmosphere and setting everyone on edge.  You cannot budget for these things, but you need to do all you can to address the situation with grace and love, then forgive and move on.  More is at stake here beyond your pride!

Worship Leading in Any Circumstances

If we are to become true servants of the Lord, the Pastor and our congregations, we need to be brave enough and humble enough to lay situations, feelings and hurts aside, and get on with the job of leading praise and worship.  This is part of our challenge, but also our joy!

If we want to be the best at what we do, we must not collapse under the weight of sadness, emptiness, anger or circumstances.  We must learn how to lead praise and worship by resting in His strength and allowing Him to lift us above the circumstances and feelings.

If you are involved in leading praise and worship in a non-westernized society, you may be facing the question of whether you should modify your worship style to fit your culture. Most of the styles of leading praise and worship are heavily influenced by the church in the developed nations, and if you are in an emerging nation it is important that you do not reproduce what you hear on worship CDs, but start leading praise and worship within your own culture.

Leading Praise and Worship is About the Lord

Contrary to what you might believe, leading praise and worship in a developing nation is not about westernizing your church! Admittedly, there are many wonderful praise and worship songs that have been beautifully produced by the Western Church, and it is tempting to play and sing the songs exactly the same way that you hear them in recordings, but I do not believe that this is what should be done.

Leading praise and worship in church is about pointing people towards the Lord, and I believe that the Lord wants to meet people where they are at and in their own culture to impact their lives. If we continue to use music as an excuse to introduce Western culture, and we are conveying to the people that the Lord commanded us to worship in an exclusive way, the way of the developed nations. If you are leading praise and worship, this is your opportunity to show people that God is relevant to them in their culture.

Leading Praise and WorshipLeading Praise and Worship is About the People

As I write this article I’m sitting in a room in northeast India, where these beautiful Indian people are singing songs that I recognize but in their own language. Some songs are in English, but many of them are in a language that the people understand best, and this is part of leading praise and worship in your own culture. This style of music and worship, however, would not be out of place in any American, English or Australian church, and this way I feel that those leading praise and worship are misled.

One of the great difficulties facing the early and medieval church was that much of the original writings were in Latin, a language which the common people did not speak! However wonderful a worship song is, if the people have no understanding of the meaning behind it is practically useless! If you are leading praise and worship and you want to make it relevant to your culture, one of the first steps is to translate the words into a language that your people will understand.

Leading Praise and Worship is About Expressing Your Culture

However, leading praise and worship in your own culture needs to go beyond simply the words. Most cultures have a specific way of expressing themselves musically, and I believe it brings great joy to the heart of God when he hears people worshiping using their own cultural instruments in their own cultural style. For some strange reason, those leading praise and worship seem to always want to make the sound more Western, rather than embracing the music and style of their own culture. Perhaps there is a mystique to Western culture, but when you are leading praise and worship you have an incredible opportunity to blend the Western sound with your own cultural instruments and style!

So if you are leading praise and worship in your church, and if you live in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, India and South America, please try and express your own culture in your worship. This will bring much joy to the heart of God, and also to your people and your country. Western music is attractive, especially to young people, I would suggest the two blamed on the styles of your own culture with Western music to create a unique expression of worship the Lord.

If you are leading praise and worship, you are in the perfect position to blend words and music styles to create a form of worship unique to your culture.