be a Worship LeaderIf you want to be a worship leader on a regular basis you will recognize this feeling: it’s Sunday morning, it’s early on and you do not feel well, however you have a responsibility to the Lord, the Pastor and the audience to be a worship leader, and do it skillfully. Even world class worship leaders confront days like this and, because I had one of these on Sunday last, I would like to cheer those of you who meet the week in, week out worship leading burden.  If you want to be a worship leader, you have to make sure it does not turn into tedium!

To Be a Worship Leader

There are many reasons why, when we truly want to be a worship leader, we can feel down.  It can be as straightforward as coming off a late evening, feeling worn-out or sick or simply plain worn out, right through to having major events disturbing our sense of joyfulness, things like marriage trouble, the passing away of a familiar friend or a fight with someone in your band just prior to the service.

In my case it was unquestionably a late night after a journey to a near by city which left me feeling fatigued, lackluster and a bit down or miserable when it came to worship leading.

Be a Worship Leader Despite How You Feel!

Uninspired was definitely a good word, and I looked around at the others in my worship band, recognized that if I was going to be a worship leader in the truest sense of the word I would have to carry quite a few of these guys since their skill was not great, but then I saw something else.  They too were fatigued and lethargic.  Perhaps it was infectious!

I prayed and asked the Lord to assist me to be a worship leader not only on stage, but also on a personal level with my team.  I realized that when we are weak, He is strong (2 Cor 12:10).  I realized again that this whole vocation of worship leading is not about me, and how I feel, it’s about Him!  I took a good, hard look at myself, and realized that in truth I am merely a servant, not a singer, not a guitarist and definitely not a star!  I recognized that no matter how I felt inside, to be a worship leader is to required a change in my way of thinking and continue to serve, no matter what the price.

Then the Lord started to move with magnificent power, firstly in my own heart, and then in the hearts of the singers and musicians.  I shared my labor with them for a short time, and we paused to pray as a team and give the morning to the Lord.  Whether we use our hands, feet or voices, all of us above all use out hearts, and this is the appropriate attitude of a servant, and if I want to be a worship leader I must first be a servant.

So when the worship leading began, almost from the very first song, you could feel the presence of the Lord, and His delight at our change of heart, and at our choice to do our best no matter what we felt at that moment.  In our weakness, He showed Himself strong, and we were rewarded with a magnificent and very intimate time of worship.

You Can Be a Worship Leader No Matter How You Feel!

So, fellow worship leaders, if you want to be a worship leader please accept this highly frank, open and graphic article to motivate you, and to tell you that, even if you are feeling downhearted, fatigued and uninspired, you are not alone.  All worship leaders feel this at some stage, all worship leaders labor to keep the flame of inspiration flourishing, and all worship leaders require reminding that worship leading is never about us, and our talents and our enthusiasm, it is, and continually ever will be, first and foremost about HIM!

To be a worship leader is to be a servant, no matter how you feel!

As a praise and worship leader you need to set your direction from the outset.

As a praise and worship leader, you have two distinct directions in which you must lead. The first is that you must lead the congregation into worship, into a greater sense of God’s presence, but the second aspect of praise and worship leading is that you must lead your band and singers in a way that promotes unity, and in a manner of excellence. In this article, I would like to do with the second aspect of leadership: that is, how you lead your band and singers.
There are many different styles of a praise and worship leader, and some are more effective than others. Many people try to lead by enforcing rules and regulations, and while people are babies, there is a pervading sense of fear and read within the band and singers. This is not the style of leadership that I recommend when it comes to being an effective praise and worship leader.
When leading I much prefer to be an inspirational praise and worship leader, that is one who leads by inspiring others to greater heights, and does not drive them into submission in a climate of fear.

How do I quickly and effectively begin to inspire those around me to follow me as praise and worship leader?

Here’s a few suggestions that I believe will yield much fruit. If you take them to heart and make them part of your praise and worship leader style:

praise and worship leader1. Pray effectively.

As a praise and worship leader, you need to be praying for each individual member of your band and singers, you need to pray before every practice and service, and above all, you need to pray that the Lord will prosper them, their gifts and their lives as they serve him in worship.
Most importantly, make sure you pray together often, because prayer brings unity in the Spirit.

2. Get organized.

If you turn up at music practice, and you do not have a clear direction for the band and singers, they will very quickly lose faith in your leadership. You need to be prepared, choosing the songs in advance, knowing the type of arrangement is that you wish to pursue, and knowing who it is on your team for that week so that you can structure the songs effectively.
3. Make sure that you listen to your band and singers.

If you wish to start on the wrong foot as a praise and worship leader, start by completely ignoring their opinions, and you’ll certainly set up a dictatorial style of  leadership, which in the end will not lead to inspirational worship leading on your part. The members of your band and singers must feel that they can offer opinion, and I always start by redirecting this to them. I tell them that I value their opinion, I encourage them to offer opinion, but I also state that this does not mean that I will always accept and act upon their opinions regarding the worship. But they need to feel that they have a voice, and that they get a hearing from you.

4. Keep a fun atmosphere.

People love having fun. Most often, my band members and singers tell me that music practice is one of their most enjoyable nights of the week, because whatever I do I keep the farm, light-hearted, but still serious and productive atmosphere. Plus, my group sees that while I can have fun, and be a really nice guy, I still have a serious agenda and can make the tough decisions is necessary.

5. Do not tolerate disunity.

I can put up with many things in my worship team, but disunity is not one of them. If there is tension between the members, if there is ill feeling between the members, all directed at myself, this must be dealt with effectively. I tried to do this, based on Biblical principles, so I start by talking to them privately, if this does no good. I will talk to them directly in front of the band. In my experience, I have only ever had to do this once, because I believe most problems can be solved one on one.

6. Don’t play the manipulation game.

Sometimes one member of the team will threaten to resign because they are uncomfortable with changes you have brought in. If this happens, smile sweetly, wish them the best, and accept the resignation, even if they are a key person of the team. If people are genuinely uncomfortable with changes you’ve made, then approaching you are talking to you is the correct avenue for first resolution, not resigning on the spot. Most often an early resignation like this is an attempt to manipulate you.
In the same way, be straight as a praise and worship leader with your team members and do not manipulate them. You don’t like being manipulated, and either today.

7. Introduce major changes with care.

Sometimes when you take over as worship leader, the band really needs a change of focus, a change of direction, a change of format and a change of worship leading style. Other times, the team has been doing pretty well before you became worship leader, so any changes you introduce to a successful worship team should be more gradual. If you are introducing changes, make sure your pastor is in agreement with these, and asking to support you as you introduce these changes.

Also, make sure that at least half of your worship team is excited by the changes, otherwise you may have real difficulty in making these changes stick, and may alienate most of your band, and lesser your effectiveness as a praise and worship leader.