Worship leading should never be about you but rather about God, and leading people into His presence. That being said, we are all human and hate being embarrassed, even when it is our own stubbornness or ignorance that causes the embarrassment! This article is about the top five potential sources of embarrassment you can face when you are worship leading, and how you can avoid them!
1. Ignore What Your Pastor Asks For
When your senior pastor directs you in a certain way, you need to honour him and be obedient, even if you don’t agree with him! If he is taking the service in a different direction, it is up to him to make that decision, and to bear the consequences. If you disobey him, then you will probably be embarrassed with the results, and you will not do your relationship with him any good either!
2. Choose New Songs Nobody Knows
A classic mistake made almost every Sunday, worship leading is not about teaching new songs, it is about leading in worship. People take weeks to learn a new song, so just because you know and love new material, don’t think the congregation shares your enthusiasm!
New songs are great and keep our worship leading fresh and new, but the older songs that people know and love are what really lifts worship, and ministers to our congregation. I always counsel young worship leaders to introduce new songs very slowly, and use songs people know and love for the bulk of any worship leading. Using too many new songs will usually have congregations disengage from worship as they try to learn new material, so make sure you avoid this common pitfall.
3. Go Too Long
Asking worship leaders to judge the length of a worship service is like asking a drug company how effective their drug is! If you want to avoid major embarrassment, make sure the time you lead for is shorter rather than longer. If the pastor has to stand up and give you the eye, you have gone way too long. It is far better to have him ask you to continue, than ask you to stop!
4. Leave People Standing for Too Long
Worship should be enjoyed, not endured! Sometimes worship leaders leave people standing so long it is like an endurance test. Joy, peace and tears are the signs of a great time of worship. Sore legs are not!
Perhaps the biggest and most embarrassing mistake is when you under prepare. We tend to do this as we gain more experience, mainly because we become complacent and rely on our own abilities rather than totally seeking the Lord.
We must prepare individually, spending quality time with the Lord in prayer as we choose songs, as we prepare for the morning and even during worship leading. We also need to prepare properly as we organize our team, working out arrangements and harmonies. Failure to put in enough preparation will always leave you open to mistakes, and some of these can be pretty embarrassing!
Worship Leading needs preparation
You need to prepare, both for the team and in your own heart, and it needs you to choose the right songs, for the right length of time as you listen to the Lord and obey your pastor. Cut these five mistakes out, and you will become more confident, and even more powerful in your worship leading.