So ya want to be a worship leader? There is a lot more to it than just picking up a guitar and playing a few songs to get the spirit moving in a congregation or audience. Really the words congregation and audience carry the connotation of a performance, when really when leading worship, the goal is to lead people to a place of worship, and a performance will never do that. The great thing is many worship leaders know this but struggle with this all the time. I cannot recall the amount of times worship leaders would come to me and express their frustrations of feeling like they are putting on a show over truly leading worship. While having a conversation with my mentor Dave Haluga on this subject he suggested these tips to me. Before you stop reading this and think this post is irrelevant to you, let me remind you that we have all been called to be worship leaders in our own lives.
1. A worship leader must view themselves humbly as a leader. —Too many worship leaders do not view themselves a capable leaders because they do not lead meetings or manage a staff, yet as we see the integrity and vision a worship leader has will make a considerable impact on the people they lead. They must lead humbly because there are worship leaders who try to hard to make worship a perfect musical production where the leader micromanages the worship so much it begins to feel manufactured. A leader is confident in what he or she is doing while inviting other to develop as leaders striving for the same goal. In this case the worship and adoration of our King Jesus Christ.
2. A worship leader must begin his or her day with private worship. A leader must practice what they preach. When one begins his or her day in private worship it begins to foster fruits of Joy and Thankfulness which will transcend the day. Also it is important to know how you arrive in your place of private worship where you are ushered unto the presence of God. If you do not know how you are brought into God’s presence through worship then how can you begin to lead others to that place. You can never lead where you have never been. If you are a worship leader and you currently do not do this I encourage you to step down from your position for a least a month and intentionally practice starting your day by worshiping Christ. Start practicing daily readings, prayers, and giving thanks to the Lord for everything in your live.
3. A worship leader’s private worship should overflow into his or her public life. When we begin our day with worship and thankfulness to the Lord for our day it positions our soul to continue praise and thankfulness throughout the rest of the day. Also when we continue our worship into the day we can begin to draw a few people into the promises of God. I do not know how many times I have been blessed by someone who has chosen to point out praises to God in their own life, which caused me to reflect and praise God for the blessings in my own life. When we choose to praise publicly not only are we practicing something that is already true of our own private life, but we are able to bless others by drawing them in the thankful joyous presence of God.
4. Once a worship leader has made these practices daily disciplines in their life, then they will be able to lead people into public worship. Now that you have practiced entering into worship with the Lord daily both publicly and privately, and you combine this with the musical and leadership gifts God has entrusted you with, are you ready to lead people into a place of Worship with the Lord. I guarantee you if you take this seriously your heart will be in the right place and it will never feel like a performance for the congregation ever again.