For me, being a beginner at leading worship has had it’s challenges as well as opportunities to grow as a musician and my ability to worship through music. Over the course of the last two months, I have summarized the following points not to direct others to how it should be done but how it has applied to me.
1. Song choice –
Now this can be a tough one. Do you play all contemporary or mix it up with some old school classics? Since I come from a limited Christian music background, you probably know what style my choice will be however I am using the influence of the other team members to get me outside my box and make different choices. You also need to consider the congregation and what song choice maybe better suited for them.
2. Time a song is in the set rotation –
It took me awhile to understand that even though I may have listened to a song many times in the car and then rehearsed it that many more times the congregation is not going to be so drawn to the song right out of the gate. It will take them multiple times before they begin to remember the lyrics and begin to worship naturally. Actually, this past weekend we heard the whole congregation singing out loud to the whole set and we are in week 9 of our services. Now, we have done some rotating and not bored them to death with the original three but tenure in the set has merit.
3. Preparation –
This is key. Don’t do your homework and fail the test. As the leader, you need to understand the parts and flow of the song far better than anyone else on the team.
4. Practice –
Even as the leader, your practice time should far exceed those of the team so that you can be a natural and lead worship and not just play.
5. Tempo –
The congregation may not sense or feel that you are doing the song at half tempo but the team will and it will deter worshiping and engaging the people. Use a click track if possible so that everyone can maintain the tempo and not be distracted.
6. Volunteers –
Getting more people involved is always the motive to save everyone from burnout and get more people involved from your church but be careful. Constant rotation could cause a disconnect in flow of the songs. Keeping a set list that doesn’t change often can aid this situation by allowing the rotation members to not have to learn new songs constantly and they get more consistent playing with the team.
7. Pray – Pray with and for your team. This should be a spiritual journey with your team and not just a band.
Hopefully what I have learned is enough foundation to get me to the next level and worship God like never before.
“Rejoice, you who worship the Lord”. Psalm 105:3