These are some of the most beneficial things I have found for leading worship. And this is normally the part where I would try to inject some type of humour, but I’ve seriously got nothing tonight. Edge. Bono. Delay. Tone. Tubes. There ya go.
Always help your drummer load in at least one piece of equipment.
Learn your sound system…or at least how to plug in a direct box.
When services run long, be the first to suggest that your ministry be the one to cut back a few minutes. (Meaning, just don’t build back into the ‘epic’ end of ‘Saviour King’ for a fifth time.)
Don’t sing lead vocals on every song, every week.
Only mention mistakes to your team when you hear them a second time; giving people a change to recognize and correct their own mistakes goes a long way. And let’s face it…when you played that G chord in the 1st and 2nd frets instead of the 2nd and 3rd frets? You knew it. You didn’t need anyone to stop the song and point it out.
Get off the stage and let your team go for it every once in a while.
If a monitor’s not working, be the first to get up and make an effort towards fixing it…even if you have no idea where to start.
Arrive before your team, and leave after.
And lastly, remember that you’re probably not the best worship leader even within your own church.
All this can be summed up with simply this: lead by example. I think sometimes we’re so busy trying to lead people, that we don’t have time to even be the Christ-like example to which we’re trying to lead them. And I’ve had this post in my head for so long; but I’ve hesitated to write it down, because I am so bad at doing this stuff, and so bad at being an example. But it kind of hit me this past week that when Jesus could have been going out landing lucrative guest speaker gigs, he was instead washing people’s feet. And maybe that’s the reason people listened to Him.
And even now, I don’t really want to hit ‘Publish’, because then I have to live by this stuff. Blast. Splendid.
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I usually take December off of everything but my home church. That way, I can reserve a month of ‘less’ so that I can spend holidays with my wife. Too often ministry kills marriages, and I’m not so sure God intended it that way. So this month is me getting back into playing for other worship leaders…and remembering that following is way harder than leading. When you’re the one leading, it’s quite simple to follow yourself. (Uh…hopefully.) You jump back into the following role, and suddenly you have to think about things like, ‘Are we jumping back into the chorus, pre-chorus, or bridge? Because that’s either a C, Am, or F…okay, I have no idea, so I’m just going to hit an overdriven C5 high on the neck because it’ll pass in all 3 chords.’ ;) Or, ‘Why does that sound off? Oh. Maybe I should play in the same key as everybody else.’ Rather than, when leading, you can just look at everyone around you disgustedly for not following ‘the Spirit’ as closely as you are, when ‘the Spirit’ suggested you play in Ab, when you wrote the music for everyone else in A.
And for you leaders out there, it’s a good exercise to worship with other bands and teams…without leading. You’ll find yourself going, ‘Stupid worship leader! Why can’t they just……oh wait, I just did that to my team this morning.’ And you’ll gain a bit of a new respect for the team serving under you. As well as putting yourself in a position to simply worship through your instrument, without the responsibilities of leading a team. Most refreshing. (‘Refreshing’ is a gross word, isn’t it? Just reminds me of ‘Refreshments will be served in the fellowship hall.’ Ugh!! Can’t you just say ‘You can have some watered down juice and cookies left over from last year out in the lobby’? Sorry, I get passionate about the over-usage of flowery words. ‘Organic’ and ‘transparent’, though…now that’s okay. ;) )
It’s just a cool thing to break out of the bubbles that inescapably form around us wherever we camp out at. Even if it’s jumping up at an open mic at a coffee shop. Something to get new perspective. To appreciate your teams more. To live…for reals. And maybe to worship a little more freely. And of course, just another place to experience your tone. hehe Provided you happen to be on the upswing of the ever-changing ‘I hate my tone/my tone kills all the pros’ schitzo.
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