Here are the top ten most-read posts from Worship Links for 2015, if you’ll forgive the shameless self-promotion on my part. 🙂
As I got more matured and began to understand the calling of a worship leader, I prayed a prayer of submission to God—submission of the talents that He gave me so I can offer them back to Him. I will be forever grateful for this great calling. There is no greater gig or break for a musician than to make music for the Lord.
Worship is for God first and foremost. Of course every Christian will shout ‘amen’. Still, we often approach our worship as an ‘event’ that entails ‘me’ experiencing something – perhaps something worthy of taking out my cell phone and snapping a selfie to freeze that moment in time. When that happens, worship has become more about us than about God.
The tension between musician and manager is a great one to constantly have in your head. As worship leaders, we must try harder than anyone on our team to best at our craft in the room – that’s the musician side of it. As worship leaders, we must also be the first to give grace, correction, and empowerment to our team – that’s the manager side of it. We aren’t running a business, we are stewarding God’s people with God’s gifts for God’s glory.
I love the passage in Ephesians 5 which says, “Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.” For me this is saying that – in every situation worship should rise up from within you and be deeply rooted into your being.
You don’t learn overnight how to build an effective worship set – it takes a long time and a lot of services. Here’s Beth Croft on the art and science of crafting a great worship setlist.
Ease into it. Don’t go barreling into your new position ready to change everything at once. Build relationships first.
Think before you speak. Pray before you speak. Words matter.
Knowing what to wear when you lead worship can be confusing – it depends on your church’s culture and tons of other factors.
Russ Hutto lays out a clear and simple “dress code” for worship leaders to follow.
Being in a band makes me crave creativity. It’s so fun to play with a group of people that you can easily jam with and come up with creative musical ideas to add to our songs. I’ve noticed that I’ve been carrying that over into my worship leading as well. I’m always looking for the “just the drums” moment or other ways to make a four chord worship song more dynamic.
Be humble. Work as hard as you can. Improve your craft. Be a theologian. Know the word better than you know music. Seek advice from people you respect and won’t fill you up with feel goods. Be humble, again. Don’t think you’re above anything because you’re “the guy.” Be a servant to your people. I wish someone had told me all of those things from day one. And also lead your band/people well before you even step onto a platform. Be a leader that others love and respect, and just have fun!
Managing a worship team is like managing any creative endeavor. It takes organization, but flexibility. Structure and direction, but collaboration and cooperation. The difficulty in this is understanding that these things are not problems to be solved, but rather tensions to be managed. I first heard this from Bill Hybels and approaching leadership things like this as tensions to be managed rather than problems to be solved has helped me a lot.