1. Make sure you are worshipping as well.
If you aren’t into the song, it’s going to be really hard for the people you are leading to be into it as well. They take their cue from you…so lead them.
2. Silence doesn’t have to be awkward.
Scripture asks us sometimes to just be still. When we talk, we can’t hear God speak. Sometimes we need to not talk and let the music speak louder than our words.
3. Be just as good if not a better musician as you are a singer.
There may be some disagreement with this point, however, you don’t want to be a distraction when you lead worship…and if you can’t play well and sing at the same time, it will be a distraction. Psalm 33:3 says, “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.”
4. Know your instrument.
This goes along with #3 but, the truth is, people look at you just as much as they look at the words on the screen. With that in mind, if you are looking back and forth between them and your instrument for every chord change…chances are, you are distracting them. Be skillful so you disappear and they can focus on connecting with God.
5. Don’t force people to worship in ways they aren’t comfortable with.
A big part of our job is to create and cultivate an atmosphere where our congregation can connect with God. Not everybody is ready or comfortable with raising their hands, jumping, clapping, etc. Don’t focus on getting people to worship a certain way, but focus on bringing them into the presence of God and He will take care of the rest.
6. Be careful how often you repeat or don’t repeat songs.
We all know how the radio seems to kill really great songs by playing them to death…well that can easily happen in our churches as well. Be careful not to play a new song that you are excited about to death. (i.e. Blessed Be Your Name, How Great Is Our God, Desert Song, Revelation Song, etc.) On the flip side, don’t play a new song every week and never repeat them. It will usually take a few weeks for a congregation to really grasp and pick-up on a new song. So repeat them for a few weeks then put them into a rotation.
7. Understand the different components to your worship team.
You don’t need to be able to play every instrument, but you should have a general sense of how everything fits together. Try to learn the general terminology and major components of each instrument. It’s easier to say, “hit your snare louder” versus “hit that big, white, round thing in front of you louder.”
8. Be mindful of how you direct your team as you lead during service.
Some worship leaders look like Richard Simmons in the middle of a workout when trying to communicate to their team to repeat a chorus or head to the bridge…let this not be you! Basically, be aware of your movements. Let your teams know during practices how you will communicate with them when playing live; this way there is no confusion and everyone will be on the same page.
9. Know the abilities and the skill level of your worship team.
Don’t get your team into situations where they are all in uncharted territory. This is setting your team up to fail and be a major distraction in worship. Meaning, if you discover a great worship tune on Saturday, don’t rehearse it and play it during the Sunday morning service unless your team is ABSOLUTELY capable of doing it. Practice makes perfect. So practice, practice, practice, then bring it to a Sunday morning service.
10. Keep it simple. (This one is a repeat from Los’ blog.)
You aren’t on American Idol. Your job isn’t to sing TO people and have them go “WOW”. Your job is to get the people to SING with you and TO God.
Please let’s keep the conversation going…if there are more that you want to add, leave a comment below.