3 Things Worship Leaders Should NEVER Do (While Leading Worship)
As worship leaders, there are many things we need to do, to do our job well. We need to employ a long list of skills - singing, playing, lead a band, lead a team, lead a congregation, read a room, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit... etc etc etc (I could go on for hours!) Here are 3 things a Worship Leader need never do when leading worship (I’ve learnt the hard way).
1. Preach A Sermon
If you want to be a preacher, then ask to be on the preaching roster. Otherwise… Let the songs do the talking. One of the most important elements of our job is to choose songs well... Songs carry the message, the sound and ultimately shape our congregation's theology. Songs are a great tool to encourage, pastor, teach, proclaim and tell the story of Jesus. Songs can also create space for reflection and help us respond and wait on God. If we choose songs well and lead them with conviction they will do a lot of the work for us. Sure, there are moments to share a scripture, speak encouragement or offer a prayer BUT it is a highly valuable skill to be sensitive as to when to speak and when not to speak. Let’s choose our moments wisely - using self-control to refrain from filling up space with empty words whilst also having the confidence to speak out when something needs to be said.
2. Boss The Congregation Around
We've all heard it and we've probably all done it...
“LIFT YOUR HANDS!!!”
“SHOUT TO GOD!!!”
“JUMP UP AND DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!” We’ve all done this (at least we, the Pentecostals have!). I cringe at my youth years leading the charge. I was so well-intentioned, passionate and... immature! I would command like an army officer from the edge of the stage with my blonde hair extensions and cowboy boots. Yes, I had a natural authority but I had not yet developed the gentleness, joy and patience to temper it.
I have learnt that The Holy Spirit is the leader and no amount of yelling, ordering, barking or shouting can conjure up His presence or power.
The job of a worship leader is to facilitate and release others in their worship. You can not make people worship. We can not control, manipulate, coerce or hype people's worship.
We can welcome, enjoy and follow the leading of The Holy Spirit, and allow him to open the hearts and reveal who Christ is.
The other thing to remember is that people will not always respond with the enthusiasm that we expect or hope for. There are as plethora of expressions of worship. Different people and different cultures express their worship in different ways and God loves it all.
We should respect that, love it and learn from it. Instead of bossing them around, seek to connect with wherever they are at and welcome the Holy Spirit to lead.
3. Be Rude To The Sound Guy
The sound guy is your best bud.
They help us in our goal of leading people in worship.
A disconnect between the team on stage and the team behind the desk is a hinderance.
Usually, sound guy's (or gals) are doing their best and working very skill-fully behind the scenes. Unfortunately they often only get noticed when something goes wrong. We should make an effort to say Hi, remember their names, include them in our group hug/prayers, get feedback from them, bring them a coffee and never be rude when things go wrong. There’s always time for feedback during the following week to address issues and work towards solutions.
Of course, there are many ways we can grow in leading worship. There are many skills to learn and spiritual depths to reach. These were just three thoughts I had this morning!
If you are called to lead - keep doing it, you’ll get stronger and more skilful every single time you put yourself out there.