Your role as a worship leader starts way before Sunday service comes along. Our worship starts before we step foot on the stage with fancy lights and a room full of anticipation.
The worship leader is a spiritual leader. You have been called by God to specifically lead his people into his presence and to bring him glory.
You may know how easy it is for music to become an idol in your life if you are not careful. Sometimes you may not even realize that your focus has been shifted. It may come easy to just focus on creating sets with the latest praise and worship songs that everyone is singing along to instead of focusing on choosing songs that hold the vision. For example, here at HungryGen we try to choose songs that will help create an atmosphere that leads people into the presence of God. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. We are not here to focus on putting on a concert with the top current Christian songs. Worship is about the One who the songs are about. Our worship should reflect the part in us that is the image of God which is our spirit. It is worshiping from the inside out in spirit and in truth. It is important for someone who holds a position with such responsibility to often exam their heart. Be honest with yourself in discovering your true motives. When you start to worship the act of worship you lose sight of why you were placed there. You put yourself at risk for offense, ill intentions and ego gratification. Music is a tool not the object of worship. There is a difference between a worshiper and an entertainer. Entertainers lead with their gifts and talents, worshipers lead from intimacy with the Holy Spirit.
For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him.
Be led by The Spirit not your feelings
Our past experiences and situations can definitely affect the way we worship and the type of worshiper we become in a positive way. However, it is not always wise to center the direction of worship, such as spontaneity, flowing or the choosing of songs based off of your current situation. Even as worship leaders we also go through difficult times and seasons that test us and build long-suffering which at times may tempt you to sing songs for service that are helping you in your own personal time of worship. This could be conflicting if the current vision of worship in your church is not aligned to the vision you have adapted in your heart. We have to follow the direction that Holy Spirit wants to take us. There have been many times where I was obsessed with certain songs that were helping me in my personal life and that I felt were bringing healing to my soul, but pastors did not like the song or they didn’t care for it for the current season we were in as a church. Just because the song was special to me does not mean it is my time to sing it for all to see how it has changed my life. It goes back to my intentions. Is it about me? Or is it about Him? Your pastor may want you to do a song that you have no connection to whatsoever, but when we put our agenda aside and we choose to do things with the right attitude, God will honor you for your obedience.
When we sing in worship there are two forms of worship we can touch on. One being vertical worship which is worshiping straight to God, exalting him, praising him with thanksgiving and bringing our adoration and petition. The second is horizontal worship where we sing with and to one another for edification and encouragement. As we sing during worship, whether you are the one leading or you are out in the congregation, remember we are not just doing it for our own benefit, but as a body together. Worship leaders are not just band leaders. Turn your team into a family. Families leave a legacy. Click To Tweet Worshiping is not just about receiving, but also giving. Keep in mind that just because you’re not feeling the song does not mean that there isn’t someone else in the congregation who is receiving a deep connection with the Holy Spirit in that moment. Whether you are on the stage or off the stage that shouldn’t change the way you worship. If you want to be used by the Holy Spirit, then you must surrender to the Holy Spirit. If you want to know his voice, then you must spend time in His presence. You cannot take the congregation to a place you have not been to before.
Ephesians 5:18-19 that we are to be “filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.”
Your worship team is family
Worship leaders are not just band leaders. Turn your team into a family. Families leave a legacy. In this case it all comes down to relationships. Make a conscience effort to build relationships with each person. Throughout the years I have seen many instances where people couldn’t do their best because they felt like an outcast in the group. It is my job as the worship leader to make the effort to reel in that person. We are not here to just tell people what do and to organize the weekly sets for service. To worship in sync together it’s important to do heart checks. Ask people on your team how they are doing and if there is anything you can do to help them. Let them know that you care for them and you are praying for them and actually follow through with it. If there is tension and quarrels in the group it affects how you lead worship together. You don’t have to all be best friends, but there must be a place of respect and honor between everyone. The spiritual aspect of worship will suffer if there are seeds of discord. Be the example of love, grace and understanding. Ask for forgiveness when needed, love deeply and pray for each member in your team. Click To Tweet Consistency with your actions will build trust. If you do not have a desire for it ask God to give that desire to you. Worship leaders remember it is not about us. Show God that he can trust you with his people. Unity in your worship family will take you all to another level because you are worshiping with a pure heart and clean hands.
There are so many different skills we can learn to become the worship leader God has called us to be. In the future we will dig deeper in each of these points and get on the track of fulfilling the call of God over our lives. Leadership can sometimes be an overwhe lming journey that touches sensitive areas of the heart, ego and spirit. Seasons of pruning hurt and when you are in a position of leadership it sometimes feels like it burns more, but with humility and a teachable spirit, all lessons will be well worth it. Lay down your accolades, achievements and selfish tendencies and become a clean vessel for God to use. Trust His timing and wisdom and you will see His anointing and grace increase over you and your worship family for the greater good His kingdom. In the end of it all it is and it will always be about Jesus.