Overseers Adam Diehl & Jon Paul Robles

One of the most consistently ignored factors of worship leading is leading. If we ONLY worship God on the stage, we’ve failed at our mission. We have to take other people with us as we worship. Here are a few tips for leadership in worship.

Worship Leaders – Talk. If you’re going to say something between songs, make sure its something worth saying. But by all means, TALK. (But don’t preach; you should be able to transition sufficiently in two or three sentences. If you need to go longer, be sure its okay with your Pastor). If you’re going to talk (and you should), be sure to CRAFT meaningful comments. Work on it and practice it if you need to – don’t ramble. If I sense God is speaking something new and spontaneous and I decide I should say something that I hadn’t planned on saying, I quickly review my thought process a couple times in my head before I open my mouth and ramble. God deserves my best.

Singers (and Worship Leaders) – Keep your eyes open. Make eye contact. Never turn away from the congregation. -Whenever you can. It’s a little hard to do because it’s much easier (and more intuitive) to just shut everything out and focus ONLY on Jesus. That creates a great worshipful moment for you (which you should be having Monday – Saturday), but Sunday’s Levitical ministry for us means we need to lead other people towards God. The idea for this one is to never do anything that relinquishes our leadership (and connection) with the people we’re leading. Additionally, I find that I can craft my meaningful comments much more effectively when my eyes are open. How will you know if anyone is “with you” on the spiritual journey you’re leading unless you look at them? (I will be the first to admit that I really suck at keeping my eyes open. But I believe it and have been advised to go this direction by more worship leading teachers than I can count, so it’s going on the list).

BandDavid played an instrument like a harp, and he led an evil Spirit away from Saul. When we play with dynamics, builds, and expressiveness, we become absolutely essential in the spiritual journey and lead them through tensions and releases through the art of music. Plan your builds,  plan your cuts, and for crying-out-loud plan your transitions. The larger your band, the more you need to plan (because the more things that are likely to go wrong) and the less you can wing-it.

Lyric Projection Operator – Next to the main worship leader, this is the next-to-most important part of the worship team. I’m not just saying that to “pump up” a behind-the-scenes person that a lot of people forget about — I’m saying that because I really believe it. It will only take one service of the projector shutting down due to an electrical problem before you’ll believe it to. Open your eyes – I think you’ll see how important the projector is to your worship leadership. What are the congregation’s eyes focused on — looking at the environment on stage is the PERIPHERAL! People stare at the screen, and it helps them worship. The screen is where its at. To help lead people, the lyric projection operator should change slides slightly AHEAD of time so people have a moment to look at the lyrics before singing them. If at all possible, get a “road map” of what the team is hoping to do (Verse, Chorus, Verse 2, etc…) so you can be right with it. This person needs to be at rehearsal. When you consider the part they play in leading the congregation, the projectionist is truly a co-worship leader.

Sound Guy – David Lanning of CTI Music Ministries once said, “If you want your band to sound better, take your best musician on the stage and put them behind the sound board.” The sound man is the most important member of a band. This person needs to be at rehearsal (at least the “final” rehearsal) to know where things are happening. Leadership of the worship leading voice must be reflected in the sound mix. It’s horrible if the worship leader tries to give meaningful comments between the songs, or even during a transitory portion of a song, and nobody can hear it. Here’s a good rule of thumb: the worship leading voice needs to be loud enough so that at any moment, if they decide to speak words, like “Let’s make this our prayer,” everyone in the room would hear it – there should be no question as to what was just spoken. This is the job of one voice at a time.

Planner - Help lead the congregation behind-the-scenes by choosing songs that the congregation CAN sing. Consider vocal range – the average voice has a vocal range of a perfect fifth! That’s completely unpractical, but I try to do songs that don’t go very far outside of a perfect octave – I’ll go up to a major tenth at most. Consider the singability – sometimes I give a “test run” of a song with a few people before I ever choose to do it with the team. I’ll sing it a couple times – and if they can’t join in on the chorus at all by the third time through it’s probably not a good choice. Also consider the people you’re working with. What style will speak their language. Do hymns resonate with your church? Does the hip/hop style? How about bluegrass country? Choose song styles accordingly. This is an important part of leadership.

Pastors – Give us vision and direction. Pete Sanchez, Jr. said, “The artists’ prophetic gifts get spurred when there is vision.” I wrote much more about this here.

    2 Responses to "We need to Be a LEADING Team."

    1. Great practical advice, Adam. Thanks!

    2. Excellent tips, wud like to add intercessors to this list. we can use all the prayer support we can get.

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