Every job has essential principles for fulfilling the tasks it is assigned. What you are trying to accomplish does not change, but how you accomplish the job could change. These 5 principles are ones that I have learned and use to guide my development in becoming the best worship leader I can be. They have directly practical applications and guide my decision making processes. I trust you will find one or more of them insightful!
As I mentioned in my last post, the worship leader knows when they have fulfilled their job when the people actively participate in the worship. Since worship is our response to God, and Sunday morning is a corporate event, everyone needs to be actively participating in the worship. Arguably the most important aspect of your job is to invite the congregation to participate. When you make your decisions, consider whether the decisions will allow the congregation to participate.
Lead with humility.
You need to provide direction, but you need to provide direction with humility. Submit yourselves to the Holy Scriptures, the teachings of our forefathers, and any leadership you are serving under. Also, understand the persons on your team or teams. This cannot be overstated. Understanding where your team members are in life will help you know how to communicate the vision of the worship and music ministry at your church.
Serve with humility.
When your position goes from providing your team or teams with direction to serving them so they can effectively pursue the direction of the worship and music ministry, serve with humility. The vision of your ministry cannot be challenged, but always remember that the means of fulfilling your ministry can. Listen closely to your team members and your pastor (or any other relevant leadership). What are they really saying? Also, be open to changing how your equip and empower your team members.
Develop your biblical theology of worship.
We have explored the basics of developing a biblical theology of worship before, and I strongly encourage you to continue developing this theology. Leading worship is your central task, therefore, requiring you to continue the breadth and depth of your worship studies. Continue to read the Holy Scriptures, but also read books, articles, and journals that will help you refine and grow your understanding of worship. It is also good to educate and equip your worship and music team members in this area as well.
Strive for excellence.
Lastly, strive for excellence in every aspect of your job. Grow in your musicianship, learn the potential of your audio, visual, and lighting systems and programs, go deeper into your own spirituality, experiment with best practices. This brings honor to our Lord! It also builds trust with your team members and congregation when they see that you are looking to better yourself and your team in leading the corporate worship of the church.
So what about you? What principles have you learned and follow to become the best worship leader you can? Please share in the comment section below!
Jason Palmer is the Editor of TalkingWorship.com. Jason has a Bachelor of Science in Ministry with a Worship Arts Major and Music Minor. He has lead worship for evangelical churches for 7 years and desires to see worship leaders become confident in their calling.