5 Principles for Leading Worship

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!

Invite people to participate.Bible_and_Lord's_Cup_and_Bread

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.Read More »

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Worship and Mission: The Great Paradox

If you have lead worship anytime within the last ten years, you can probably relate to my experiences.

You are planning for the coming Sunday’s worship, and the pastor says, “We need to make this Sunday missional.”

Wait, what?
You are in a job interview for a worship leader position and the lead pastor says, “We are all about mission.”

So you are hiring a worship leader because…?

We have all been there. And quite frankly, these circumstances can be difficult to navigate. You beg
in to wonder, what am I doing? What is my purpose? I am a worship leader trying to serve in missional churches. Can I reconcile worship and mission?Read More »

The Church’s Entertainer: The Worship Leader

You know that feeling when something does not quite seem right? No matter how far you try to push it away, that feeling fixes itself inside you. The evangelical church in America has contracted this bug, and she is uncertain of how to remedy her condition. So what is this possible condition?

A_Photo_of_the_LDI_2013_Conference_in_Las_Vegas,_NV

There are people who fear that she struggles with entertainment in worship.


Worship Leader
, Christianity Today, and Relevant present this issue about the supposed crisis in their magazines, while Jamie Brown and Kevin Carr take to their blogs and share their experiences as worship leaders, some of which include hurts. A Google search consisting of “worship” and “entertainment” will provide many more articles and testimonials working through this topic.Read More »

Understanding Worship: A Working Definition

The number of conversations I have had with someone that involved a disagreement because of assumptions about one or more definitions has been frequent. I have learned the importance of words. Therefore, if we are going to continue our conversations about worship, we ought to at least be oriented in the same way. The goal of this article is to offer a working, yet comprehensive, definition of biblical worship.

Celtic_cross

What do I mean my biblical worship? By biblical, I mean that the definition will arise from our study of Scripture. Dictionaries certainly have a definition of worship as utilized in their respective languages, but we want to explore what it might look like to define worship from a biblical perspective.

As a natural extension of “biblical worship”, our definition of biblical worship will be set in a Christian perspective. Worship will be defined differently in each religion, and it could be argued that one could define “worship” for other religions from Scripture and the various events recorded therein. Today, we are focusing on biblical, Christian worship.Read More »

“We’re Gonna Need A Class For This…”

Evangelical Christian conversations have a topical turnaround that competes with pop radio. One week viral articles are about topic A and the next week they are about topic Z. Conversations are discussed and then dropped as if they never happened at all.

ClassroomOne such conversation that I imagine will be out of the mainstream dialogue shortly is that of evangelical liturgicalism. Robert Webber’s Ancient-Future work (Baker Publishing) has breach
ed the spotlight and Melanie Ross has written a book about this supposed contradiction in Evangelical versus Liturgical?: Defying a Dichotomy (2014).

Some churches have simply passed over this dialogue believing that there is no place for such practices (the reasons for this can be numerous: Roman Catholics do that, liturgy is dry and boring, etc.), some have applied certain practices to be “hip”, and others have developed a genuine interest in a liturgical approach to worship.Read More »