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.
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 »
As I have mentioned before, this website serves the purpose of equipping and empowering worship leaders, theologically and in praxis. Often I attempt to synthesize theology and praxis (such as I did here) in a single article. Sometimes, however, the focus is on theology or praxis. In the case of theology, my desire is to introduce worship leaders to some of the best, modern scholarship on worship and liturgy. Today I offer another book review for this purpose.Read More »
Knowing how difficult it is to find a worship mentor, this article may offer some of the most important information one could write on the art of worship leading. Although inherent to the position’s title, the search for a worship leader can prove to be arduous. Limiting the task of the worship leader to being a competent and proficient musician and vocalist does not inherently mean that they will provide strong leadership for worship services.
Music, both in theology and (theoretically) practice, worship leaders must understand that their role is interdisciplinary. Although true of many leadership settings, pastors, including worship leaders, often found themselves needing a widespread set of skills across various fields. Leadership certainly finds its place among this list of skills.Read More »
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?
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 »
Conversations on images in our evangelical churches have long been absent from our evangelical circles for years. That is, until the recent surge of technology in many churches striving to be “contemporary” and “relevant”. With the development of programs such as ProPresenter and the invention of LED walls, alongside the increasing use of lights during worship service “productions”, images have regained attention within evangelical churches.
Recently, in the July 2015 volume of Worship, “a peer reviewed, international ecumenical journal for the study of liturgy and liturgical renewal”, noted Lutheran liturgist Gordon Lathrop wrote an article titled “Saving Images” that could be very informative for the evangelical images conversation.
Beyond visual images, however, Lathrop encourages a return of verbal imagery in our liturgies. More specifically, he argues for a renewal of verbal biblical imagery in our liturgies.
Read More »
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.
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 »
All sorts of websites, blogs, and resource pages have “Stage Presence for Worship Leader” articles and quite frankly they are just not helpful. Well, not for me anyway. “Know where the Spirit is taking you”, “Pray beforehand”, and “Read your congregation” have no practical ramifications. This article is going to actually offer practical ways to improve your worship leading stage presence.
Now, to stay consistent with my attempt at reconciling theology and praxis, let us look at a couple of theological ideas that shed insight onto what it means to have good stage presence as a worship leader.
The idea that worship leaders usher the congregation into the presence of the Lord is an incredibly misleading theology that needs to be reconsidered. God calls His Church to the assembly and He is our host. Therefore, in our response to assemble we enter into the presence of God. For worship leaders this ought to be liberating! You are not responsible for bringing the congregation into the presence of the Lord. By the faithful’s decision to assemble they have already entered the presence of God.Read More »
BREAKING NEWS: THIS JUST IN – It turns out you do not need a Doctor of Philosophy in Theology to be a theologian!
Yes, I said it. You do not need to have fancy advanced theological degrees to be a theologian.
Now before all my academic friends start blasting me out of the water for this statement, let me say this: I personally desire to obtain a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy in Theology. Academia is a passion for me and I desire to join the conversations of some of my favorite theologians. Education is a joy for me!Read More »
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.
One 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 »