5 WAYS TO GROW AS A WORSHIP LEADER
I first started learning to lead worship when I was in High School at my youth group. I had an amazing worship pastor who asked me to jump in to lead. I remember working through a lot of fear and insecurity at first. I finally said yes one week, and the Holy Spirit touched my heart with confidence. I knew from that moment on I was made to sing to Jesus all my days. I am so grateful for mothers and fathers, leaders and youth pastors who have called me forward in living a lifestyle of worship.
Below I’d like to share 5 helpful ways to grow as a worship leader.
1. RECEIVE FROM MOTHERS AND FATHERS
As I have spent time over the past years leading worship services at churches, prayer meetings, youth groups and conferences, I have grown to value those who have gone before me. One of the most powerful ways you can grow in your heart is to find a spiritual mother or father to speak into your life as a leader. We need wisdom from those who have gone before us and their perspective will help us in our journey! Overcome the awkwardness and be bold and ask around in your local church or prayer room community! Buy them coffee and take seriously their advice! You might even consider taking notes.
2. KNOW YOUR CONTEXT
Do you lead prayer room sets? Worship nights? Youth group worship? Conferences? Sunday Morning services? Understanding that each of these gatherings look a little different according to the people you have in front of you is super important. There are 2 questions I ask when preparing to lead a gathering. The first question I ask is, who is my audience? (obviously it’s Jesus as an audience of one), but who am I going to be leading? Answering this question then helps me think about the setlist I build, the language I am going to use and what people I am going to reach out to to play with me.
The second question I ask is, what is the heart or purpose of the gathering? Asking the speaker/pastor or prayer leader what the heart of the gathering is helps you know how to pray and how to communicate to your team the direction to go. For example, I like to pick songs that complement the message of the gathering. It is so important to understand how to contextualize your worship leading. Preparation and communication are key as you plan to serve the body of Christ in worship. Know that all of this is worship to Jesus and it matters to Him how you seek to serve the body.
3. STEWARD YOUR GIFT
Psalm 33:3 says, “Sing to Him a new song and play skillfully on the strings with loud shouts” (ESV). This invites us to sing a new song with skill. Practice! Seek further growth on your instrument. The more you grow and give attention to your gift, the more you will be able to grow others. Psalm 33 talks about playing skillfully before the Lord, and it is clear that being a good leader is giving yourself to instruction and practice.
4. GET TIME WITH GOD
Daily set aside a time to meet with God. This is a no brainer, but most of the time when life gets busy, this is the first thing to go. Time alone with God is THE MOST important thing we can do as worship leaders. Becoming a better worship leader shouldn’t be the primary motivation for seeking Jesus, but rather the simplicity of growing in relationship with Him. This is what your song flows out of anyway. Set a daily rhythm where you find God in the scriptures, through song and in your personal prayers. We must seek to get acquainted with living a life in His abiding presence because being with God directly affects how we lead others into His presence.
5. SERVE YOUNG LEADERS
Part of the call to lead people in worship is to look toward the next generation and train them. Find a place where you can serve and raise up young leaders. This will not only help them grow, but you as well, as you lead them by serving them. Whether that is discipling one on one, or serving a youth group or the children's ministry at your local church. Don’t be afraid to get involved.
My prayer is that these 5 tips would encourage, inspire, and provoke you to grow deeper in fellowship with Jesus, as you steward the gift He has entrusted to you. Bless you guys!