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3 Simple Tips For A Worship Leader

Whether you’re just starting out leading worship, or you’ve been leading for years, it can often be a daunting task.  Sometimes you can feel uninspired and lacking in creativity, or frustrated and unqualified to do the job.  Here’s three simple tips for starters to keep you on the ball, and help you when you lead:light-bulb-2014-500x345.png

1 – Show The Sheep The Shepherd

It’s all about Jesus.  Forget for a minute all your hours of practice, your band arrangements, your sound check, the lights, the monitor mix, your tuning and your performance.  People may be emotionally stirred by these things being done well, but the only thing that can cause people to respond in worship is by having a revelation of Jesus.  Present the person of Jesus, his character, his passion, his love and his works clearly through your songs and your leading.  Nothing will bring a clearer response in peoples hearts than Jesus being revealed to them again and again in clear and fresh ways.

2 – Pursue His Presence Persistently

We were born for relationship with God, and he longs (more than you could perceive) to draw close to his people.  We don’t necessarily ‘sing down his presence’, but through singing truth, we become more dynamically aware of his closeness.

Don’t rush.  Be aware of God working through certain songs, or single lines with songs, where you begin to recognise his closeness pressing in.  Dwell in these moments and enjoy the Creator of the Universe coming close to man.

3 – Surrender Your Soul To The Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the true worship leader, directing and orchestrating our worship back to the Trinity.  The more you lead the music team, the more you will begin to recognise how the Holy Spirit is leading you.  Stay open to where the Spirit is leading – that might be doing a different song to the ones you had chosen, reading a bible verse, repeating a line, bringing a word, a picture or encouragement to the congregation or simply stopping and waiting in silence.

And don’t forget – don’t carry the burden of responsibility by yourself.  The leading of the people ultimately lies with the Holy Spirit, and his gentle works in unlocking, changing and motivating peoples hearts in worship.  You may be a conduit that God uses to help lead the people, but even this responsibility is shared with the rest of the music team, the meeting leader, your church elders and senior leadership team – just stay open and responsive to the Spirit.

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SWALK (Sealed With A Loving Kiss)

Worship is not music.  We know that.  Worship is a full-life offering, encompassing all our living.kiss-lips

I was thinking recently as to what our Sunday morning sung worship times should look like, and decided one of the best pictures I could come up with was SWALK.  Do you remember the times when you were at school and that girl or boy that you quite fancied dropped a letter into your bag when you weren’t looking with the letters SWALK written carefully across the sealed envelope?

Sealed With A Loving Kiss.

Your heart would jump and skip at the gesture as you pulled the envelope open to see what romance might be indicated inside.  You would tremble slightly reading the words, and fumble over your choice of actions in response to this move.  After all, you’re only 8 years old, and you can’t afford to take her to Macdonalds yet.

The real message is contained in the words of the letter.   The seal of a kiss on the envelope is a beautiful gesture, yet not as important as the message inside.

And this is the same in our worship.  Your whole life is the ‘love letter’ to God, and the words it contains are by far the most important thing.  Your sung worship is simply the seal over the letter inside.

What value is it to God if your envelope is sealed with the kiss of Sunday morning 10 top worship songs, yet the paper inside remains blank?  Your love letter, your life, is truly what God desires to read – let it be a poetic journey of passion, dedication and sacrifice that encompasses all your living.

Then, and only then, let it be sealed with your song.

 

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Worship Songwriting – Tip No. 1 – Self Critique

Good worship songwriting is critical in playing a part of the Church’s growth, health and maturity.  It is a big responsibility.songwriter_with_guitar

One really important process that has helped increase the standard of my songwriting is that of self-critique.  In my experience it is sometimes difficult to find the right people to really say what they think about your new song.  You will have the friends who will say ‘that’s nice’ or sometimes people who will try to say something constructive but might not have the musical experience or even language to be truly helpful.

So self-critique.  It will take you from average or good, and stretch you to excellence.  Take time to learn how to do it, it is an essential tool in your pocket.

I almost never write a good song in an hour or a day or a week.  Even if I think it’s great, returning to that song after a period of time always begins to reveal the weaknesses in the initial writing.  Don’t be blinded by the feeling that “God gave me this song”, or “that will do”.

Yes God may have sparked the song in you, but he also requires you to walk a creative journey towards excellence.  It is often the quiet voice in the back of my head, that there’s something better than what is down on the piece of paper – I can either ignore that voice, or strive for something more.

What about you?  How do you evaluate the songs you’ve written?

The next blog looks at the critique process that I use, starting with lyrics