The worship leader role is less about performing and more about shepherding. We are with our congregations on a weekly basis and though we may not be preaching the message, we are part of the shepherding process that happens in the church.
There are a few things we need to do because of this:
Lovingly Teach Them To Worship
Teach the scripture in short spurts when it comes to worship. The Psalms talk about using our bodies to worship – lifting hands, shouting, singing, dancing. There are times for each of these. The bible also talks about gathering faithfully and being reverent but bold as we approach the throne of God. Teach people lovingly. It takes time and patience.
Build Up The Sheep
Don’t throw the church under the bus. I often hear worship leaders talk about their church not being alive in worship, too cold, unresponsive, wish they would sing more. Remember, it’s “we.” You’re part of the church. You’re in this together with them. Don’t berate the congregation; ask yourself, “What is it about my leadership that is keeping people from maturing in worship?” Talk through expectations with your pastor and leaders. Think about ways to teach and lead people. Help grow the culture and heart of worship in your church. But don’t beat the sheep.
Be With The People On Sundays
Don’t hide in the back, but be available to talk with people before and after worship. Make a connection. Ask questions and listen to folks. Meet new people. Don’t neglect the worship team, but invite them to join you on Sunday greeting and connecting. Then the team can debrief a few moments after people have left and you’re packing up.
Think Music and Ministry
Music is a big part of the worship team and it’s a scriptural part of worship. But there is much more to worship ministry than music. There is a side of ministry to the worship team members and to the congregation. There is a need to grow spiritually personally and as a ministry team. And when something comes up – you need to step into ministry. It’s not all about song lists; but it’s about caring for your team, spending time listening to someone, or praying with people. It’s music and ministry.
Put Leadership Over Performance
We want to incorporate the creative side of things as we serve, but our main goal is to lead the people. We’re inviting them in. When we strive to be leaders, it becomes a filter to the song choices, the style, and the tools we use. We want to stretch the congregation but not overwhelm them. We want to sing the song that is in their heart. The connection goal should always override the cool factor if the choice needs to be made.