Sometimes people in the congregation just don’t respond the way you would like them to or think they should.

But the truth is, it’s the Holy Spirit that does the convicting and calls people closer and deeper in worship.

This is why it’s important for worship leaders and pastors to be fasting and praying for these things:

For the words you say

Encouragement from the worship leader helps engage the congregation. When verbally prompted, the congregation will most often respond with action – to sing loudly, stand, worship, or clap. When we have prepared in prayer, we are more in tune with God’s spirit and the words that need to be said. (On a side note, this prayerful connection also keeps us from saying the words that don’t need to be said. Some worship leaders speak too much). Sometimes a story, invitation, or something you share will help connect the church and unify the singing and worship.

For the songs your choose

When the theme is planned and known and the songs can be centered around it, there is a lot of connection and inspiration for the church. At the same time, I have found that even when songs are chosen generally, with a focus on lifting up the name of Jesus, whether you know the theme of the message or not, the Spirit will connect the dots. Even in those times when you can’t think of the right song, it usually works well.

For the church you lead

Be praying for your church. You can’t sing over the people if you don’t love the people. Be praying for your people to be engaged, but more than that, open to God’s spirit at work in them.

For the pastor you work with

Worship leaders should be praying for the pastor(s) in the church. Your connection with the pastor will have a significant impact on the church.

For the spiritual temperature in your ministry

Pray for the heart of your team. Pray for the leaders you are raising, that they will be spiritual leaders. Pray for more power in your leadership, more heart in your serving, and more joy in your presentation.

For the fun of leading

Pray that God will continue to give you a heart for your church. Pray for joy in the community and connection with your church. Don’t be afraid to let your roots sink in deep. You’ll make an impact in friendship, and connections, and the journey will be more fun. Don’t lose the sense of wonder as you lead and remember you don’t have to do this, you get to. Stay fully committed until it’s obvious the Lord is leading you elsewhere.

Become very comfortable helping to lead the way in ministry by trusting the Holy Spirit to accomplish the work. As I’ve heard it said before, “work like it all depends on you, but pray like it all depends on God.” There’s some truth to that. But I also like the quote, “Prayer is where the action is.” We just don’t pray enough as leaders. We read books, we talk a lot, we get and give ideas, we listen to new songs, and strategize over the worship flow and schedule. But I think we need to pray more. Prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit are what will truly move your congregation to respond to Jesus and worship and grow in discipleship.


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