the baby and the bathwater

A worship leader in these times
June 12, 2008, 6:30 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

As a church we have just started a series of evenings where we are pressing into God for all that he has for us here in Cheltenham. They are times when worship and praise will be foremost as we seek God’s presence. As a worship leader this means times of leading worship or singing over people for hours at a time on occasion, and will, I expect, be a regular thing for weeks ahead.

I’ve been reflecting on what things that we need to do as worship leaders during these times in order that we may be fruitful long term.

This is kingdom activity. Kingdom activity means confrontation. Lead from the front. Be a leader. Worship leaders often go out in the front of armies. It’s a time to rediscover why we are worship leaders and not just lead worshippers.

Expect there to be more of the prophetic in worship. Expect to be taken into extended times of unscripted encounter as a church. But remember this is holy spirit led – it’s not something we generate, is something we respond to. You are not trying to generate a response in people, you are helping them to encounter God.

Don’t be afraid to make some hard decision on people. There will be some people in your team who are more suited to this type of worship. Just as Sunday worship is not a case of ‘everyone gets to play’, so it is for this. Choose wisely, and explain clearly to everyone. This is not a case of some people being more valued than others, it is a case of everyone working in their area of strongest gifting.

Prepare for the prophetic. God can speak to you, give you new songs/phrases to sing before the event as well as during.

Keep physically fit. Leading worship for 2 hours at a time is not for the unfit. Keep your regular physical activity going as a priority. Watch what you eat and drink even more closely than usual. Consider yourself as an athlete preparing for a marathon, not a sprinter preparing for the 100 meters.

Keep your family on board. Keep communicating with your spouse. Keep spending time with your children. They are still more important than your ministry.

Life will be different for a season with your worship teams and fellow church leaders. Expect there to be some messiness, and some uncertainty, so that when someone does something you we’re not expecting, had not agreed to or irritates you, be extra wise and extra slow and extra thoughtful in dealing with it. Don’t let bitterness get a foothold.

Reorganise your diary if you can. There may just have to be some people you can’t see, some places you can’t go. Exercise wisdom and always communicate clearly. But – if you are paid to do a job (even in your church), remember who is paying and why they are paying.

Don’t lose sight of your need to keep investing in others. These are great times for investing in your up and coming worship leaders. Get them on stage alongside you. As always, the hungry keen to lead servant hearted worship leaders will not take your oversight as a threat. If they do, a period of off-stage reorientation may be needed.

Lead in pairs. Two hours of leading worship is tough on the voice, tough on the fingers and spiritually stretching.

Don’t big yourself up. This is a holy spirit inspired movement, not a worship leader inspired movement. Expect to write and sing new songs that won’t make the ccli top 25.

Keep grounded in the truth. Remember that huge chunks of the letters in the new testament were written to churches who were on fire for God but ungrounded in truth. Remember that the activity of the kingdom is about liberation and that it’s the truth that sets you free. Read theology, especially kingdom theology, setting what you see with your eyes in a biblical framework.

Have fun. When aunt Ethel rolls around on the floor barking like a dog, it may look quite funny. Enjoy it.

Protect the dignity of everyone.

Always try to be ready to give an account, an explanation of what is happening. It is a great thing to see a manifestation of god’s kingdom power go hand in hand with a credible voice of explanation. Check out Pentecost as an example.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You missed one….

“Buy a D300 and enjoy taking photos in low light”



Comment by Andy

I always expect to write songs that won’t make the CCLI top 25

Comment by David Gate


or sell your furniture and buy a D3

how sad is this…i’ve turned into a camera geek.

Comment by Neil Bennetts


must be nice to live up to your own expectations all the time.

Comment by Neil Bennetts

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