If I’m totally honest with myself, a million things can be going through my mind when I’m in front of people singing songs and praising God—thoughts like:
– is the click track loud enough in the ears?
– is the backing track too strong in the house?
– is the way I’m standing distracting people?
– am I over singing?
– are people able to read the words and engage?
– is my team able to clearly follow me with this next transition?
– is this song fitting with the heart of where people are at in this moment?
And millions more.
From unimportant to critical, from useless to essential, flurries of thoughts can engulf our worship times. I think for young worship leaders, it can be a question of what to focus on in the midst of all the details. Here are a couple of things I’ve found helpful:
REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE
I’m not a worship leader first and foremost; I’m a child of God and I’m a worshiper. I was created worshiping, and my leading worship will come from my place of personal worship. If I have trouble leading people in worship, I need to spend more off-stage one on one time with my Heavenly Father. True leadership will first come from simply worshiping.
ASK: WHAT IS GOD ASKING ME TO GIVE IN THIS MOMENT?
What does he desire of me for himself? What does he want me to give to those I’m leading? How can I best serve in this moment? Worship was modeled by
Jesus through service, picking up the basin and the towel and washing stinky feet of his followers. How am I serving my team? Am I providing an atmosphere they can honestly seek God’s face? How can I encourage them to move further up and further in to the Kingdom of God?
REMEMBER: MUSICAL EXCELLENCE WILL COME THROUGH PREPARATION. EXCELLENCE IN WORSHIP IS ABOUT THE HEART
Know your content well enough that you do not have to think about it when you are leading. Your heart needs to be the main area of engagement when you are leading, and it will call out to others. If your team is having trouble doing this, practice more so that you can. Get to know each other relationally, musically, spiritually so that you can flow together as God leads.
In those times when I have all the thoughts coming from all directions, remembering why I’m there pulls me back to reality: I’m leading so that people can be led to a place where they can lead their own praise and response to God. When that happens, I can just be lost in the same place and let God change me and make me new.