3 Reasons Skill Is Important for Worship Teams

Skill is important when desiring to lead others in worship.

What Skill Helps Us Do:
1. Skill Helps us Fix Our Attention on Jesus
If I'm not having to be totally focused on what chords/notes I'm singing or playing, my mind is freed up to focus on Jesus, the reason I'm worshiping in the first place. We focus on developing skill so we can focus more on God in worship.
Remember: the goal of practicing is not to do something until you get it right. In other words, do something until you can’t get it wrong.
Lack of skill leads to confusion, distraction, and irritation.

2. Skill Helps Us Serve the Church
God gives us gifts so that we can “serve one another” (1 Peter 4:10)
How do we serve one another in worship ministry:
-By leading clearly.
-By using arrangements that aren’t distracting.
-By possessing a calm, joyful countenance that expresses the hope that we’re singing about. “Those who look to Him are radiant.” (Psalm 34:5)
If we don’t have to think about the notes or parts, we’ll be free to look to the One we’re worshiping, and our faces will show it-and that helps people experience the presence of God.

3. Skill Multiplies Serving Opportunities
The more skill you possess, the more opportunities will be open to you.

So much of worship leading is preparation-spiritual, musical, and practical. Remember, if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail!

5 Reasons to Get Better At What You Do

Skill is important in worship leading. Here are 5 things to remember about skill in worship:

1. Skill is a Gift From God, For His Glory
I Corinthians 4:7 says, “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?”

The talents and abilities we have are gifts from God, to be used for his glory, not our own.

“All gifts from God are intended to direct our attention to God and create fresh affection for God.” C. J. Mahaney

2. Skill Must Be Developed
1 Chronicles 25:7 tells us that those who ministered at the tabernacle were those “who were trained in singing to the Lord, all who were skillful”.

If you don’t want to develop your gift, don’t practice.  Most people that you admire in music, art, sports, business, whatever, had to train,  practice, and learn for many, many years to get to where they are. 

3. Skill Doesn’t Make Worship More Acceptable before God
We need to realize our place before God, and understand that what we need most is God's undeserved grace to work on our hearts and lives.

1 Peter 2:5 says,  "You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

God is not impressed with our technical ability to play or sing. What impresses God is "a broken and contrite heart” (PS 51:17) that understands that we are weak and puts our faith in Christ, who saved and redeemed us.

4. Skill Should Be Evaluated by Others
If you really want to grow in skill, invite feedback from those around you. Remember, your family is supposed to tell you that you're great, even if you're not (thanks, mom)...so invite feedback from those who will give you an honest opinion, and not just an encouraging one.

5. Skill Makes Your Leading Less Distracting
How many times have you been in a worship service and heard a "clunker"-a note that's sung out of tune, a chord that wasn't played in the right measure, a drummer that loses the beat.  All of a sudden, your attention is not on the one you're worshiping, but on what you're hearing. 

Our worship leading should point people to the One we're worshiping. A missed note, a fumbled lead line, or an out of tune alto (sorry, altos) will take the eyes of your congregation off of Christ and on to you.  Skillful playing or singing, combined with the proper attitude will bring glory to God, and help your people focus on Him.  (Ask me about the time I put my capo on a half-step too low. Let's just say that when the band kicked in, nobody was thinking about Jesus...)

Our goal is to help people experience God’s presence. Be skillful, encourage skillful playing, and work on your own skills for God's glory!

Don't Set The Bar Too Low

Skill is essential for worship leaders, and worship teams. Our job as worship leaders is to serve our congregations, leading them to worship God, and to help people experience the presence of God.

Skill is not the not the most important element in worship leading, but it is discussed in God’s word:
-When Moses had to find men to oversee the construction of the tabernacle, he didn’t pass around a sign-up list. He chose craftsmen whom God had gifted with “skill and intelligence” (Ex 36:1)
-When David looked for a Levite to lead singing, he picked Kenaniah “because he was skillful at it” (1 Chron 15:22).
-Under divine inspiration, David wrote that musicians are to “play skillfully on the strings” (Psalm 33:3).
-David himself, as king over the people, “guided them with his skillful hand” (Psalm 78:72).
-Paul referred to himself as “a skilled master builder” (1 Cor 3:10).
(References from "Worship Matters" by Bob Kauflin)

Let's set the standard of excellence high in our ministries, and do our best to lead others into the presence of God!