4 Ways to Be a Better Worship Pastor This Weekend

Every worship pastor can improve in their leadership.  There's always room to grow, do better, or serve more effectively.  Here's 4 ways to be a better worship pastor this weekend:

Pray
Pray for your people.  Take time to walk through your auditorium and pray for the people that will be filling the seats on Sunday.  Pray that they will experience the presence of God as you worship and hear the word.  Pray over your musicians, singers, and tech staff.  Ask God to meet them as they prepare for weekend ministry.  Pray that God would bless their families and give them favor in their workplaces.  Pray for your pastor-that God would fill them with his Spirit as they prepare and write their message for the weekend.  Ask God to speak to you and lead you as you lead the people in worship.  The work you do is so important. Don't neglect the true source of power for your life and ministry because you have a lot to do. 

Prepare
Do you know why you're singing the songs you're singing?  Have you spent time getting the truth of the songs into your heart? Seek God for something specific that he might want to share in your worship sets.  Take time to think/pray through your transitions.  What verse could you share?  What exactly would you feel like God is leading you to say?  Being Spirit-led and being unprepared are not the same thing.  Take time and seek God before you step on stage. 

Practice
The worship pastor should be the one that knows the music the most.  It's frustrating for everyone if the worship pastor or worship leader is unprepared musically.  Sit down and run through the songs before you get to rehearsal.  What creative elements could you bring to the songs you're singing this week?  Memorize the music so you can listen and direct without having to focus so much on playing/singing the right chords and words yourself.  It might sound weird, but the more prepared you are, the easier it will be to be spontaneous in your worship.  It takes a lot of work beforehand to be spontaneous.  When you and your team know where to go musically, you can begin to think about expanding creativity within your songs.   

Be Present
Worship pastors have a lot of things to think about on any given Sunday.  But let's not forget the main reason we're there-to shepherd God's people.  It's tempting to check out, hit the green room, and browse on your phone between services, or disconnect during the message.  Resist the urge to disconnect from your people, and get out there and greet them. Pray with them.  Hear their stories.  Show support for your pastor by sitting in the auditorium and listening to the message.  Your greatest ministry of the weekend might just be something you say to someone while you're not on the stage

Let's remember that what we do is much more than notes, chords, and lyrics.  We're in the business of life-change, of leading people to declare the truth of God's word in their lives, to look past their current reality to God's greater reality for their lives.  It's our honor and privilege to be filled with the Spirit, on our game, and ready to do whatever God may ask us to do.  Let's not neglect the "ordinary" moments of tuning our hearts each week to hear what God would say. Let's prepare the soil of our own hearts to be able to lead effectively. 

Your Worship Service is Too Boring. Here's why...

As worship leaders, we need to guard against falling into a stale, predictable pattern in our worship leading. Reading the gospels, it's clear that Jesus' ministry was anything but predictable!

But we can easily do things over and over again, just because "that's the way we've always done it."

On the flip side, there can be times where too much unpredictability can lead to confusion and chaos, which is counter-productive as well (1 Corin 14).

Our goal is to "do what we see the Father doing" (John 5:19), and speak words of life and love to those around us-to lead others to the cross, and perhaps share something fresh that God has done in our lives, to model what it looks like to worship Jesus, and be moved by His presence and power.

As worship leaders, we're called to serve, not to be served. So pray, seek the Lord, and bring something fresh to your congregation this Sunday!

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!