When I lead worship it is usually with an acoustic guitar. I’ve always considered myself more of a picker than a singer, and it shows. Despite us having drums, electric, keys, bass, vocalists, my team typically listens to my guitar to feel our dynamics.
Last week I decided to play my electric and have my wife play acoustic while we both sang in the band. It was an eye opening experience for myself and my team. It wasn’t that anything sounded bad, but it did change our worship dynamic in a way that none of us were used to. Because my acoustic playing causes me to drive the stage mix, everything just felt empty and less energetic. I kept asking in practice how it sounded “out there” and their response was two thumbs up with a happy smile. Despite the fact that our overall mix sounded amazing I still felt uncomfortable and out of the pocket. What was the issue?
It was my inability to lead the team without being in control.
Being a good worship leader doesn’t mean you’re the best musically.
Musically speaking, my team can play circles around me. I have an electric guitarist who can shred on a level that I could only dream to attain. I have vocalists that are classically trained who blow me out of the water. My piano players can literally play anything from down home gospel to 80’s synth. My drummer could probably play a cardboard box and make it sound good enough for worship. I even have a fiddle player who can figure out a key quicker than a tuner. If my people are better than me shouldn’t I let them shine?
Good leaders delegate. Great leaders trust.
If I build my team up the way I’m called to, I can trust on knowing that they are going to go above and beyond in our worship. Sure they may make mistakes here and there…but I do too. When there is mutual trust on your worship team you can depend on each other. You can trust your keyboard player to start the song in the right tempo. You can trust that your lead electric will play the lead line that they are supposed to. The more you start trusting them, the more they will strive to try impress.
People grow when they are given the opportunity to take ownership. If you never trust people to own anything, they won’t.
Lead from the back.
As Worship Leaders, one of our biggest goals should be to train and encourage our team. We should take every opportunity to elevate them above us. In doing this we take ourselves away from the spotlight and remind our team that worship can happen without us there. This also gives others the opportunity to step up and lead.
Leading a worship team means knowing you aren’t the best musician, trusting your people, and never forgetting your purpose of the gathering is simply to worship a Holy God.
“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Prepare For Worship. A resource provided to you by WorshipTrac.