Take Your Church's Worship to the Next Level

What is your church's worship missing?
What is your church's worship missing? (Flickr/Jörg Schreier)

Worship leaders, we've gotten really good at leading songs.

But for us to see the breakthrough we want, we need to grow as leaders. Why? Because we're leading a post-Christian people. There are people in our churches who have never been to church. They don't know the gospel, and they don't know what to do in worship.

Your leadership skills on Sunday will help those who are new Christians to engage in worship. Having a great band and getting through songs isn't enough.

Leadership is not musical ability, and musical ability is not leadership. Leadership goes deeper. It sets foot in uncomfortable places. It goes where most are not willing to. A leader is a catalyst for change.

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9 Leadership Skills for Worship Leaders

And here are some ways worship leaders can increase their leadership and become catalysts for change:

1. Help people relax: A good worship leader helps people feel comfortable. Vulnerability is cultivated in a safe environment, and corporate singing and worship fall into that category.

2. Challenge people to go deeper: A pastoral worship leader isn't content with just getting through a set. The goal isn't to sing a few great songs. Pastoral worship leaders have a passion for the people of God to go deeper—to sing louder, to take steps of faith, to move closer to Jesus. It's always easier to hide behind the songs. It takes guts to step out.

3. Be Prophetic: The best worship pastors are prayerful. They're not just in prayer about Sunday's set but about the people of the congregation. They pursue the voice of God for their church. They want to know what He is saying.

4. Spotlight the Gospel: Attention. It's an important word when it comes to worship because, essentially, you're calling a roomful of people to rapt attention. But what are they focusing on—your team and your talent? Are you crafting your set in order to magnify the coolness of your art? Or are you crafting an experience that magnifies Jesus and spotlights the gospel? I believe the latter is the only real choice.

5. Prep for Spontaneity: Depending on your tradition, spontaneous can mean a lot of things. Allow me to broaden the category. Think of it as relaxed. You can't be spontaneous if you don't know what you're doing. "Feeling the moment" can only happen when the basics are intuitive. You can't be spontaneous as a quarterback if you don't know how to throw a football. By building up that intuitive sense on your instrument, with singing, with flow, you'll build up the necessary tools to lead well in the moment when you sense a deviation from the plan is necessary.

6. Lead Between Songs: What you do between songs can make the difference between your worship set feeling plastic or real. Get comfortable with transitions. Don't just stop and restart.

7. Develop Patience: How do you handle it when people don't respond as you'd hoped? How do you deal with feeling nervous? Great worship leaders know when to be intense and when to be calm. It's about having a patient disposition where you're trusting the Holy Spirit, speak clearly, know how to navigate silence and stay in control.

8. Lead with Energy: Energy doesn't have to mean bouncing around the stage like a cheerleader. Energy is leading from your heart. It's believing every lyric. It's being so caught up in the majesty of God that you exude Jesus. It's living a life that amplifies the songs. Live Sunday morning before Sunday morning comes.

9. Practice Talking: I think we can all agree that leading worship is more than just singing through songs hoping people will join in. In many ways you're a coach, challenging and teaching your team to go deeper. In order to coach well, you'll need to practice public speaking—learning how to connect with the room. Make sure to practice this before Sunday hits.

Anything you would add to this list? I'd love to hear from you.

David Santistevan is a worship pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

For the original article, visit davidsantistevan.com.

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