“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
For those of you who serve at a church, do you ever feel that what you’re doing is insignificant compared to the worship leaders who are front and center? Or have you wondered how much of an impact you’re actually making running ProPresenter...or running whatever position you’re in? The truth is, no matter where you’re at - you can lead worship and you can make a huge impact for Jesus.
I was recently leading worship at a conference and 10 mins before we went up, the team running the event asked me what I was feeling as far as direction for the worship time. I gave a brief answer and they started sharing with me what they had in mind and where they felt God leading.
“We were thinking of not doing songs...and just having the musicians release creativity.”
Long story short, I went with what they were feeling but said they would have to lead that.
Apprehensive as I was...the night turned out great.
The musicians played in turn and just worshiped the Lord as they were led. Not only were the sounds that came out filled with the life of the Spirit, but the musicians - not the “worship leaders” - led us in worship. This went on for about 45 minutes and we had just as rich of a time worshipping without words as when they were there.
I walked away realizing that everyone can lead worship from whatever their position is. And the reality is - it’s more than just musicians.
So here’s a few ways to access that kind of leadership:
1. Fill yourself with God
People are doors. Psalm 141:3 says that our mouths are a door. Whenever you open your mouth - or play your instrument, move that fader, click that mouse - you give voice to whatever is filling your heart.
It’s a simple concept.
But the fruit will be demonstrated on whatever you choose to fill yourself with.
Take time to worship the Lord in secret.
Be intentional on seeking Him.
Be with Him.
So that whatever you do gets the overflow of a rich relationship with Jesus.
2. Think like an MD (music director)
If you’re unfamiliar with that term, the MD literally directs the band on their music. For example, giving them cues, leading in transitions between songs, reminding them of the right chords, and basically, giving oversight to all the musical aspects of the worship time.
One vital thing that MD’s do is they learn songs - not just for their own part - but to be familiar with everyone’s part. They see the big picture.
How does this help you lead from whatever position you’re in?
When you know other people’s parts, you can be more effective in your part.
You know where your part fits in the big picture.
You know what should be happening when it should be happening.
3. Think like a worship leader
One thing, I believe, worship leaders should always be thinking is -
“What is God doing?” (see John 5:19)
When you sense that, then serve that!
Do the lights like that!
Dance like that!
Run sound like that!
...you get the picture.
When you do that, you’re taking us somewhere with what you’re doing.
That is leadership.
In regards to songs, worship leaders should be asking:
> What’s the heart of this song?
>What revelation does it bring?
> What is God wanting to bring to the church through it?
> What is God speaking to me through this song?
I encourage worship leaders to get the songs in them and to listen to them over and over again! So that when they lead them, they are playing from their heart more than their head. They can get into a healthy auto-pilot because the song became part of who they are.
When these types of things are worked on, worship leaders lead songs from a deeper place. And in that, they take people to a deeper place in God.
Same goes for any place of serving. I’m specifically referring to positions in the church during praise & worship time (lyrics on screen, sound, musicians, lights, etc) but this goes for all positions of serving. We serve the greater purpose of what God is doing. That leads people to Him.
Bottom line is, worship leaders are people who lead others in worship. We want people to connect with the Lord! We do that by following Him and pointing to Him in everything we do.
4. Value your part!
Don’t think small in regards to what you’re doing.
You’re full of God, you’ve got the big picture, you’re thinking like a worship leader - you’re gonna make an impact for Christ!
Aim for great excellence in whatever you do.
If you’re a painter or someone who works the lights, study the meaning of colors and how you can minister the heart of God with them. Whatever you do, become proficient in it!
I love how live music producer Tom Jackson says, “Worship isn’t just what you hear, it’s what you see.”
Let the people be in awe at how the whole scenery of the platform moves with the Spirit - with ProPresenter, lights, dancers, etc. Let the visual representation take people higher in praise and deeper in worship of our awesome God!
Let’s get our perspective shifted to believe in what we’re doing.
Say this with me, “God’s anointing is on me to (do whatever your position is) !
You’re not just pushing a fader, sweeping a floor, or passing a bucket. You’re leading people to give worship to our King.
5. Worship God from your position
There’s a difference between singing and praising (see 2 Chron. 20:22).
The thing that changes it from singing into praising is a heart attitude.
It’s that heart attitude of offering whatever you do to the Lord that makes it worship. God always responds to worship.
I love how Bill Johnson says, “fire always falls on sacrifice” referring to the sacrifices Israel would bring. When God accepted the offerings, the fire of God would consume them.
That’s what can happen on whatever position you’re in! Your worship draws the fire of God into the atmosphere! That’s what causes true impact in people’s lives.
People recognize the voice of God and the Presence of God. It’s what we’re created for.
Let every note you play, every brush of paint, every push of a fader, etc be in worship to God. When His fire falls, people will recognize that life giving Presence.
I dream of a church where excellence is a standard, the anointing is priority, cultural relevance is important and everyone is collectively pushing towards displaying the face of God. I’ve seen it in glimpses, but I know there’s more.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
1 Peter 4:10 NIV
Question: What do you think? How else would you encourage the church to lead others in worship?