Some Sundays after leading worship, I feel like climbing a mountain. Other Sundays after leading worship, I feel like crawling into a hole…
I wouldn’t be able to count the number of times I’ve forgotten lyrics or played the wrong chords, let alone deal with different technical difficulties or distracting aesthetics. One Sunday, the set design we spent hours constructing fell apart piece by piece throughout the entire service.
Strands of Edison bulbs, hollowed-out piano shells, not even skinny jeans with rips at the knee can keep your people from noticing awkward transitions and obvious mistakes from the platform. I’ve had my fair share of experiences that have made me question my ability to lead and whether this role was one God was actually calling me to.
I want to share with you 3 powerful statements that have really encouraged me:
- Stumble forward, imperfectly. Your church needs you to embody honest, Christ-centered leadership from the platform each week, blemishes and all. God is gracious to use our imperfect efforts to showcase His glory each time we gather; and His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Ask God to continue to grow you into the leader He’s called you to be. What a privilege it is to grow before the people He has entrusted you to lead!
- Don’t settle. Strive for excellence. As we stumble forward, we have a call to pursue excellence. For the longest time, I allowed the “Let’s just follow the Spirit” mentality to cover up my laziness and unwillingness to be proactive in the arrangement of our songs. Whenever and however you rehearse with your team (even if it’s just you), know where you’re leading your people ahead of time. This readiness will increase your confidence and your people will thank you for it. Memorize the lyrics, know the chords and be ready to stand before your people every weekend and lead them into battle.
- Keep singing the Gospel, no matter what. Regardless of how you feel, if you’re obedient to sing the Gospel each week, God will be glorified, the enemy will be threatened, and your people will fall more in love with the Savior. Job well done. Your people want to feel less like you’re leading them through a scheduled service and more like you’re leading them into His presence. Choose songs that call them to behold Jesus, both old and new. We have a wonderful responsibility to wisely steward every song and transition in a way that says, “Behold, the Lamb of God…” (John 1:29).
Here are 3 three blogs that have encouraged me tremendously in my growth as a worship leader:
Creating a Worship Culture by Aaron Hoskins
Lights, Aesthetics & the Disappearance of Grandeur by James Tealy
Words of Wonder: What Happens When We Sing? by Bob Kaufin
Taylor Agan is the Worship Leader for Redemption City Church in Nashville, a staff songwriter for Centricity Music, and the Managing Editor for CentricWorship.