How To Lead Worship | Top 10 Pieces of Advice For New Worship Leaders

Following on from today's worship blog post about mentoring I thought it would be good to pool our knowledge and help new worship leaders out.

What 10 (or less) pieces of advice would you give to someone who is just about to start leading worship for the first time, or someone who has only been doing it for a few months or so?

Share your quotes, thoughts and wisdom below and I will then compile them into a blog - similar to what we did with the "101 Worship Leader Myths".


N.B. I've now compiled and published this list on the WTR blog: How To Lead Worship | 101 Tips For New Worship Leaders

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Now that is a great list. I was thinking about what things to list, but you just said the majority. #3 is so key though. There are people out in the congregation that are newly saved or never have experienced worship before, and they ARE looking to us to see how it's done. If we are up there just going through the song list with no expression on our faces, or conviction in what we are singing then we need to rethink why we are up there. We are worshiping a passionate God, so we need to worship Him passionately. >>>>>>>>>and SOUND MAN...yeah, you hit it on the head.

If I could add one thing to your list.....

Everyone needs to come to practice knowing exactly what their parts are. Preparation at home is crucial. Too many wait until band practice to get their parts....taking time away from just doing the fine tuning.
Notes from a former sound guy and worship guy:

I like #5 the best. A comment on #1: (steps on soap box) The worship butler (sound guy) is often the most neglected, least trained, most abused and most neglected member of the worship team (except in California, Memphis, Motown and New York). If the lead guitarist plays a bad lick, he stares at the sound guy. If a second vocalist crowds the mike on a loud part, the WL scowls at the sound guy. If the WL points his mic at the monitor and gets a squeal . . yep, the sound guys fault! If the pastor doesn't hear enough reverb in his monitor . . . . PLEASE, send your sound guys to training at a seminar such as synaudcon ( AES ( or some of the others here:

Good sound guys just don't happen.

(stepping off soapbox)
1. One practical thing that I do is pick a few songs in the same key. It's an easy way to make songs flow from one to the next. I find that women tend to pick songs in the key of D and men pick songs in the key of G.

2.Finding one song to reinforce the topic might be enough. If you sing 8 songs all about God's power - you are missing out on 100 other attributes that can be praised.

3.Leaders in Christ's mind were those who served, so follow His example and serve your team.

4.Communicate with your church's leaders - worship isn't confined to the music portion of the service.

5.Pray with your whole worship team and ask God to help bring you together. It's easier to trust in someone on stage with you when you know that God is in control of your time together.

6.Practicing is important - because being a musician is a skilled job, but even if you are new and nervous - realize that God can use anyone who is willing to grow and step out in faith.
Further to my last post, I would say:

Accept that your position as worship leader is not above that of the Pastor/vicar/minister. As such listen to what he or she tell you and follow their instructions, even if it is not what you had planned to do. They are leading their church and have been annointed by God to be in such a position. As such it is important to respect and trust their God given authority.
1. Understand that you are dealing with unprofessional musicians and singers that are using God-given gifts for His glory, not the glory of the team or themselves. It may not always be perfect, but it still glorifies God.

2. If you think because all of these people go to church you will not have fighting, you're wrong! Musicians are very finicky and sometimes will fight even the worship leader for their time in the sun. Refer back to number 1. It's for His glory alone.

3. Make sure to spend time together not just practicing. Musicians and singers need to feel part of something so going out for a meal together, having prayer time together to pray for each other is essential.

4. You must have fun. God wants our praise to Him to be filled with joy!

Sorry, I know that's only four, but that's all that came to mind at 7:30 in the morning...
#1 - Don't try to teach too many new songs.
#2 - Remember, you are leading them, you are serving them - it's not about you.
#3 - Be willing to crucify your own stylistic preference
#4 - Get involved in their lives from a pastoral/relational perspective.
#5 - No matter how great a singer you may be, put songs in keys normal people can sing. Try not to make them sing much higher than a D if you can help it.
I just had a question. Do you believe that every member of the Praise and Worship Team should be a registered member of the church?
Preferably, yes.

If nothing else, it shows a commitment to the church where they are ministering, plus allows issues of accountability to be exercised.
Ask your Pastor that question and abide by his decision. My impression & received teaching in my fellowship:

No . . . I don't even believe they necessarily have to be Christians (though that is the rare exception) unless the Pastor says so.
Membership is important in that it is a baptism into that particular body or community, but it is not necessary unless the pastor says so.
Part of leading means mentoring through a relationship. The expectation to learn & engage in the various disciplines (attendance, tithing, participation, etc.) need to be there, unless the Pastor says so.

Other questions in the same vein: Should they tithe? Yes, unless the Pastor says so. In the poorer neck of the woods often the choice of how each penny is spent is a life/death question, so grace upon those good stewards of no means who feed their chilluns first, then give to the church. If the Pastor disagrees, it's his call, but the church better have a substantial storehouse setaside for the poor and for famine, recession, depression.

Can people with tattoos be allowed on the team? Sounds like a silly question, but I have friends who have been marginalized/ostracized, and physically removed for daring to step foot in "God's building" with a tat, piercing, blue jeans etc. Still, ask the Pastor. It is his flock.
If you don't have any comments to make then don't feel pressured to make any comments.
Hahahaha Good Comment!
yes silence is surely better then rambling...


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