Lincoln Brewster leads with his electric, if that's any help.
I lead with accoustic because I can control volume and style much easier. With electric you're supposed to turn knobs or move pedals to increase sound, not strum harder, and I find that takes more of my concentration; energy that I'd rather devote to the music and how it's affecting the audience.
Some people can play electrics in their sleep and I admire them. I'm just more comfortable with my accoustic - it's almost an extension of my voice as opposed to a technical machine that needs to be mastered. And the last time I listened to a recording of my playing, it didn't sound anemic to me! ;)
I actually find the opposite of that. I do use at least medium to hard picks so I have more control over the strumming. I find that it's really hard to do with very thin picks. To me that often makes acoustics anemic.
However I find that acoustic guitars, the volume controls are never in a good spot to fiddle with during a set. Add to that, even my favorite pickup system, the LR Baggs, the sliders are super sensitive.
On most electrics this is the opposite, they are right there and meant to be fiddled with. Many people have been know to use strat controls for volume swells, etc.
Add on top of that most multi-effects have some volume pedal control (or you could add a Morley Volume/Wah or something else to your pedal path) that you can adjust with your feed while playing.
I also have pre-set user patches patches at different volumes too.
To me, although I try to let the AV guy deal with the mix, I feel I'm better 'armed' to self-adjust my volume on my electric set-up than my acoustic.
Reasons why I generally didn't use the electric: for an electric, you just about have to have an amp on stage, and that just raises the onstage volume; our worship sound was relatively anemic anyway, our congregation wasn't really looking for a big rock band sound, and my electric guitar is a bit of a collector's item and generally only leaves the house for very special occasions. Well, that and the fact that I was leading with bass :-)
Nothing wrong with electric guitar if that's where your congregation is at. Just point the amp directly at your own ears and don't turn it up any more than you have to (sound guy talking :-)
Thanks for the reply. I had been using a miced amp pointed at me, and just recently switched to direct to house and have the sound fed back to floor monitors. Everybody on the team used IEMS except the lead so the stage noise is minimal. Some times I almost feel guilty because I'm having so much fun.
Charlie Hall is another that switches between electric and acoustic. I lead worship at my church primarily with a keyboard, but occasionally use an acoustic or electric guitar. I believe that each song has needs for it to be effective, and if a particular song needs a second acoustic or electric guitar more then it needs a keyboard then I am willing to be flexible to fulfill my two main goals as a worship leader... 1. To remove anything distracting from the worship service so that the worship team as well as the congregation can focus on worshiping God, and 2. to be available and willing to do whatever is necessary to reach a generation that is becoming more and more detached from worship...... and if I have to rip a solo on my strat or les paul to do that, then so be it!!!
P.S. I am a 25 year old leading worship for a congregation of 300 who range in age from high school to 60+, and I also lead a worship based Christian rock band for whom I play both acoustic and electric guitar.
Last week I led with my electric, this week I'm leading with my acoustic. It depends on what other players are bringing to the mix, and what sound we are trying to achieve. I have led with bass before, although it has been a while since I've done that...
I don't think any instrument is anemic -- it's all in how you play it, and FWIW I don't think there is anything "wrong" with using whatever instrument you desire. I choose NOT to lead with my trombone, because I find it hard to play and sing at the same time. :-)
It depends on many things, but most importantly the player and how he controls it and the congregation and whether they are hung up about what the leader uses.
I've lead with both. With the acoustic you can play mindlessly, but it's very limiting and requires huge concentration to play with grace and clarity. Whereas with electric there is more scope but you do need to be comfy with dynamics and some technique. Given the choice I will always chose electric because I can lead with it, rather than just chinging along with the band.
As for stage volume, it's funny how no-one ever has a problem playing in a pub, often running un-mic'd 50+W amps and all coping fine. I'd prefer something smallish in the 5W to 15W range, preferably with a speaker that's not too beamy, placed around waist height so it can be turned up a bit, but not so it's pinning people to the back wall. If we're going to start aiming amps at people's heads then that will defeat the very use of an amp to begin with (it has to be working a bit so it sounds OK) and you might be better off with a modeller through the PA. Obviously the volume you use will depend on the size of the gathering & room, but I'd chose electric + amp for anything above 20 people in a small hall.
To be honest, I do find that the average pub gig is way too loud. The ideal level for me is loud enough to hear and quiet enough to listen to.
Back to the topic, I think one of the considerations is who else you have playing with you. If there is a second guitarist on acoustic guitar then electric guitar is an easier choice than if you are "it" on the guitar front. That broad, percussive sound from a strummed acoustic (not anaemic at all, IMHO) is a core component of the contemporary worship sound most people are used to.
Whatever instrument you lead with, it helps to be very fluent with it. I am primarily a bassist and so my six string bass is my preferred instrument when leading rather than my six string electric guitar.
As a person who leads with the electric guitar, I always feel like it's a waste if I'm standing there strumming open chords on a solid-body. Oftentimes, though, I'm the only electric player, and it's can be difficult to play lead lines and fills when you're singing.
It's up to you, that's the bottom line. Nothing says it's wrong to play an open C on an electric. But if you don't have an acoustic player, that kind of chord sounds better on an acoustic in my opinion.
I use both, depending on the song and/or arrangement. We use 2 guitars, (one acoustic and 1 electric), 2 keyboards (1 piano and 1 strings), electric bass and electronic drums. All musicians are running through the house system (a Roland 48 channel digital mixer) with a combination of stage monitors and Aviom in-ear monitors for the musicians. The electric (LP or Tele Thinline) gives me more versatility for lead lines and the acoustic (Gibson L 4a) gives a more "Worship Leader" sound. My suggestion is to use both and decide which one better serves your purpose on each song.
I do it! I only do it for effect not for any particular reason. If I have an acoustic player I play my electric. If it is just me I play my acoustic. We run everything though the house and have a Aviom for the musicians and monitors for the singers. No guitar amp, just pedals