I truely believe that we as worship leaders have an obligation to keep our relationship with the Holy Spirit fresh and in the moment. We need to study the word of God daily and pray constantly to keep the Word of God stimulating our thoughts and actions. At service time we must lead the way into the presence of God in the Throne Room. If we can go there easily, then the rest of the people can get there with us and be blessed. So many don't understand the importance of spending time daily in God's presence, and have a hard time getting there on their own.
Worship leaders are not just singers, musicians, dancers and dramatists. We are worshippers in spirit and in truth, who have sacrificed our time in order to have that personal relationship with the Holy Spirit and that interaction that only comes from time spent in God's presence. Being able to lead others comes from having experience and wisdom that we can pass on and share with our fellow worshippers. It's very challanging to be able to organize and pull into shape a team of christians who each have differents levels of maturity in the Lord. Our values and priorities are often very different than theirs. We must lead by setting an example of how a person of faith should behave and share our passion and commitment with them in a way that encourages and stimulates them to follow us and get into a deeper walk with the Lord.
Every person arrives at rehersal or service with baggage from their daily lives that interferes with their ability to be effective in their part of the team. By starting out with prayer and some quiet time they have a chance to shed the worldly cares and distractions and come into focus with the work at hand for the kingdom of God. I always hope for that pentecostal unity of 1 heart, 1 mind & 1 spirit when we get together to do our music. If I'm able to be really clear and focussed, it helps the others to get there with me. I just praise the Holy Spirit for drawing us all together as much as possible so we can remember musical arrangements, harmony parts and other aspect of the praise and worship. When someone misses rehersal, they come really unprepared for service and can't possibly do as good a job as they would have if they had made it to practice. I used to make them sit out the service, but I've found that with such a small team as ours it's better to suffer through with one loose cannon that do it without them.
Homework is the best thing that a praise team member can make time to do for the good of the team. The more time spent working on their parts at home the better prepared everyone will be for services. I also give everyone CD's of music to learn and recordings of each service so they can critique themselves and their performance. By listening to those CD's they will be alot more prepared to pick up their parts more quickly and to keep rehersing them through the week. Mental preparation is as important as physically rehersing your parts. The more you listen, the clearer your mind will be about how the songs should sound, and what needs to be adjusted to make them sound better.
Unity comes with time spent working together on blending, getting the groove of the song, playing your parts, singing your part and knowing how it all should sound when everybody knows what their expected to do on each song. The harder each person works, the better the group comes together as a team. You definitly get back what you put into the team effort. It's so fulfilling when everybody has the enthusiasm and drive to excell and do the best that they can for the good of the team. It's a sign that we, as leaders, are doing our jobs for the glory of God.
The moments spent leading the congregation in worship are truly sacred and precious. We don't want to waste any of them or do a mediocre job and look back and cringe. Being prepared is all we can do, and then the rest is up to the Holy Spirit and how each individual pulls together with the rest of the team to really worship the Lord and give Him honor, glory and praise. I look foreward to the time when the team members will be able to step into the prophetic during worship and prophecy words of wisdom and knowledge, and also when we can do the perfect song at the perfect time to really bless everyone with a Throne of Grace experience. One day we will be in such unity that we can follow the Spirit as it leads us where it wants us to go in the services. So continue to praise God and be ready to do His will. I can see a time when worship won't be so song oriented and we'll worship God just as we are and find some common ground to sing praises to Him and then maybe fall into just the right song if the moment is perfectly suited for it and let the Spirit lead us wherever it wants us to go. Talk about unity !!!!