Archives For Leadership

These are posts that give practical advice and insight into the topics that are relevant to worship leaders and musicians. We take a look into the day-to-day challenges and occurrences that many worship leaders face and offer encouragement and insight. Take a look at what we have to say about the technical side of choosing songs and instrumentation as well as defining success and building an effective team. Join in on the conversation and let us know what works best for you!

There will always be someone that can sing better than you, play an instrument better than you, or look and sound much cooler when encouraging the Church to sing along. The good news is that God hasn’t called any of us to be the best singer, the best musician, or the coolest looking person on stage. Our calling as musicians and worship leaders is to lead people to a place where they are able to engage with God in those moments and experience His presence in their lives – a place where the daily grind of life and everything surrounding them in those moments fades away and it becomes just them and God. That is what I call “the art of disappearing,” and that is what you are called to do.

In most churches today, we are standing on a stage in front of everyone, with lights focused on us and everyone singing whatever we sing. Nothing about that makes it easy to even think of disappearing, let alone actually figuring out how to do it. Sometimes I wonder if they had the same challenges we do today in the early Church. In the Old Testament, the Levites led worship while standing along the wall, very much in front of everyone. The model of worship we see in the New Testament is similar. It was usually in smaller groups with the person leading in front of everyone. There isn’t a right or wrong way to lead worship. Whether it is done by standing on a stage in front of everyone or from an organ in the back of the sanctuary, the art of disappearing takes more than trendy visuals or solid talent. It’s about fostering a heart for worship in ourselves and in those we lead…

Continue Reading...

Song Transitions and Flow

Josh Pauley —  June 26, 2013

One of the most effective ways you can create an atmosphere that encourages worship is to work on song transitions and the flow of service. This is something that isn’t always given the attention it deserves, but it can completely transform a set list when done well. I usually plan time to sit down for at least an hour a day or two before the week’s first rehearsal so I can work through what I want the transitions to be and how I want everything to flow. It is important to take this time to experiment a little without the pressure of the band waiting on instructions from you, and so you can clearly communicate the details to the band. This eliminates confusion during practice, and your band will appreciate that you aren’t wasting their time trying to figure it out.

Here are the usual parts of the songs and worship set that I think through when preparing for Sundays. In no way is this an exhaustive list, just some of the most typical…

Continue Reading...

I fought it for a long time but finally caved. I am now a proud user of the click-track when I lead. The first few weeks were tough and brought back some painful memories of sheet music, scales and a metronome when I was 10. However, I settled in, and after a month, there was no going back.

The main reason for holding out, despite all the encouragement and recommendations from other leaders, was the fear that it might be a hindrance to the Spirit’s leading and a distraction to my personal worship. Oh, was I wrong. Here are a couple of the benefits the click has afforded my ministry…

Continue Reading...

For those who aren’t worship pastors or leaders, but rather band members and vocalists, it’s important to realize the significance of your role on the team. Even if you’re not the person actually leading everyone, speaking over the congregation during worship, selecting music for next Sunday’s set, etc., you still play a part in leading people into the presence of God. Your participation is setting an example for the congregation to follow. You are leading too. Once you begin to realize how important your contribution is, it’s good to know how to steward that responsibility. I thought I’d share a few tips with you on how to best support your worship leader and fulfill your role as a member of the worship team…

Continue Reading...

I’ve played with bands since high school and have been in probably a thousand rehearsals. For most of us, band rehearsals feel like a sports practice. It’s something we have to endure to get to game time. However, rehearsals don’t have to be a dreaded event. In fact, rehearsals should be part of developing our worship community in addition to preparing for Sunday.

Here are five things I’ve learned about running a great rehearsal…

Continue Reading...

This is the beginning. All of last week’s hard work culminated in Sunday’s worship service. Now, it’s time to choose the songs for the next service. If you’re like me, choosing songs either happens quickly and effortlessly, or it becomes a few grueling hours of going through possible songs and trying to narrow down options.

I tried to think about times in the past when the setlist came together really well. I recognized there were three key elements that had to happen. It almost never fails that when I am able to apply all three of these, the process is much easier…

Continue Reading...

Sunday comes around with alarming regularity. As with any recurring task, it’s important to find a healthy workflow that prevents us from burnout and provides margin for creativity and spiritual preparation. I like to call it a rhythm.

My church work week begins on Tuesday and ends on Monday. Whether you are full-time, a volunteer, or anything in-between, it’s important to find productivity pockets to work within. Here’s how my week looks…

Continue Reading...

I’ve heard the average tenure of a worship leader is 18-24 months. If this is true, then you probably just started leading at your church or you’re about to move to another ministry. As sad as this is, I’m not going to get into all the reasons for this. Instead, I want to talk a minute about setting priorities when starting a new role at a church.

Unless you are helping with a new church start, you are probably stepping in for someone else who was the former worship leader. Perhaps they left for another ministry or perhaps they were asked to step down or leave the church. Either way, by default, you are inheriting their successes and failures. You will reap the benefits of all the good things they did. And you will have to repair the damage that they left behind.

Continue Reading...

The quality of worship music has advanced tremendously in the last ten years. We have better sound, lighting, video and room acoustics than ever in history. Conferences and the internet have allowed worship leaders to get access to unlimited songs, teachings on worship and training for musicians.

But another trend has risen up along side our advancements. It seems that we’ve gotten so good and slick in our musical presentation that we (the congregation) find ourselves watching at times instead of worshipping…

Continue Reading...

Worship Band Rehearsal

Jimi Williams —  June 25, 2011

One of the most asked questions I hear from worship leaders who are just starting to lead is how to organize and facilitate worship band rehearsals. This sounds fairly simple, but it is a pretty pasture filled with land mines!

I’ve been involved in worship, either leading or as a musician, for the last 12 years and I’ve had all different experiences with rehearsals, good and bad. If you want your band to run screaming from the building, vowing to never play their instrument again, here’s my top list of surefire irritations.

1. Don’t prepare anything in advance. Nothing is more frustrating to the band than for the leader to show up with a big stack of song sheets, plop them down on floor, and ask “so what do y’all think we should sing this week?”. Part of the leadership role is to discern in advance which songs should be sung that week, pull appropriate charts (I’ll talk more about this next), and show up at rehearsal with a thought out plan. This doesn’t mean you can’t make changes, but at least everyone has a starting point…

Continue Reading...
Page 3 of 41234