When I’m leading worship I have trouble concentrating on the Lord. Is this normal?
It does seem to be “normal” in the sense that many people have the same problem. On the other hand, I don’t believe that it is God’s best. Let’s look at some of the hindrances that cause us to struggle in this area.
One of the most common causes of not being able to worship while leading is lack of familiarity with the music. It is difficult (at best) to concentrate on the Lord when you are concentrating on your music. To help this you must work at the music on a consistent basis. This means practicing the songs (in the various keys you will be using, including modulations), practicing chord progressions, performing technical work with your instrument and voice, studying further in music theory, etc. All of this sounds like a lot of work, but there is no way around this technical aspect: without this basic foundation in place you will always struggle with the music.
Another common problem is lack of preparation. If you don’t know where you are going you will have great difficulty getting there. As a worship leader you need to have a plan (preferably in conjunction with the pastor) as to the direction of the service. In this way your leading will be more focused and less of the hit-and-miss concept.
A third common area is lack of personal worship in private. You cannot do in front of people on Sunday mornings what is missing from your private life. If you worship God on your own Monday through Saturday, your worship will flow more easily on Sunday. Seeing praise and worship as a lifestyle is a real key to effectively leading praise and worship.
Finally, when all of the tangible things are taken care of, sometimes there still seems to be a lack of worship. In humility of heart submit it to the Lord. Realize that you have done all that you can and ask Him to now work that worship in you.