Getting Past the Peripherals

I am often so concerned about getting everything to flow properly and with leading others in worship that sometimes I feel like I missed actually worshiping God. Any suggestions?

Some people would tell you that this is okay. I have heard speakers at worship conferences teach that the worship leader doesn’t need to worship while he’s leading. They say he can worship later, at home, by himself. They insist that his primary focus while leading is to be certain that the people connect with the Lord.

I have also heard the opposite taught: that the worship leader must focus totally on God. “Don’t worry about the people,” I’ve heard. “The people will follow if you are worshiping.”

The very title, worship leader, implies that both of these are only partially true. It is vital that the worship leader actually worship while leading, but if he becomes so completely “lost in God” that he forgets about the people, then he has missed part of his responsibility. On the other hand, if he is so focused on the people that he misses worshiping the Lord, then he has also missed a major part of his role.

Ultimately, the worship leader must strike a balance between leading the people and worshiping God himself. Exactly how to do this is a difficult question to answer because each service will be different.

Some practical suggestions are:

  1. Seek the Lord ahead of time for His direction for the service, asking the Holy Spirit to guide you.
  2. Plan the service, including songs, Scriptures, etc., based on the leading of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Practice the music just the way you intend to do it in the service.
  4. Commit your plans to the Lord and ask Him to make up any lack in you and your abilities.

Having made all of these practical preparations you should find it much easier to worship during the corporate worship time.