Dear worship leader,
I’m so proud of you. I’m so proud of where you’ve come from and where you are going. I’m excited for everything that the Father has laid out for you. I’ve been praying for you. I really have been. I’ve been asking questions, searching articles and blogs, reading books, listening to podcasts, and praying that I could help in any possible way. I’m one of you. I get it. I know what it’s like to sing in front of tons of people, encourage them to worship deeper than ever, and they don’t even budge - they do absolutely nothing. I’ve also sang where I’ve literally heard angels sing, I've seen people get healed and delivered, and watched every hand be raised in the air. I’m passionate about people encountering the Father. I’m especially passionate about the people who are conduits of leading those people along that journey.
I have some "secrets" to share that might encourage you. In my own journey, I’ve been both disenchanted and head over heels in love with the church. I’ve been proud and insecure [which is ultimately the same thing]. I've served and I've also been served [in the good and bad way]. And I've learned that being jaded is the worst possible decision I could make. Don't get me wrong, I'm still not there, I'm not perfect, but I follow these next tips to the best of my ability.
Do you want to be a good worship leader? Then here are some freeing tips that I’ve learned over the years.
- Serve your church. Pick up trash and help the cleaners out. Clean up the coffee pot or the tea kettle. Take out the trash. You’re not above this just because someone else gets paid to do it. Take ownership and responsibility.
- Serve the people, not yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re the worship leader or not; get off stage and go get them water or tea or coffee or chord charts. Delegation is important, but don’t think you’re too important or too busy to do small, yet meaningful things for the people that propel the team forward. Commit yourself to them. These are your family. Treat them as such.
- Give the solo to someone else. You don’t have to lead or sing every single song. People love you, people love your voice and love your leadership, but the only way another can grow is for you to step back and speak life over the person who is trembling at the microphone, unsure whether they can do it or not. Believe in them. Be the person you needed when you were in that place. Pour into the next generation. Raise up leaders, not followers.
- Tell the most unlikely, the unloved, and the unpopular how valued and loved they are. Most worship leaders tend to just stick with the band members, or the worship team, or their clique. We’re not in high school and we don’t need to do this anymore. Friends and family are friends and family, they'll always be there. But people need your personal encouragement in their lives as well. In person. Not just from a stage.
- You know that person you think is jealous of you? Love the junk out of them. This will be the most trying and testing of all, but it will kill every bit of pride in you. Which you don’t really need the pride anyway. Because it’s not about you or your anointing. It’s about loving people really well.
- The church needs you to be you. God needs you to be you. We don’t need you to be Darlene Zscheck, Joel Houston, Kim Walker, Jeremy Riddle, Steffany Gretzinger, Amanda Cook, Brian & Jenn Johnson, etc… The church needs YOU to sound like you, act like you, and release the sound that only you have. You don’t have to mimic or copy. Learning and shadowing is one thing. But becoming like another or even wishing to have what another has… only you have what you have. Why waste that on wanting to be like another or envying something someone else has? Be you. It’s beautiful. It’s perfect. It’s needed, above all else.
- Love yourself. This is a funny one, too. But it’s important that you don’t beat yourself up. The more I have done that, the less I was able to laugh at my own mistakes and the more I made fun of others. This is fueling insecurity. You don't need it. Love yourself. And if that is hard for you, maybe getting a sozo session or talking to a counselor will help you. This doesn't mean you suck or you're unable to lead worship. On the contrary, it means you are human and we need your honesty. Jesus said Himself, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." You can only love yourself as well as you love others.
- Last but not least. Want to make impactful change? Make it your end goal to love people really, really well. That’s the Father’s heart, that’s the vision of the church, that’s the Kingdom of God.
It’s not about us being seen or our talent being showcased or people admiring our talent. It’s about people encountering the Father’s love, it’s about Jesus being adorned with adoration, and it’s about the Holy Spirit moving among the people with encounters. And if that isn’t our core desire, then it will leave the congregation slightly confused and they can only go so far in worship. We are conduits. We are leaders in the church meant to step into new dimensions of glory in worship. But we can’t do that if our hearts aren’t in the right place.
My dear friend, you are more than what you were told you were. You are more than what you even think you are. There IS room for you. There just isn’t room for your identity in insecurity as well. The Father wants you FULLY you. You are enough. You don’t have to try to perform. You also don’t need to try to speed up the process you’re walking.
You. Are. Enough.
So, be you. And love people so incredibly well. Because you are incredible, powerful, and the world needs you fully being you.
Another singer of songs to Jesus