Keys to Effective Worship Leading

Bob Johnson

I. An Effective Worship Leader is first and foremost a Worshipper

A. You cannot lead others in something you are not currently experiencing. The best way to lead others in worship is to worship God yourself. Spirit-filled worship keeps our relationship with God current. We must be filled to "overflowing" with the Holy Spirit so that we can minister to others out of that "overflow".

B. Get to know God through prayer, meditation and study of His Word - the deeper our knowledge of Him, the deeper our worship will be.

II. An Effective Worship Leader is Spiritually Mature

A. A Levite: Joined to the Lord Jesus, committed to the pastoral leadership and the vision of the local church.

B. A Sanctified lifestyle: A Worship leader should meet the New Testament requirements for the Diaconate.

1. An example to others - We should live our lives in such a way that we inspire others to desire the same depth of relationship with the Lord that we have.

2. One respected by the congregation

C. A Servant's heart.

1. A burden to shepherd the flock in the area of praise and worship.

2. A willingness to serve in areas outside of his/her area of specialization.

D. Well established in Christian doctrine, especially in the area of praise and worship.

III. Preparation is a Key to Effective Worship Leading

A. Spiritual

1. Know the theme for the service - Church year, sermon topic, etc.

2. Seek God for His specific direction

B. Musical

1. Repertoire development

a Knowledge of current repertoire

b. Introduction of new songs

c. Songlist organized by at least key and tempo

d. Overhead/slide/video projection library

2. Worship team (choir/orchestra/dance/audio-visual crew) should rehearse regularly

a. Bible Study and Worship

b. Learning new songs

c. Keeping old songs polished

d. Stylistic variety and accuracy - "One Sound" (2 Chronicles 5:13)

e. Prophetic flow

C. Service Planning

All of the above is foundational to a well planned worship service. Keeping in mind the Church Year, Scripture Readings, Sermon Topic, and God's Prophetic Direction, effective worship planning should include:

1. Integration of all elements of the service - Choruses, Hymns, Choir/Orchestra/Dance numbers, Scripture Readings, Sermon, Prayers, Communion, etc. should all flow together as one cohesive whole.

2. Variety of music and worship styles - not necessarily all in one service, but reflected throughout the year.

3. Grouping of congregational songs in medlys by key and tempo.

No matter how many songs there are interspersed throughout the service, the congregation needs at least one sustained period of praise where they can release themselves in worship as they progress from celebration to adoration to revelation. Entering God's presence is described as ascending a mountain or the flowing of a river. We need to provide time for people to "enter the flow". The organization of the songlist should reflect this "ascending" of "flowing" pattern. Allow space in your list for the spiritual song and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

4. Be ready to depart from your songlist if something you planned isn't working and/or the Holy Spirit should so direct!

IV.Communication is a Key to Effective Worship Leading

A. With the Senior Pastor

B. With the Congregation

C. With the Worship Team

1. Provide each member with a detailed songlist - clearly indicate modulations, transitions, etc. Being open to the Holy Spirit and lack of planning are not synonymous. When you fail to plan, you plan to fail - leave nothing to chance!

2. Hand signals for

a. Key Changes

b. Repeat to Beginning/Repeat to Chorus/Repeat Last phrase/End

c. Tempo Changes
3. Provide leadership for the spiritual song


© 2005 ZionSong Ministries. All rights reserved.

























Copyright © 2005 ZionSong Ministries • All rights reserved.