Keep your eyes open as much as you can while leading worship. You may be engaged with God with your eyes closed but totally missing what is going on with the people.
Don’t look into the ceiling or into the horizon, make eye contact and encourage those who need it.
Do not be distracted or discouraged by those who are sitting down and not doing what you want them to do. They are not against you. They could be just tired.
Look for the ones who are already worshiping and you can get your strength from them. There are a variety of emotions and responses when we first gather with people who are not as ready to worship as the worship team. We can get discouraged if we do not recognize this but there are always those ready to go from the first bar – keep your eyes on them they encourage your spirit.
Don’t preach during the worship time. Too many words draw people to you and away from God. Use your time to worship.
Avoid heavy exhortation. That is telling the people their worship is not good enough and God is not pleased with it. This is like throwing cold water on the people. Instead help them to raise their sight by drawing their attention to the goodness of God.
Choose a mix of songs. Don’t sing all the new ones, just because you've been to a convention or you've bought some new cds. Introduce them one at a time. Please avoid too many key changes and remember the three P’s- Pray, Prepare, Practice.
Be sure your songs include ‘adoration’. I have often found many of our songs are songs ‘about’ God, or songs of ‘declaration’ and songs of ‘exhortation’ but real worship takes place when our songs are directed to God. It is here we are in the place of adoration – looking to Him, worshiping Him – telling Him how we love Him. This you will find engages the people in a very different way.
Be Spirit led as you lead the people and when you are not. Nothing is worse than a worship leader who sounds like Gabriel when before the people and if carnal when away from his or her responsibility. Who wants to follow such a person?
Above all, worship Him more than anyone else in the room. Don’t be afraid to let people see that you live what you ask them to do. Be sure that your own worship, when you are not standing before the people reflects everything you ever ask of them. Musicians can look highly involved and appear to be wonderful worshipers but what are they like when they are not behind a keyboard, drumset, sax, trumpet, guitar or any kind of musical instrument they play? One question that should be answered, not just by the instrumentalists, but also by the worship leaders too.
Please drop your comments below. God bless you.
PS: Part two will follow soon.