Saturday, 18 May 2013



Our calling as worship leaders plays an important role in directing the church in worshiping God in spirit and in truth. Our goal is to prepare the hearts of the people to be receptive of the word of God. Let me share to you some guidelines to efficiently lead the people before and during the worship celebration.

Prepare yourself.
This is done through prayer and devotion. Standing before a holy God should not be taken for granted. When Isaiah saw the Lord in Isaiah 6:1-8, he was overwhelmed with fear because he knew he would die but he was cleansed and he was allowed to stand before the Lord. In the Old Testament, the only person who can enter the presence of God is someone who has clean hands and a pure heart, someone who doesn't worship other gods and swear falsely. In other words, only a righteous person can see God. Although we are considered righteous now because of the Lord Jesus, the God that Isaiah saw before is the same awesome God that we are worshiping today and we are to stand before Him with fear and reverence.
E'Davids and K'ore
Prepare the songs and the team.
A good line up led by the Spirit will definitely make positive results in the lives of the people. In your personal time with the Lord, inquire of the Lord on what songs to sing and practice, practice, practice. Do not settle with just plain practice and let the team go home. Remember that even professionals rehearse. We must strive for excellence because we are worshiping an excellent God.

Make a sign language.
Exercise this during rehearsals so that the team will be familiarized which sign is for the verse, chorus, or bridge. Make it clear and discreet so that it won't distract the congregation during the worship celebration. It will also give your team confidence with each transition of songs.

Do what you sing.
If the song includes kneeling or shouting, take the first step to do it setting an example to the congregation. If we are not doing what we are singing, we are no different from an immovable toy with a built-in sound system. In addition, if the song is intended for dancing, make sure not to wear clothes that reveal some skin because it directs the attention towards us instead of God and may create lustful thoughts to the congregation. Do not forget to include your team on this practice because we are not called just to stand in the platform to sing or play the instruments but to lead the people into true worship.

Lastly, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
We must not forget that we are only instruments for God to connect with His people and should not be the center of attraction. It is the Lord that makes every gathering special. Without the presence of God, any gathering will only be a meeting. That's why every worship leader must be keen in listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying. For there are times that He wants just silence, no singing or playing of the instruments so He can speak to His people. There are other times that He would want you to cite a verse in the Scripture to lift somebody from the crowd. And this can only happen id worship leaders are sensitive to the voice of God. And again, we can be familiarized with His voice through our personal time with the Lord.

NOTE: Please note that these tips are not just for Sunday services alone but every time you have the opportunity and privilege to lead God's people in worship.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Heart To Heart With PapaDee

HEART2HEART is a discussion forum where emotional laden issues that troubles the heart are sincerely and openly is also a meeting point for all who desire to know more about relationships.
This is another opportunity to share with us what impact the meetings have had in your lives...
We shall also be responding to the relationship issues and questions that single and married people have stored in their hearts engaging the combination of covenant and common sense. If there's one place you really have to be tomorrow, it surely has to be "HEART2HEART with PapaDee
Two become One' A new series starts tomorrow @ H2H MAY Edition...How do we explain this mystery of 2 becoming 1? Come and find out why most relationship does not make it past the first year. The 'EGO FACTOR’ how do we recognize it n deal with it? Don't miss it tomorrow-12th of May, 2013, by 4 pm @ Digits Place, 5th avenue, F close, House 6, festac town, Lagos. Come with someone special.
HEART2HEART: since 1999.

Friday, 10 May 2013



To live a life of worship before God requires a thankful heart and attitude.
Thanksgiving is a gate into the presence of God and as we give Him thanks and praise, He comes and dwells with us. Paul exhorts us in Eph 5:19-20 to “make melody in our hearts to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things.” Thankfulness changes things. It changes attitudes, changes us, and changes situations eg. Jonah in Jonah 2:7-10.
When we love God and have a thankful heart we are able to rise above the circumstances we find ourselves in. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 & Philippians 4:4) As we consider what God has done, is doing and will do in our lives, it brings us into closer intimacy with Him.

If we are to be true worshipers of God, we are to be a holy people, separated unto Him - Holy in speech, thought and deed.
Matt 5:8 – “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” God is a holy God and without holiness none of us will see God. We are to be holy for He is holy. We must be a person who is yielded to God’s Spirit for it is as we yield ourselves to His Spirit, He changes us from from glory to glory. Joshua 24:15 – “Choose you this day whom you will serve”.
When we allow Christ to be revealed in our lives, there comes a hunger for purity and righteousness. We must crucify daily the deeds of the flesh with its passions and desires. Paul said to the Corinthians in 2 Cor 6:12 - “You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.” Let us set our affections on things above, constantly presenting ourselves as living sacrifices.

God is looking for people that constantly come with a repentant heart seeking His cleansing and knowing that it’s only by His grace that we can enter into His presence. One of the reasons why God said that David was a man after His heart was because he would always come to God in repentance when he made mistakes.

By function, you should be committed to serving. You should be constantly involved with people (ie. those whom you are leading). There should be more concern about the “people” of worship than the “music” of worship .A true worshiper recognizes that without Christ we can do nothing. God detests pride and if we ever get to a place where we think we've got it together and are better than others we are in serious trouble. E.g. Luke 18:9-14.

The true worshiper is obedient to God’s commands because they don’t want to in any way grieve the one that they love. God considers obedience far more important than any external expression of worship. E.g. 1 Sam. 15:22 – “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to heed than the fat of rams.”

It is in God’s Word that we discover more of who God is – His character and nature. God can speak to us in a number of ways, but the most common way is by bringing revelation through the reading of His Word.

In Him is our life, our health, our peace, our prosperity, our hope, our joy. He has created us so that everything we need is in Him.
God’s command is that we love Him with our whole being – body, soul, mind and spirit. We must realize that there is a longing within us that cannot be satisfied by anything else, but our intimate communion with Him. We must so desire His presence in our lives that we allow nothing to take His place, or to distract us from knowing Him. No one else, nothing else can fulfill the cry of our hearts.
God the Father desires a people who are awakened in their affections and passions for Jesus. Like Mary in John 12:1-8 the true worshiper is prepared to give extravagantly unto God, holding back nothing. God requires our all and when we give it, the rewards are beyond compare.
Mary’s sacrifice cost her a lot in monetary terms (300 denarii – a year’s wages), was an act of public humility, opened her up to criticism of the guests and challenged the other not so devoted guests.
We constantly must ask the question – “Can I ever pour too much cost, time and effort into achieving greater levels of worshiping God?” When we consider Christ’s love and sacrifice we realize that we could never give too much back to God.

A true worshiper becomes a man or woman of faith because they have built an intimate relationship with God and have come to know His attributes. Therefore they have the confidence to believe that He will perform what He has promised e.g. David and Abraham.

Friday, 3 May 2013



What a gig. The lights, the equipment, the fans--er, I mean "congregants". In our era of  iTunes and American Idol, where worship bands go on tour and music is a major determinant of church membership, it's easy to forget what makes a church worship leader good. Here are 5 characteristics of great worship leaders:

1. Great worship leaders lead the church in worship.
 Yep, it's basic, but it's the only place to start. God calls worship leaders not for their musical ability or magnetic personalities or fashion sense (though they can be helpful tools). He calls them and gifts them to lead his people to worship him. They help people abandon their self-centered orientation for a God-centered one, and to join in the chorus of praise for our triune God that rings out across the universe for eternity. Worship leaders show how, why and, most importantly, Who to worship. Here are some practical ways great worship leaders do this:

They help people transition. Most of the people who file into the service bring a truck-full of stress, distractions, emotions, and nagging thoughts with them. Worship leaders help them set all of that down so they can focus on God, Scripture, and the community. Through the atmosphere in the room, to what they say, sing, and do, the tempo and lyrics and order of the songs, great worship leaders plan the service to help people orient themselves appropriately, not just for the service but for life.
They help the church know what to do. Anytime your people get confused, they snap from God-consciousness to self-consciousness. If lyrics are on the screen, but there's a solo on stage, people get spend more time trying to figure out whether they're supposed to be singing or not (and often feel stupid whichever option they--or those around them--settle on.) If there's a solo part, don't show the lyrics. If you only want the women to sing a section, let people know. If you're going to change the tempo or phrasing on a well known song, give them clues (like turning from the mic or casual hand direction) so they're not lost. Similarly  when singers go off on their own riff in the middle of the song (mmmm, we love you Lord....oh yes we do, yes we do, yes we do...mmmm), they leave the congregation behind. They're no longer leading the church in worship--they're worshiping while the church watches and waits.                   

They let the congregation be the "front man" of the band. One of my favorite professors explained this in a great course called "Leading the Church in Worship" (which I highly recommend for any worship leader.) Ever wonder why it sounds like you're the only one singing? Because today's sound systems puts the emphasis on you, so the people in the pews don't have to pull their own weight. Mic the congregation. Amplifying their voices allows them to hear themselves.  They'll be inspired by the sound of so many voices lifted up. The response? They'll sing even more loudly.
They use a variety of worship methods. It'd take a whole other blog post to go over non-musical worship methods, so today I'm limiting myself to the band, but great worship leaders lead the church to worship through scripture, prayer, tithing, responsive reading, and other methods.

2. Great worship leaders don't compete with God.
 As a worship leader, you know you aren't there to entertain the church, or get glory for yourself. But with church bands looking so similar to secular ones, and all the pressure and attention that is placed on the group, sometimes it's easy to forget. Centuries ago, the choir loft was in the back of the church. The choir's strong voices rose over the heads of the congregation, whose own voices joined them on the way to the cross or altar at the front. Now, bands play on stage, often under spotlights, in front of the church. Even if you're not confused about who the Audience is  and who the performers are, your church might be. Here are some practical ways great worship leaders avoid competing with God for the glory:

They get out of the spotlight (figuratively and literally). Dim the spots. Don't stand in center stage. Every time you grab the attention or glory, your taking some away from God.
If you project the lyrics on screen, avoid video feed of the band as the background (people stop worshiping and focus on the images--who's attractive, the shiny earrings that your guitarist is wearing, spinach in your teeth. It becomes less Amazing Grace and more Austin City Limits.)
When people applaud, turn that applause to God verbally like my friend Andy does: "that's right--let's give the Lord a hand for who He is and what He does" or non-verbally, like one friend does when she simply points up and, with her eyes raised, silently praises God.

3. Great worship leaders are intentional teachers.
 No, I don't mean that you're delivering the sermon next week. I mean that you're already teaching, and you need to be intentional about your lessons. Gordon Fee says, "Let me hear a congregation sing, and I will tell you their theology." Think about it: most people will hear a specific sermon your pastor preaches once, but they'll sing the songs you choose over and over, many for years and some for a lifetime. The lyrics seep into their souls and shape their beliefs. If they sing self-centered, experiential songs, their spiritual life will be self-centered and experiential. If they sing songs filled with God's word and centered on Him, songs that reflect deep biblical truth about Him and His creation and His kingdom, their spiritual lives will absorb God's truth. Here are some ways great worship leaders intentionally teach:

They choose songs on purpose, after reading the lyrics and thinking through the theology. Even if a song is popular on the local Christian radio station, weed it out if it teaches lies about God. Try updated hymns, or discovering new artists who write scripture-based worship songs--or become one yourself.
They take time to teach.  The great ones take time between songs to teach explicity. Perhaps helping people understand what worship is and why we do it, or the role of the band and the proper response of the church.
They prepare. Many worship leaders take time to throw out encouragements or prayers in the middle of sets. Great ones plan out what they're going to talk about, and make sure that they don't pass on bad theology because they spoke off the cuff (How many times have we heard someone inadvertantly thank the Father for dying on the cross or living inside us?) They have the lyrics handy, whether on a music stand or a monitor. True, secular bands don't do this, but those guys sing the same songs at every concert for years. You're changing songs every week, and it's a lot worse to forget the words than to admit that you don't have the entire library of modern and classic Christian songs in your head.

4. Great worship leaders are pastors.
 The great ones are pastors to their worship team. In traveling all over the country, I've gotten to attend tons of churches, and seen how the absence of pastoral leadership on the worship team can derail a congregation's worship. The "band" aspect of worship teams can bring out unique temptations. Oftentimes, band members are recruited for their musical ability despite low spiritual maturity. They're placed in an environment that feels like a normal gig and even gives them a little fame in the community. All eyes are looking at them, and there's pressure to look good, cool, cutting edge or even sexually attractive. Here are ways great worship leaders are pastors.

They protect and disciple their team, even before individuals are on it. This means that they don't use people. They recruit people who can handle to position spiritually, and don't put a brand new believer into a position she can't handle spiritually simply because she has a rock star voice.
They tackle difficult problems with truth in love. They don't avoid hard conversations about pride or jealousy or revealing clothing on stage.
They know their people and their families, build into their lives, and do life with them. They put priority on the individual's spiritual life, emphasize on worshiping God humbly, and actually model these things in their own lives.

5. Good worship leaders worship God.
 Above everything, good worship leaders love the Lord. It's easy to fake it for a while--to perform rather than worship. In fact, if you perform dynamically, your congregation will think your great. You're church might grow, and you might even get a raise. But that's nothing if your soul is withering. Here are some ways great worship leaders continue worshiping God on the inside while you worship him on the outside:

They keep up their personal time with God. Though that can look different for different people, it includes scripture and prayer. It might also include things like spiritual disciplines, time in nature, participating in a Bible study.
They have authentic community. Small groups, accountability partners and friends are crucial to our walk. Have godly friend in and outside your own congregation, and make sure you have people who aren't impressed by you.
They serve in other ways. You aren't just a worship leader. God has given you other gifts, abilities, talents and interest. Use those sides as well. Feed the poor, counsel the hurting, help build houses, raise money for a good cause.
They remember that God loves them beyond their work. Leading the church in worship is a big and important job, but God loves you no more and no less because you do it. Thank him for the opportunity to participate in his work, and thank him that his love doesn't depend on that.
May God use you and grow you through your ministry!

Thursday, 2 May 2013



Creating and managing a dynamic praise and worship team doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and careful thought and planning. Some worship leaders have spent years getting their team to the level they desire. But don’t worry with a few simple steps and planning you will be on your way to creating a vibrant ministry.

Developing your group begins with choosing the right people.

This can be accomplished by creating and implementing a list of qualification and guidelines for those who desire to be a part of the worship ministry. This should be your first step in creating your ministry. Now while at first you may have to be a bit more relaxed and flexible about those chosen, once your ministry is established you can be a little more stringent.
As you create your guidelines make certain you make clear what is to be expected of the team and what they can expect from you. Areas you might want to cover in your guidelines include: A commitment to growing spiritually, attendance and punctuality, frequency of their service, a commitment to being spiritually prepared to minister, support of family, and calling.
For some ideas on qualifications for the worship ministry you might include such topics as: knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, being a committed partner of the Church and to its leadership, and being committed to the Spiritual disciplines of prayer, praise and worship, and personal bible study. These are just a few basic ideas to get you started. And remember you should treat your guidelines and qualifications as a living document meaning that it should and will change and grow as the needs of the church and ministry changes and grows.

As the leader your team needs you to be consistent and organized.

I know that the word organized strikes fear in the minds of many but it is well worth your while to become disciplined in this area. Remember the best leaders lead by example.
First of all make being on time a priority. When you are on time for rehearsals and the services it conveys to the team the importance of time. Not being on time shows a lack of respect for others and a lack of respect for the ministry which God has provided.
It is very important to keep a well-organized team schedule of who is playing and when. This schedule could and should also include sound and video techs. Believe me you will save yourself some moments of panic by keeping a schedule.

Keep the people informed.

This is an absolute must! Whether you do it through an email or hand out or newsletter, keep your people informed of what is going on. Communication is a must for effective leadership. Now you don’t have to give them all the details of everything that goes on, they do need to be clearly informed on anything that will affect them. Trust me though, no matter how well you keep them informed, there will be someone that will come to you and say I never knew about the special practice.

Create a safe caring atmosphere for your team.

Let them know that they are able to be transparent and not be judged amongst the group. Trust is a huge factor that leads to an effective worship ministry. Deep relationships are only built in a safe nonjudgmental trusting environment. As the leader it is your responsibility to create that atmosphere.
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