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#ThursdayWorshipThoughts 11.15.18

“Golden Nugget” of Worship Leading #3

Golden Nugget #3

Worship is God’s idea, and it is good! Still, our primary purpose as Worship Leaders and worshipers is not to make music, but to make disciples. These are two really important truths to keep in mind! I call these truths, “Golden Nuggets” of Worship Leading.

The third “Golden Nugget” of Worship Leading actually comes in three parts. I call this third “Golden Nugget”, Three Keys for Worship Musicians. By keeping these three keys in mind as individual members of a collective Worship Team, you will make beautiful music together that glorifies God and edifies His people.

1. The BEST Musicians have the BIGGEST ears. It should probably be said that I am not necessarily referring to the literal, physical size of the ears. I am talking about the musician’s ability to listen well. The best musicians have the biggest ears. A great musician will not want to hear more of themselves in the monitor mix, they will want to hear more of others. The best musicians have already put in the necessary amount of practice. They already know what they are playing and how it sounds. They don’t need to hear more of themselves, they need to hear more of everyone else! By listening to what everyone else is contributing to the song, they know how to fit in by playing just the right part -the missing part.

2. There is ALWAYS a lead instrument, and it is NOT ALWAYS you! Each song has a lead instrument. For some songs it is the electric guitar. For other songs it is the piano. For many songs, the lead instrument is the acoustic guitar. Some songs actually utilize the drums as the lead instrument. Either way, there is always a lead instrument, but it is not always your instrument! Songs will very rarely have more than one lead instrument, yet the typical Worship Team seems to operate as if every instrument is the lead instrument! Brothers, this should not be! If there is a question as to which instrument is leading the song, the Worship Leader should simply and succinctly settle the dispute. If yours is the lead instrument for a particular song, then lead on, fearless leader! If yours is not the lead instrument, please humbly accept your role as a rhythm or background instrument. When several different musicians are jockeying for position as lead instrument, the whole Worship Team suffers -as does the congregation.

3. Leading a church in worship is all about SERVING. Too many musicians join the Worship Team because of what they can get out of it, rather than because of what they can give through it. In reality, being a part of a Worship Team that is leading a church in weekly worship services is all about serving.

We serve the song -by playing what is needed rather than what is fun.

We serve the Worship Leader -by helping to bring their vision for the song to life.

We serve the congregation -by providing an engaging musical backdrop for them to offer their own unique expression of heartfelt praise and prayer to God. 

We serve the Senior Pastor -by setting the stage for the congregation to clearly hear the Word of God faithfully proclaimed through the preaching.

We do not serve ourselves. Our sinful nature will always fight to do what we want, when we want, how we want! We have to resist that temptation at every turn! Our role as a Worship Team member is like that of a really good chef. We skillfully prepare the food, and then we serve it to everyone else. Once everyone else has been fed, then and only then, we get to enjoy the well-crafted meal, as well. Of course, the real joy is not in eating the well-crafted meal. The real joy is in seeing others enjoy and delight in what God has given you the ability to create.

* This #ThursdayWorshipThoughts article is part 3 (of 5) of a larger series, “Golden Nuggets of Worship Leading”. Be sure to check out the other articles in the series, as well! For a printable version of this article, click here.

Artwork provided by my good friend, Brooke Gehman, an authentic and wonderful man of God, devoted follower of Christ, and an amazing husband and father. Brooke is a gifted Worship Leader, an incredible artist, and a Potter by trade (check out his website)

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