Worship

How, Then, Do We Worship?

And other stories

Here are some notes on leading worship which I’ve gathered from various places and situations. This is intended as a thought-provoker, so if you have any other tips or suggestions, please comment so we can discuss them!

Introduction

What is Worship?

  • Worship, literally, is the act of ‘giving worth to’ or ‘making eye contact with’ God. It is an inner attitude that is expressed in many ways in the family of God.
  • An attitude of the heart – intimacy with God
  • Acknowledgment of God; who He is, His presence, His characteristics
  • A voluntary physical action or response (not a reaction)
  • adore, admire, esteem, exalt, love, magnify, regard, respect, and revere.

Worship takes four forms:

  • Adoration and Praise – praising God simply for who He is. Trees, mountains and even the stones are said to have the capacity for praise. (Ps 148, Luke 19:37-40). It is always clear – seen and heard – and is often seen as a ‘gateway’ to worship. Since they are expressed in the flesh, we often need to ‘stir up’ the flesh in praise. Praise is noisy and passionate.
  • Adoration is a more intimate version of Praise, which is often done quietly and personally
  • Thanksgiving- thanking God for what He has done. It is an intimate, two-way act that requires a relationship and knowledge of God. It is closely related to Prayer in the life of a believer, and is a learned skill.
  • Confession- the acknowledgment of sin and guilt before God.

To worship is to awaken the conscience to the holiness of God,
to feed the mind on the truth of God;
to open the heart to the love of God;
to devote the will to the purpose of God.
Dr Charles Stanley

Worship is the experience of lifting our voices toward God and drawing near to Him through songs of praise, adoration, and intimacy, in order to touch Him and be touched by Him.
Carl Tuttle

Worship is an opportunity for man to invite God’s power and presence to move among those worshipping Him.
Jack Hayford

 

Why Worship?

To touch God’s heart and to be in His presence.

Drawing close to God to know Him, love Him and yield to Him must always be at the center of our worship experience.
Andy Park

What happens when we worship?

The primary emphasis of our worship is to magnify, bless, and lift up Jesus as an end in itself. But as a natural result of worship, God comes through the presence of the Holy Spirit and ministers to us. As we worship, we come into the presence of God. Through His presence, we are touched by His compassion and love, we are cleansed by through repentance by His blood, we are changed as He does a work of brokeness in us, we are blessed and empowered, we are released from bondage and pressures, we are made whole.

 

Facilitators of wholehearted worship:

  • Receptivity- open up to the ministry of the Holy Spirit as you focus on Jesus.
  • Reality- humble your heart before God, forsake anything hardening your heart to the ministry of God’s Spirit.
  • Release- just as suppressed emotions degenerates the personality, so spiritual suppression deflates the spirit.

Itimacy in Worship

Only the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit can take us deeper in our intimate expression to God. That intimacy is also demonstrated in the weakness of the flesh, not its strength. Our expression of worship must reflect utter dependency on the power and sufficiency of God alone. Clearly, some will look and judge only on the outward. But these are not to deter us from modeling intimacy and vulnerability before God in our worship leading as well as in our preaching.
Scott Brenner

Five Phases of Worship:

  • Call to worship- Invitation to worship, directed toward people or God.
  • Engagement- The electrifying connection to God and each other.
  • Expression- Being awakened to His presence.
  • Visitation- The almighty God visits His people.
  • Giving of Substance- Whatever we give God control of He will multiply and bless.

The Goal: As we pass through these phases we are headed toward one goal, intimacy with God.

Ways of Worshipping

As we begin to understand that worship is an involvement of our entire being, we will be able to become freed from our hindrances to worship.

  1. Our bodies
    1. Lifting of hands
      • Shows submission, surrender
      • Signifies coming to God
    2. Kneeling
      1. Shows earnestness
      2. Shows recognition of holiness of God
    3. Bowing down with your face to the ground
      1. Shows reverence
    4. Lying down with face toward ground
      1. Shows awe and reverence
    5. Clapping hands
      1. Shows joy and victory
    6. Standing
      1. Acknowledges royalty
      2. Shows honour
    7. Dancing
      1. Shows rejoicing, celebration
      2. Dancing in our society almost always represents some sort of interaction with members of the opposite sex or sensuousness; therefore it is difficult for many Christians to look past the cultural bias against dancing, as well as the religious practice of not dancing.
  2. Our voices
    1. Singing
    2. Speaking
    3. Shouting joyfully
  3. Using musical instruments
  4. Using the mind
    1. Remembering
    2. Meditating
    3. Considering

The Fruit of Worship

As we worship God in spirit and in truth we definitely receive from God. It is vitally important to recognize that we worship God for who He is, because He’s worthy, not because of the benefits we receive. We worship God because we’ve been called to it. The blessings are not the reasons for worshipping God. But that doesn’t negate the fact that we receive benefits from God as we worship.

  • The presence of God
    • God inhabits praise. But thou art holy, O Thou that inhabits the praises of Israel.
      Ps. 22:3-KJV
    • God is near those who worshipThe Lord is near all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth
      Ps. 145:18
  • Testimony and salvation
    • As we worship, conviction of the Holy Spirit occurs.
  • Deliverance
  • God’s anointing for prophesy
  • Power of God About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.
    Acts 16:25,26

VI. Create sensitivity for God’s voice

What Worship isn’t:

  1. Singing songs about God
  2. Listening to songs about God
  3. Learning, teaching, Bible study
  4. Being touched by God

Music

Worship and service are a state of heart; musical sound is a state of art.
Let’s not make the mistake of confusing them.

Music is to

  • Inspire
  • Facilitate
  • Guide
  • Inform
  • Enrich
  • Be

Worship

Community

We must, however, consider the whole family of God in our worship: what have our songs to say to people under trial, suffering or loneliness?

A Biblical Example of Worship – Psalm 95

  • Verses 1-5: Thanksgiving and Praise: Encouragement, Exhortation, Excitement and Explanation
  • Verses 6-7a: Worship
  • Verses 7b-9: Goal of Worship
  • Verses 10-11: Consequence of Worship (rest and provision)

Qualifications of a Worship Leader

All children of God go through testing. That’s a promise (see Heb. 12:1-13). However, if we don’t anticipate and expect it, we’ll be surprised and confused when it comes. “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12) If anything characterizes seasoned leaders it is enduring qualities like humility and faithfulness, characteristics that make them look like Jesus.
John Wimber

  • A Shepherd’s Heart (1 Sam 16:10-11)
  • Anointing by the Holy Spirit (1 Sam 16: 12-13)
  • An ability to play and sing well (1 Sam 16:14-18a)
  • A Brave Warrior (1 Sam 16:16-18b)
  • The Lord must be with you (1 Sam 16:18b)
  • A Servant to the flock (1 Sam 16:19:20)

Warfare in Worship

1. The enemy seems to understand worship and it’s power. Satan wanted Jesus to worship him. (Mt. 4:8-10)

2. Satan will do what he can to stop worship. Worship is not a new thing. With each new move of God, there has been a return to worship and a consequent falling away from worship.

The Values of a Worship Leader

An effective worship leader is one who combines the heart of a servant, with their gifts and talents to facilitate the heart felt expressions of God’s people, helping them to come to a place of intimate communion with God.
Carl Tuttle

1. Pursuers of God- The depth of God’s relationship with us is inexhaustible. Therefore, we seek Him and wait expectantly for His presence in all that we do. (Ps. 41:1)

2. The Bible- The Bible is our final authority over opinions, dreams, revelations, visions, any other authoritative source that we may look to for direction. At our core we are evangelical Christians. Our approach to life and ministry should be shaped by the counsel Scripture gives us. (2Tim. 3:16-17)

3. Unity- Our brothers and sisters are not our enemies. Therefore we relate to one another honourably, seeking to preserve the bond of peace. We will love what Jesus loves: the whole church. This means we will love those in our local congregation, those in the Association of Vineyard Churches, and Christians across denominational lines. (Eph. 4:3-6)

4. Compassion and Mercy- We desire to accept into our fellowship any sincere believer who is attempting to walk in obedience to God, is repentant of his or her sins, and is in submission to the authority of the church. God’s mercy always triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13; Jn. 8:1-11)

5. Equipping- God calls and enables believers to express the talents, gifts, and ministries that He has set aside for them. The orientation of all ministry is toward the integration of biblical truth into everyday living that impacts our community and beyond – not limited to individual improvement or self-fulfillment. (Eph. 4:11-13)

6. Relationship- Caring for people is our highest priority after submission to God, because the purpose of the cross was the redemption of men and women. To the best of our ability we will treat each person with respect, dignity, and loving patience – always seeking what is best for his or her life and growth. (Rom. 12:9-13; 1Cor. 13:4-9)

7. Family- We deeply value the building up of families and believe in the priority of children, while at the same time embracing and valuing all adult believers who identify with our church family. (Mt. 18:1-10)

8. Generosity- We are stewards of God’s gifts and resources (Mt. 10:8,39; 13:45-46). This means that when God directs, we will be willing to give away what we have, to risk the security of current success in order to advance the kingdom on earth in greater ways. We do not own our ministries, so they are not ours to keep. We “give to get to give.”

9. Simplicity- We want to be “naturally supernatural”, avoiding behavior that draws attention away from God and to ourselves. Simplicity affects our worship style, how we pray for the sick and minister to the poor, carry out discipleship, teach the Bible, and so on. (1Cor. 2:2-5; James 3:13)

10. Risk-taking- We are willing to let people make mistakes as they grow in their gifting. We know that gifting develops in an environment of trial-and-error, so we are willing to be patient with people’s weaknesses and failures while they learn. (Jn 21:15-19; Gal. 5:22-3)

Qualities of someone gifted in leading worship:

1. An obvious personal joy in worshipping God.

2. An equipping orientation through which they prize what others can contribute even more than their own contribution.

3. An ability to direct people Godward with an economy of words.

4. Discernment so that fleshy contributions can be distinguished from Spirit-prompted contributions.

5. A pastoral bearing that can gently correct the way things are moving while making people feel cared for and nurtured.

6. An appreciation of the role music has in evoking praise.

The Worship Leader’s Chief Duty (Bob Sorge)

The duty of the worship leader is to provide the best opportunity possible for people to worship. If we have done our part in providing an excellent opportunity for the people to worship, it is then their choice to take advantage of that opportunity. It is not our responsibility or problem if they refuse to enter in. There must be a special anointing on our lives in order to create an atmosphere that is most conductive to worship, but once that opportunity to worship is there, it then becomes the people’s prerogative to avail themselves of that opportunity. The unspoken thinking of the worship leader could thus be: “I’m going to worship God. You are free to join me and the worship team as we enjoy God’s presence, but whether or not you decide to join us, we’re going to worship!” Some worship leaders get paranoid when the people do not join in. Never mind the people! If they decide not to worship, that is their business. Let them be, and join those who are willingly participating in offering up spiritual sacrifices to the Lord. We must get something straight here. In the final analysis, we are not the worship leader. The Holy Spirit is the Worship Leader – capital W, capital L! As a worship leader (small w, small l), each of us is simply a vessel through whom He operates. He alone can inspire worship in the hearts of the people. Only He can truly lead worship!

Vineyard Philosophy of Worship Leading (Tuttle)

Integrity- Leaders are trustworthy, morally sound, pure of heart, godly in character, and vigilant to avoid bringing dispute to the Lord, the church, and their calling.

Anointing- Recognition of the Holy Spirit’s anointing, gifting, and calling are the primary qualifications for leadership in the church.

Biblical- All leadership practices, policies, and decisions are submitted to and shaped by Scripture.

Spirit-Filled- Leaders seek God for direction, expecting to hear His voice and lead the people in fulfilling His word. In other words, our strategy of ministry is led and empowered by the spirit of God. (Acts 13:1-3)

Service- Leadership authority is rooted in calling and service (Mt. 20:25-28). Titles are played down in recognition of servant-leadership function. You are what you are, not what you say you are.

Equipping- God fulfills His purposes through the whole church; a significant part of the leader’s task is to identify, train, deploy, monitor, and govern the body’s members. (Eph. 4:11-13)

Loyal- Leaders work together in committed teams, willing to listen to each other and defer to each other in order to fulfill God’s purposes. (Acts 15:1-4)

Humble- Appropriate self-disclosure, meekness, and submissiveness to God’s will close the gap between and among those in professional and lay ministry, and reflects the humility of redemption. (1Tim. 1:15-16)

Teachable- Leaders are willing to receive instruction, correction, and encouragement from others. (Prov. 9:9; 13:1)

Merciful- As recipients of God’s mercy, we freely extend it to the broken among us – especially the poor, needy, and imprisoned. (2Cor. 5:18-21)

Vision- Vision is the ability to see things that are not as becoming reality (Heb. 11:1). A vision of Christ and His kingdom is all-consuming; it gives leaders and the people they lead the meaning and purpose for which they all long. (Prov. 25:18; Acts 2:17; Heb. 2:2-3)

A Leadership Shopping List (Wimber)

Service and Self Sacrifice- We conceive in our philosophy, leadership not as a position, a title, power, authority, respect, or privilege…but an obligation to service and self sacrifice. The difference between structural authority (in which one has all the aforementioned) and spiritual authority is based on attitude, character, gifting and anointing.

Fullness of the Holy Spirit, Faith and Wisdom- Along with those who provide humble service, you want to look for those who understand that service continually requires an unction and anointing by the Spirit.

Loyalty- We’re looking also for people who who through exposure to and intimacy with the leader respond in loyalty.

Trustworthiness- This implies the ability to resist being bribed or bought. It doesn’t always relate to money. It comes sometimes with visibility or opportunity. Some guys leave one staff and go to another simply for a prominent position. And it never produces much in the realm of the Spirit; it usually was disastrous for everybody.

Proven ministry ability- When people are recruiting people for the more weighty positions of leadership, look for those who are capable and respected, mature in the faith, and with proven ministry ability.

Accountability- we’ve been called to build a body of people, and we need accountable people and people who are willing to accept reproof. Many folks have said to Wimber “you’re my pastor.” Carl Tuttle has a great comeback to that one: “We’ll see if I’m your pastor after the first time I have to say ‘no’.”

Love for God’s People- There’s got to be some integrity and sincerity in all of this. We can’t just do something to advance our career, or position. We need to recruit people who love God’s people. I know it’s always a love-hate thing, but if you don’t love the church most of the time, get out of the ministry. Let’s raise up a people who love the church. That’s true with your team in the church. If they don’t love the church, why do they want a position other than to make something out of it or use it? You don’t want to give a position to someone who doesn’t love the church.

A Team Player- Willingness to be a “team player” and to help one’s pastoral associates succeed.

Both Husband and Wife Sense the Call- If your going to ask someone to give a ten hour a week commitment, on top of going to church and all the other things they have to do, you better check with the spouse and make sure they are happy with it and won’t resent the other for it.

If these values are shared, taught and rigorously adhered to, over a period of time, it will build a culture of commitment among your lay leaders.

Chief Duty Of The Worship Leader

Provide the best possible opportunity for people to worship.

(The unspoken thinking should be ‘I’m going to worship God. You are free to join me and the worship team as we enjoy God’s presence, but whether you decide or not to join us, we are going to worship’)

The Holy Spirit is the true Worship Leader.

Confidence in our calling increases the release of anointing.

Goals of a Worship Leader

Get all eyes off the Worship Leader onto the Lord.

Meaningful Worship

Teach new songs effectively

Main Goal: not simply to have vibrant Sunday worship, but to see people become worshippers Monday to Saturday.

There’s a difference between putting together a set of songs in a particular order and playing through them in front of people, and being a worship leader. The difference involves hearing the Holy Spirit’s direction as we seek to lead a people into the presence of God.

 

Preparation for Leadership (Brian Doerksen)

The Lord begins to prepare us for leadership long before He releases us. He knows if He shows us too much too soon, we’ll be out the door. Brian defines leadership as sovereign election resulting in decisive, functional authority that builds up the body.

David is a nearly perfect archetype for us as worship leaders because he learned how to worship God in secret before he had a position of leadership. How did God prepare David? Through the quiet disciplines of raising sheep. God will use those life experiences, both painful and positive, to shape and prepare our characters for service.

God knows how to use any and every circumstance to refine, purify, and conform us to the character of His Son. If He doesn’t choose us to be a leader, He’s doing it because He loves us. If He does choose us to be a leader, He’s doing it because He loves us.

If you want to be a leader, you must cultivate an appetite…for that place of aloneness, when there is just you and Him.

You must fear God more than you fear man.

Teach me your way O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name
Ps. 86:11

In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Ps. 56:11

Prep

The difficulty will not be so much in the writing of new and great music; the test will be the godliness of those that perform and deliver it. In that sense some of our worship community is not well prepared for revival. Many have been allowed into worship leading because of … the consequent need for their worship skills and musical skills. But little has been said to them about the need for godliness, spiritually and depth of maturity in their individual and family lives.
John Wimber

Song Selection for Worship Leaders (Brenner)

The problem of over using a song can be avoided by exercising sensitivity to the responsiveness of the congregation, and by listening to the Holy Spirit’s leading in song selection. There is a delicate balance between using a song too much and not using a particular song enough.

The ministry time is often a great time and place during which to introduce new songs.

Offering (Acts 20:35; Prov 3:9,10; Deut 8:18)

Giving to God (Don Williams)

Like Israel, we are not to come to God empty-handed. Slaughtered sheep, goats, or bulls are no longer acceptable sacrifice. The last bloody sacrifice was made on the cross by Jesus. What then are we to bring?

1. As priests, we are to give God our bodies.

2. We are to bring God our praise. We are to sing to Him. We are to make a joyful noise. We are to offer shouts of victory. God is the great King and He deserves our accolades. His name is to be exalted.

3. We are to give our prayers in intercession. We are to bring our petitions to our mighty King. He wants to hear from us and our requests. He wants to prove too us that He is the living God.

4. We are to bring our tithes and offerings to God. The Old Testament clearly demands 10 percent of our income.

5. As priests, we are to bring God our acts of mercy as a part of our worship.

6. Self-giving worship includes evangelism.

Ultimately all of life is worship. All of life is surrender and submission to our mighty King and loving Father. We bring Him our bodies as living sacrifices, our praise, our petitions, our money, our good works, and our converts. As we do this, we get out of ourselves and focus on him. All, indeed is from God and for Him and to Him.

Sacrifices

a)We are to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God. “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God” (1 Peter 2:5).

b)The first and foremost sacrifice is yourself. Our lives are to be placed upon the altar of sacrifice, no longer as a dead sacrifice, but as a living one. Our entire beings are to be dedicated to ministering to God, first and to others second. This is an important note as we develop the idea that worship is not exclusively reserved for when the Body of Christ unites together. We can worship during our daily activity and, in fact, this is where real intimacy with God is developed. “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1).

c) Another sacrifice is what we say and what we do. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name and do not forget to do good and share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:15,16)

d) Our heart and our spirit are to be a sacrifice to God. “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Ps. 51:16,17)

e) It’s interesting to note that the things we are to sacrifice – heart, spirit, our being – are the very things we are to worship God with. (Deut. 6:5, Mt. 22:36-38, Mk. 12:28-30, Lk. 10:25-27)

The attitude of the human heart is vital to our understanding of worship and how to enter into God’s presence. As we enter into the world of worshipping God, we must learn to prepare our hearts for worship. The psalmist David would have to command his being to worship God, probably at times he didn’t feel like worshipping.

Song Lists:

There are times when it is appropriate to create a song list for the worship set. There are other times when it is appropriate to be spontaneously led by the Holy Spirit. And there are still other times where you may feel led to write out a worship list, only to have the Lord lead you to do different songs during the actual service. In any event, flexibility is required of us as worship leaders. We need to remain open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

There are many good models for devising a worship set. Many models use a formula which begins with up-tempo celebration, moves into praise and thanksgiving, then finally into intimate worship with the Lord. This is a great model, and I follow this approach the most part. There are times when it is completely acceptable to deviate from this approach, however. The bottom line is just follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

Practicalities

When planning and running our services we need to be sensitive to the needs of unchurched people. We need to encourage churched people to be continually and intentionally establishing real relationships with people they have contact with and to reach out to them.

Eliminate ‘awkward’ moments in the service

Make it clear that people can participate at whatever level they feel comfortable. (Nonetheless, look at how to move people on from where they are: challenge people to ‘sing a new song’.)

Don’t call attention to new people.

Be clear about what is happening in the service

When introducing parts of the service such as the offering and communion be as clear as possible.

Be clear about when to stand and when to sit (but avoid being forceful about it: consider using hand signals as well as a verbal encouragement)

Lead the congregation- think about where the song is going, when you are going to clap, any actions to songs – don’t do them half-heartedly.

Subiaco’s ‘customs’ are outlined as follows: (If you plan to vary any of these you need to be as clear as possible.)

·         Take the bread when you receive it and hold the cup so we drink together
·         Visitors should not feel obligated to contribute to the offering.

The offering is for people who have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and want to give thanks to God for the grace that he has provided in their lives. (2 Cor 9:7)

Our services should be relevant to all people as much as possible

(Note that these are important for churched people as well as unchurched people)

We endeavour to bring the gospel message to people in a relevant manner through

·         Culturally appropriate forms of music

It is still important to recognise and maintain our historical heritage, but we need to ensure that all we do is understandable and appropriate.

·         Innovative ways to present the gospel message and allow people to think about it.

Whether through drama, video, dance, song…

·         Interactive Services.

The congregation needs to be involved and drawn deeply into the worship service. Interaction occurs with praise and worship songs, communion, responsive/reflective prayers, offering, drama, questions to the floor (roving microphone)… Interaction happens least when people are being spoken at.

Encourage people to be intentional about establishing real relationships and to invite people along to our services

People need to feel comfortable about inviting others to church. Demonstrate in action that we are sensitive to the needs of unchurched people and that church is an appropriate place for them – so that churched people will also be confident inviting them along.

When the service is over don’t give people the impression that our time with God is over, rather send them out with the vision of serving God throughout the whole week.

Our services should reflect that we are a forgiven people and provide the opportunity for forgiveness to take place

Focus on the gospel message that Christ’s death makes the way for forgiveness and our relationship with God during the service

Communion is a central part of our service.

Put some thought into the communion time. What are the best ways we can focus people on remembering Christ’s body and blood broken and poured out for us?

You can be innovative with communion. There are no set regulations regarding the timing of communion in the service and even the elements themselves may be changed.

However we do aim to have the primary school children in for communion, as they are an important part of our community – if this is not going to be possible then give us plenty of warning so we might be able to organise them taking communion in Sunday School.

Changing the elements here would require a reason for doing so (theme of the service…) and plenty of notice for organization.

The offering is a response to God’s grace; we never give to earn grace.

Provide the opportunity for forgiveness to take place

Allow people to reflect and meditate on the sin in their lives, hurt they may have caused in other people’s lives and hurt that people may have caused them. Provide the opportunity for them to repent of their sins or to forgive others. Assure people that Jesus’ death on the cross has made forgiveness possible, hold him up as an example of forgiveness. Some suggested methods for this are:

Reflective prayer: during prayer provide some silence for people to focus on these issues.

Responsive prayer: the congregation is an active part of the prayer, responding with words displayed on PowerPoint. (Make sure you get the prayer to the person who is compiling PowerPoint for the week before Thursday).

Reflection during communion

Prayer Offering – People write the issue (sin, name of person to forgive…) down on a piece of paper and bring it to the front to be burnt.

Put some thought into how we can demonstrate acceptance of all people

Whether we are intentional or not, we can give people the impression that they less important to us through the language we use. Be aware of exclusive language

Avoid the use of male pronouns when referring to both male and females. Whether we like it or not, our society no longer recognises male pronouns as being inclusive of females. When choosing songs be aware of this, however don’t let it stop you from choosing a particular song. Most of the time changing the words is not encouraged as this act breaches copyright.

Language may have changed, but it hasn’t really given us any other alternatives when we refer to God. It would be wrong of us to say that God is exclusively male, but at the moment our language doesn’t have a gender-neutral personal pronoun. Words we are not going to use to refer to God are it, she, he/she.

Avoid any remark that can be construed as being derogatory towards race, gender, disability…

Foster real and honest relationships amongst the church community.  Recognise the needs of the different members of our community and allow their gifts to flourish.

Foster real and honest relationships

Encourage people to be aware of others around them.

Our worship time should not be a time of individuals worshiping God, but rather the whole congregation worshiping God together. Don’t encourage people to go into their own little worship world (they can do that anytime at home), rather encourage them to be aware of the people around them, that as we sing to God together we’re also encouraging one another (Col 3:15-16).

Communion is something we do as a community (1 Cor 11:29)

Needs of the children in our community

Needs of various ages in our community

Present well! Consider

·         Appearance

Dress appropriately

·         Approach

How do you walk up to the stage?

·         Attitude

How do you approach worship?

·         Posture

Don’t slouch

·         Enter into worship

People are looking to you for direction

·         Don’t fool around on stage

‘in-jokes’ are exclusive

·         Diction

Watch your t,d,s

Especially watch Lord, heart, God, bless, Christ

(Try speaking all the words of a song before singing it (in practice) – it helps clarity of speech as well as thought/worship)

·         Mike technique

Hold close enough for sound quality, but far enough so people can see your mouth.

·         Singing as a leader

Always carry the melody as a leader – resist the temptation to sing harmony

Don’t sing solos. Appoint a backup singer for ‘colour’.

Lead with your voice and your hands.

Warm up!

Preparation

·         Song Choice

Have a purpose for every song and consider each message. Music is a tool; not an end in itself. Know your music.

Start with familiar songs.

·         Prayer and Quiet time

Worship preparation does not count as ‘quiet time’ J

Rehearsal

·         Be prompt
·         Define the purpose of the session.

Rehearsal is not ‘practice’. Practice should be undertaken in the musician’s homes, before the Rehearsal.

Rehearsal exists so that leaders can communicate their vision for the service.

‘Live’ Worship Leading

·         ‘Work’ the songs

Each song should finish having achieved  its purpose of assisting people into worship, no sooner (and no later).

·         Be natural
·         Keep to the allotted time.
·         Be the worship leader – not the preacher.
·         Conduct the lyrics, not the music.

Use conventional hand movements: the congregation needs to recognise your signals!

Practice and explain your hand signals to the band.

Practice in front of a mirror.

·         Leave room for the Spirit

Back away from the microphone and let Him lead. Resist the temptation to ‘control’ the entire service.

Silence is OK. Don’t fill in all the gaps. Refuse to sing ‘Just One More Song’.

·         Don’t embarrass people.

Have them laugh at you!

·         Encourage, exhort, excite and explain.

 

 

Tips from the Trenches (Noel Richards)

Lead with faith

Lead confidently

Lead with clarity

Drop religiosity

Keep your eyes open

Don’t worship for TOO long

Don’t teach too many new songs

Don’t waffle!

Watch the volume

Give the lyrics

Use variety

Communicate clearly with musicians

 

God can only do through you, what He’s done to you.

You can only lead people as far as you’ve come.

Don’t tell congregation what to do during worship, choose songs that accomplish it.

One needs a lot of personal worship time throughout the week.

If worship was merely singing, then Jesus was a lousy worshipper! There is only one reference in scripture to Him singing!

A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is a spirit and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth
Jn. 4:23,24

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