So my pal Shawn Wallace (pictured here spinnin’ the wax at our Easter gathering) IMs me with this question: What are 5 top suggestions you would give worship leaders? I must have been a little hyped up that day. Here is what I responded with:
1. Life Journal and pray. If you don’t do this, forget it. Seriously. Forget it.
2. Worship as you are there
3. Teamwork is critical.
4. The spiritual state of your band is more important than the skill level.
5. The skill level must be high (the spiritual level even higher).
6. The team must know what a successful gathering is (mission).
7. Be careful of giving musicians too much playing time (they can forget what it is like to worship with the community).
8. Stage presence is very important – too much and it’s a show and brings attention to you, too little and you seem under confident and worries people and draws attention to you.
9. Know your instrument well.
10. Have fun.
11. Don’t run away from the congregation with too much free worship stuff or repeating, but don’t blow thru the songs. It’s a balancing act. 12. Try to capture the theme of the evening with the song selection and prayers
13. What you do between songs is almost as important as the songs themselves.
14. If you screw up, learn from it and laugh it off – keeps it real.
15. It is not a performance
16. Songs must be theologically correct and easily singable. People are highly influenced by songs, to the point that it can influence their theology and life.
17. God is the audience – choose songs that speak to him (not just about him).
18. Give your band enough freedom to create and suggest while not loosing leadership and the final say.
19. The people you journey with weekly are more important than the songs you play.
20. Honesty. Say the hard things now, or say them later; either way, they get said.
21. Resolve conflicts quickly.
22. Listen to new songs and songs that others think are good.
23. When you make a decision, tell the team why – it trains them to think like you and is respectful to them – they are not just hired guns, they are part of the team.
24. Look for people to mentor and pour yourself into.
25. Find someone to mentor you.
25. There is usually truth in every criticism. Don’t be so offended that you dismiss some truth you could learn from. I’m sure there is more, but I had to warm my hot chocolate and my ADD kicked in.