Sunday Success (leading worship)
There is a clear difference between the role of worship in the private and public life. I believe that our public worship should ultimately be an overflow of our private worship. For this muse I would like to focus more on the public worship.
Most Sunday morning services set a schedule which includes a time of “corporate worship”. Most churches place the responsibility of leading that worship time on the shoulders of a worship leader or a team of worship leaders.
Success can often be hard to define for a Sunday morning corporate worship set. Was it successful because we played and sang flawlessly? Was it successful because we made it through without any ear-piercing feedback? Was it successful because the worship leader was “on fire” preaching a 3-point mini sermon in the middle of his favorite slow song? Was it successful because we were so led by the Spirit that flow, pitch, and theological depth was no longer important? I’m being a little facetious here…but you get the picture…how do you define success and lead towards that end every service?
Having spent nearly a decade leading congregants into His presence, I would like to share some thoughts on Sunday morning success.
Every great team must start with purpose. The purpose will define the bottom line agenda for every service. It sets the precedence for every aspect of that set. My suggestion is to get on the same page as God when it comes to this…shouldn’t need to be said but does. Proverbs 19:21 so aptly reminds us; “You can make many plans but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” The purpose statement for one of the teams I worked with was simply this: To lead God’s people into His manifest presence through anointed and skillful praise and worship.
What’s your purpose?
Those who fail to plan…plan to fail. It’s true in life and worship sets! The plan will dictate the flow of each set. I believe we need to plan each set as if it all depends on us…it doesn’t…but plan as if it does anyways. We are the architects of the set…designing opportunities for life changing moments. Plan the flow…plan the atmosphere…plan the in-betweens. Plan ahead as much as possible…a great tool for planning is www.planningcenteronline.com it’s worth every penny.
Preparation precedes the anointing. It is difficult to flow in an anointing when you are stressed because of lack of preparation. Preparing directs the team to success. It puts everyone on the same page. This is different than the plan…this pulls all the elements together needed to execute the plan. Sometimes what is planned will not work out well in real-time…this is the opportunity to fix that. David chose a man named Chenaniah to lead the Levites in music because he was skillful (1 Chronicles 15:22). Let’s prepare and be skillful in our musicianship.
I know, I know…worship is not a performance…so we say. However, in some ways it is and we need to get it right. This is the opportunity to deliver the goods, if you will. All this preparation and planning for this moment. It is time to deliver. Worship is an intimate journey of deep longings for deeper levels of the deepest love and we have the honor of leading this moment. Don’t take it lightly. Prepare as if it all rests on you…now perform as if it all rests on Him. Give it everything you got…don’t waste a moment or an opportunity.
Funny thought, I know, however this step is as critical as all the afore expounded. This is the time to quickly (and immediately) debrief and get better. The sooner the debrief the more concrete the results. Take a few moments following each set to discuss missed moments and opportunities seized. Create a culture of getting better…even if you have a great team. I have had the honor to work with some great teams over the years but that did not keep us from getting better. This is the “good to great” link for every team.
Worship is the essence of a man in love with the Creator…it is not merely a musical moment in a weekend ministry map…make it count!