Worship Leading: 10 Common (but Avoidable) Mistakes (Part One)
by Justin Aldridge
Worship leaders are a vital part of any church. They’re usually the first person that the congregation sees (and hears) during the church service. They’re lively, full of joy and energy, and they have one of the most important jobs in the church: to lead God’s people in praising and worshipping Him. Some worship leaders have a natural ability to do what they do and they do it well. Others are still honing their craft, and make mistakes that they often don’t know they’re making.
So, here’s Part One of 10 Common (but Avoidable) Worship Leader Mistakes…
1. Being Unprepared for Rehearsals. If you polled your team, would they say that you typically know what you want to work on or discuss during your rehearsals? Would they say that you arrive before anyone else? If your answer to either question is no, you’re telling your volunteers that you don’t respect their time. If you want your team’s respect, earn it by valuing their time.
2. Not Worshipping During Rehearsal. Webster defines rehearsal as, A trial performance for later public performance. Yes, there are certain things that need to be talked out during rehearsal. Yes, you need to make sure that everyone’s on the same page. But if you want your team to worship in front of the congregation, they need to see you worship during rehearsal.
3. Believing You Must Hold Your Emotions in Check. Many worship leaders believe that in order to lead a congregation well, they can’t show their emotions that come from a place of brokenness before the Lord. The fact is, your congregation needs to see that you believe the lyrics you’re singing. If your voice might crack due to being overcome by emotion toward God, I say go for it. People need real people leading them; not someone pretending they’re perfect.
4. Talking too much. Can I be honest? I love it when the worship leader speaks to the congregation from his or her heart. But guess what: I’m in a very small minority. Studies show that the overwhelming majority of parishioners want their worship leaders to…well…just lead worship. They believe that doctrinal dialogue (otherwise known as preaching) needs to be left to the pastor and his or her sermon.
5. Refusing to Grow Musically. You know your major chords. You know most of your minor chords. You have a decent vocal range. Are you a worship leader who feels your musicianship is good enough—and you don’t need to grow any more? Complacency has been the downfall of many a worship leader. Remember this phrase: Good enough is the enemy of great.