Yea, I know it’s a catchy title. And yea, I know this has got to have been talked about before, but I thought it would be a good exercise for us to try here.
I think that anyone who wants to be a Worship Leader wants to be effective. However, I believe that an “effective” Worship Leader is pretty subjective. Meaning, I think one thing, and you likely think another.
Lets say a Worship Leader is a great leader from stage, incredible talent and sensitive to the Holy Spirit, but is real crummy at leading people off stage. Are they effective? What about someone who is 15 steps ahead of everyone else and prays for their team constantly, but can drop the ball when they get in front of their church family? See what I mean?
Lets start by building an understanding of what we mean by an “effective” Worship Leader. I’ve written here before on a great definition of what a Worship Leader is from one of my favorite thinkers on the subject, Bob Kauflin, but lets get even more basic than that.
I believe that an effective Worship Leader is one that is able to get desired results in their areas of responsibility, while being led by the Holy Spirit. It’s not enough for us to be musically effective; we must be spiritually effective, relationally effective, personally effective, and even organizationally effective.
This might seem intimidating or even an unreachable goal, but there are 2 things to remember: First, the goal isn’t perfection, just growth. Second, don’t forget the 2nd part of the working definition above: “. . . while being led by the Holy Spirit.”
Our job is to be obedient, to take the next right step, and to do well with what God puts in front of us. That’ll preach for anyone, not just Worship Leaders.
With all that said, here’s a (non-exhaustive nor conclusive) list of 7 habits that, if practiced on a regular basis, will help us to become even more effective Worship Leaders. Lets dive in.
1. Read Your Bible
Duh. I feel like I talk about this all the time here, but I don’t think this song is ever gonna get old. If we’re not reading our Bibles, then we’re really missing the boat on being in an effective place to lead other and lead worship. I’m also on the team that has trouble with doing this regularly because I get distracted, so I get it.
To keep it practical, I think there are two kinds of Bible reading we should be doing on a regular basis. First, we should be reading through the whole Bible on the regular. Not getting through the whole thing in a month, or maybe not even a year, but that we’re working our way through ALL of the Bible. Yup, Leviticus & Amos included. Having a full Biblical diet will help inform our leadership even more.
Second, we should be doing a deeper, more focused/intentional Bible study. While the first kind is intended to keep the Word fresh in our minds, this kind of Bible study is meant for us to grow in our knowledge and understanding of the Bible in a deeper way. Pick a topic, a word, a person, a theme, anything really, and learn how to dive deep into studying the Bible.
Want a place to start? Look at the postures of Worship throughout Psalms. Just read through the whole book over time, write down all of the postures that are mentioned, and learn more about why they are used. This kind of study will help us to be incredible effective as we lead our teams and churches.