Leading worship doesn’t just mean that you get up in front of the congregation and sing. There are many things behind the scenes that need to be taken care of before, during, and after the service. Your first responsibility is to plan and prep – before you even meet with the team. Here’s a quick, weekly checklist for being a successful worship leader:
Prayer & Worship: Before you meet with the team, make sure you’re connecting with and worshipping God through prayer and personal reflection. Pray for your team and the upcoming service.
Song Selection: Choose songs that fit your church’s style and purpose (not necessarily your own preference!) and/or use songs provided by leadership.
Personal Practice & Prep: Learn your part, pick keys that work best for you and the congregation, have realistic expectations for the team, and choose song arrangements that works best with your vocalists and band (and their skill levels).
Transitions: Consider how to get from one song to the next in order to better connect your worship set. Pick the same and/or related keys for smooth worship flow. Worshipscores.com offers keyboard underscores that are the perfect tool for transitions.
Communication: Let your team know the songs, keys, rehearsal time/place, etc., through a worship planning website, text or email. Give them at least a week’s notice in advance – more time if you can!
Rehearsal: Lead rehearsals in a way that’s helpful and encouraging – give feedback on what needs improvement while also using positive reinforcement to build up each member of the team.
Service Preparation: Make sure you have enough time before service to warm up your voices and instruments, review any notes from rehearsal, and do a final check of all equipment and sound levels.
During Service: Lead with confidence – stay focused on leading the congregation in worship rather than getting caught up in mistakes or technical issues that may arise during service.
After Service: Connect with your team after service to thank them for their hard work and discuss any areas that need improvement for next time!
Leading worship can be challenging (especially for those new to the calling) but with the right preparation and mindset, you can lead with confidence and create an atmosphere of worship that encourages others to join in.