What To Say Before Leading Worship

Worship leader Spencer Cormany of Leading Worship Well addressed a common conundrum faced by many church music teams: what to say before leading congregational singing. Cormany offered a straightforward 4-step formula to help worship leaders craft an effective welcome that sets the tone for meaningful worship each and every week.

Step one, Cormany advises, is to simply start on time. He recommends using a 5-minute countdown timer on the screens to train congregation members to take their seats promptly. This eliminates the temptation to stall for late-comers and ensures services begin as scheduled.

Once the countdown reaches zero, it’s time for step two: a warm, authentic welcome. Cormany suggests phrases like “Good morning, church!” or “We’re so glad you’re here!” to greet attendees and create a friendly atmosphere.

The third step is perhaps the most crucial: pointing to truth. Here, Cormany encourages worship leaders to share a brief scripture, theme, or attribute of God to help focus hearts and minds on the reason for gathering. This could be as simple as quoting a beloved psalm or tying in the message theme for the day.

After orienting the congregation’s attention on God, the final step is to provide clear instructions for engaging in worship. Cormany emphasizes the importance of inviting participation, not spectating. Phrases like “Please stand with me as we praise God for his faithfulness” or “Let’s raise our voices together in thanks” prompt the congregation to actively join in the worship experience.

The key, Cormany notes, is to keep the welcome concise – aiming for 30 seconds or less. The goal is not to preach a mini-sermon, but to intentionally prepare hearts for an encounter with the living God.

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