was in a mates church last week doing a workshop for their worship leaders and musicians. really good group with really free flowing interaction. this is the stuff that makes me feel alive. its a passion of mine to see others raised up to serve others by leading them in worship. or in whatever gift they have.

they seemed to find it fairly helpful so thought i’d just stick my notes up on the blog for anyone to read or use. that’s what they are there for…


Making Your Mark in Worship 

a.    Planning

  • Find out what God is doing before you plough on with your own agenda.
  • Develop a theme. Gives a sense of direction
  • A few songs clustered around a characteristic of God. eg. The cross, God’s glory, creation, lament, celebration, God’s faithfulness…
  • While planning, ask yourself questions!
    i.  What is the nature of the worship time? Celebration? Service? Youth Event? Outreach? Discipleship?
    ii.  Is it a small group or a large worship celebration?
    iii. Has there been a common theme recently?
    iv.  Is it for children, youth, adult or mixed?
    v.   What is God doing in the group?
    vi.  What can I bring today that is fresh?
  • Something Fresh. Often guilty of being predictable – lazy in our preparation. Include the element of surprise? Always look for fresh ways of doing things:
    • A fresh song. Might be a really old hymn that hasn’t been used for ages, or just a single chorus of a well known song, or a brand new song
    • Change the seating pattern
    • Don’t continually have the same order of things – take the predictability out of it
    • Create something visual to go alongside things
  • What mediums of worship do we have available to us? Music, multimedia, art, drama, dance, communication, videos, small groups…
  • Lead in a journey – worship comes from revelation of God so bring people to a response
  • Pray, pray, pray!

b. Leading

  • Create a seamless flow in your worship to help the young people journey with it. Short attention spans so don’t have unnecessary distractions like leaders looking at each other and asking what’s next on the programme…etc.
  • Always ask yourself why you’re doing things. Do you have to introduce every single thing that happens in the meeting? Try and find continuation.
  • Be energetic – put your all into it. Don’t look disinterested!
  • Don’t try to stir things up
  • Sometimes you may need explain why your doing things. Why singing? What are we doing while we pray? Closing eyes etc.

c. Songs

A time filler
An icebreaker
A chance to show off some of your teams talents
To get people settled before the talk 

An opportunity to direct peoples thoughts and shape their theology
Helps people express what is on their hearts
A line of communication 

  • Don’t always be tempted to churn out the Christian hits
  • Not more than 1 new song per session
  • Give new songs a chance to settle in
  • Don’t Kill songs – Sometimes give a popular song a rest. We often kill a song before we need to.
  • Small Group Worship: Different dynamic – vulnerable and intimate. Embrace it – don’t try to recreate the big celebrations
  • Balance (keys/tempo/singability)
  • Song type: Revelation or Response
  • Make sure the young people can see lyrics to the songs you’re going to sing.
  • Fresh songs
    • A new song can be a breath of fresh air but careful how many you introduce
    • Old Song – Find a new arrangement
    • Fresh Arrangement – Change the Key. Give examples.
  • Songs to beware of:
    • Too High: Bring keys down (especially early in the morning!)
    • Male/Female Echo: Don’t humiliate tone deaf guys by doing lots of echo songs!
    • Too wordy: young people won’t be as free to sing if they are always worrying about the words.
  • Keys that flow and links between songs

d. Musicians

  • Serve
  • Support your leader
  • Practice individually and corporately
  • Craft your gift
  • Put your all into it. Your serving the Lord so don’t say anything will do – do it with excellence.
  • Pray as a team
  • Make sure your ministering from a full heart
  • Humility – there will be others better than you and others worse but were all involved in building the Kingdom.
  • Be a team and don’t try and steal the limelight. Less is more.
  • Not a chance to look good but point people to Jesus
  • “He must become greater, I must become less.” John 3:30

e. Thinking Creatively

Graffiti walls
UV pens & lights
Multimedia (Videos/Nooma)
Creative stations
Response cards/shredder
Spoken worship – rap, poetry etc.
Structure – Don’t be afraid to change things!! If worship is a response should the talk go before it occasionally?
Don’t use songs as an icebreaker
Put band behind the crowd

  • Always aim for something visual. Create learning experiences
  • Try new things. Always need to be pushing things and treading new ground!