Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Worship Leader Toolbox: YOUR MIND, Part 3

The last post in our series about using our "minds" in worship leading/planning

There's a relatively unknown quality that is every great worship leader - I like to call it autopilot.

Within church culture, we're conditioned to react negatively to the autopilot idea. For people of faith, we want to be "engaged" and "present" and to do anything automatically seems the opposite of that.

But the best worship leaders understand this concept and do whatever they can to utilize it. Let's break it down.

Why do you lead on autopilot?
Because there's simply too much going on. You cannot actively engage your mind 100% in every aspect of the service on Sunday morning. That's why you forget announcements or don't realize the electric guitar is out of tune or accidentally play the old arrangement of the song, not the new one you guys worked up at Tuesday rehearsal. Effective worship leading will do three things - it will be aware of the congregation, it will be aware of the musicians and it will endeavor to sing and say things that are true of God.

What about lyrics?
What about making sure the offering gets taken up?
What about...


For you to focus on what's most important in worship, you have to be able to maintain lots of other things without overextending your brain power and forgetting the bigger issues at hand. There are some things that have to run on autopilot for you to be at your best. It doesn't mean you're not present. It means you're more present in things of most value.

How do you do it?
Know your material.

Hear me now, worship leaders. Knowing your material will revolutionize your leading. Know the songs (lyrics, arrangements, challenges, musical notation, etc.) as best as you possibly can. Commit an hour out of your week to make sure you've got those songs in your head. Not just because it looks good - which it does - but because it frees you up to connect with the people your leading. There's no better way to build efficiency and focus into your leading like knowing your material.

We're so quick to give God praise for our talent or our position in ministry. We have no problem acknowledging that He's been our provision. But God made Your brain,'s a wonder and it's capable of doing and remembering and creating awesome things by His grace. You don't honor the Creator when you shrug off practice, thinking, "I'm not good with song titles. Never have been" or "Barre chords are too hard. I'll just fake it and let the other guy play it."

For three weeks, we've looked at ways your God-given mind can enable you to serve healthier and more effectively.

Get to thinking!