The Big 8 Tasks for Worship Leaders

The Big 8 Tasks for Worship Leaders
Doug Lawrence

Worship is not a sport, but you still have to get your head in the game just ask Matt Redman

Matt Redman, worship leader and author, says in his book Facedown , “When we face up to the glory of God, we soon find ourselves facedown in worship.” His point of view (looking at the floor) demonstrates just how reverently absorbed one has to be to lead people in the most holy of all tasks the worship of God. Leading worship is not cute, pleasant, cool, or any one of a thousand other descriptive words it’s work, good work, hard work, and loving work. It’s God’s work!

How many folks get to do it? Sadly, perhaps too many. That’s not a judgment, but it is an observation. Like Matt, I support finding your humble servant role before you find your leadership role. Here are 8 core (and grownup) tasks for a responsible worship leader to consider before accepting the role.

1. Leading worship is a calling, not a job, and definitely not a sport.

If your reason for leading worship stems from your need for a job, I would suggest continuing with your unemployment. Unless you are called (miserable when you’re not doing it), you will find the work frustrating and the pay less than adequate. If you are called, you will revel in the challenges and look forward to every moment you have to pursue your vocation. (Disclaimer: Calling is sometimes a very subtle thing don’t assume that because you don’t feel called, you haven’t been.)

2. Don’t just walk in the congregation’s moccasins, get in their skin.

The old saying about walking in someone else’s shoes is fine, but incomplete. To be inside the culture isn’t even enough. Being in relationship with people is the only way to effectively lead them in worship. (Disclaimer: If you lead “concert worship,” the Holy Spirit will supply the relationship part for the evening. Just lead.)

3. Leave your agenda outside.

Everyone has mixed motives for almost everything they do see if you can’t narrow it down to just the serving part when you lead worship. (Disclaimer: You will never fully rid yourself of the mixed motives that’s why we all need Jesus.)

4. Forgive yourself for your shortcomings God is way ahead of you.

Before leading worship, have a little prayer meeting with yourself in which you confess, accept God’s mercy, and move on! (Disclaimer: Your ability to accept God’s forgiveness is often at odds with asking for it.)

5. Don’t fake humility, no matter how good you think you are.

People know if you’re real, even if you may have lost track of it yourself. (Disclaimer: Leading requires ego strength, it just doesn’t require your being so aware of it!)

6. Get a wise coach and tell him/her what’s going on with you.

If you don’t have a wise mentor, get one! Leading worship has built-in pitfalls and most of them are not obvious to you, particularly when you’re dealing with raging adrenaline rushes. (Disclaimer: It is tempting to believe that God will protect you while you’re leading. That could be both naive and dangerous!)

7. If you bomb, don’t evacuate the building.

Kicking yourself around for feeling like you failed to lead a good worship service is a trick of Satan where you think more about yourself than the people you’re leading. And, yes, The Evil One does get capitalized! (Disclaimer: Being self-critical is a tool for growth just don’t wallow in it!)

8. Don’t reinvent the wheel, but don’t keep going in circles either.

It’s good to establish “systems” in your worship leadership, but don’t repeat everything you do until it slips into the category of vanity. (Disclaimer: Liturgy in the formal sense allows people to come in and out of worship as their hearts allow, but just doing the same thing every time in the same way can also damage that same heart,)

This is relevant. When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things. I Cor. 13:11


Doug Lawrence, internationally recognized speaker, author, and advisor, helps churches assess and improve their skillfulness in creating engaging worship experiences.

This article The Big 8 Tasks for Worship Leaders , written by Doug Lawrence, was excerpted from web site. June 2010. It may be used for study and research purposes only.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.