Worship Leader Preparation

Worship leader preparation is much like worship itself - endless. There are many good ways to prepare for leading people in worship. Worship can be as individual as people, but careful planning does make a difference in helping lead with clarity.

It's easy to wonder since the Holy Spirit leads worship in the truest sense, what good is it to plan? Even so, it's good to think about how I prepare, as a way to train others.

Having said that, use what's here as a starting point for your own preparation.

    1. Pray for direction

      Pray before you plan – and pray through the plan. What do I pray? "God, may the end of this plan help people love you more and be able to express it."

      I like to make this a part of my personal devotions and sing the songs God brings me. What God gives me to lead others must first touch my heart.

      Someone once told me a message prepared in the head will reach the head, but a message prepared in the heart will reach the heart.

      Song packages should be considered in the same category as Bible teaching. Both are messages from God. Both characterize good leader preparation.

    2. Craft song selection and flow

      What aided the congregation’s worship once will most likely be repeated if used again. People connect more easily when they sense a direction or intention to the flow of the service. This is true for songs and extends too all worship service elements.

      Suggested phases are Movement, Adoration and Commitment. Occasionally, a phase of Entering can also be considered. The monthly schedule is also a helpful leader preparation reference for planning. With both of these tools, it should not be necessary to start from scratch when planning congregational singing.

    3. Prepare one sentence song introductions

      …to explain purpose, or to highlight a scriptural foundation, or spiritual emphasis.
      This can be done as the musical introduction is playing. It may be offered as a prayer.

      Its importance is crucial at this stage of our worship maturity because it helps the congregation stay focused on the idea that God-honoring worship must have purpose.

      With many beautiful songs to choose, being able to communicate why we sing a specific song helps people learn we are more interested in engaging hearts and lives with God, than in merely performing music.

    4. Build Order of Service

      Welcome people - I like to say "hello" and smile. I've found this to be more welcoming than being quiet and mysterious, like I'm somewhere else.

      Keep musical elements together, (Songs and Offering) - be sensitive to the flow of the service.

      Play an instrumental prelude and postlude.

      Post lyrics so Video Team can set them up.

    5. Meet with Senior Pastor (and/or planning team)

      Do this to communicate details regarding other worship elements.

      Keep the flow natural so people will have fewer reasons to be distracted from the main intent of our time together.

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