Tag Archives: worship leader

Slow Down

6 Sep

All week I work hard and fast because Sunday comes every seven days with unrelenting regularity. I scan and answer email quickly; I make sure meetings start and end on time; all with the goal of providing an atmosphere in which people can worship God and hear from Him collectively.

Part of my responsibility is to check and maintain our church’s Facebook page. While scrolling through lots of statuses, a video caught my attention. As it played, I felt my soul slow down and rest as others prayed… FOR ME! So much of my week is spent caring for others, and although those praying have no idea who I am or that I exist – God knows me intimately. He knew that I needed to rest for five and a half minutes while prayers of other worship leaders washed over my soul.

———-

READY FOR SUNDAY

Can you sit still for that long and allow the Holy Spirit to calm, empower, and encourage your heart before leading others tomorrow? Whether you are the worship leader, on the team, the pastor, or have some other role during the worship service tomorrow, you will benefit from quieting your heart in preparation.

Published

23 Apr

Bam.

This post is a little different from the usual.

Last week, on a whim, I submitted my Top 10 Ways to Encourage Your Worship Leader article to Worship Leader Magazine. Today they asked to publish it on their site. It’s up now– on the #2 spot on the Featured page. Could you click on this link and like the article and/or leave a comment?

Thanks!

Worshiping Almighty God with you.

–Cathy

Top 10 Ways to Encourage Your Worship Leader

12 Apr

Chicago worship

Instead of writing a devo to encourage you and your worship team this week, I thought I’d post this list I’ve been tweaking for several months. Maybe you can slip it into your Facebook feed so those you lead see it.

This list is based on experiences and conversations over the last couple of decades. I have been blessed to serve in churches that get this. For the most part.

And so… drum roll please….

#10 – Encouragement.  Worship leaders are an artistic group, often with melancholy personalities. I’ve heard that for the general population it takes seven encouraging comments to offset one negative remark. For artistically invested folks the ratio is at least double that. Besides, encouragement never gets old, and it’s free! I have a file of encouraging cards that I read when I’m discouraged. I wouldn’t mind one more.

#9 – Feedback. Kindly given constructive feedback helps me figure out how to help our congregation connect with God better. Don’t be offended if I ask, “Can you explain that a little better?” I really do want to know what you’re saying. And I definitely like constructive feedback that is sandwiched between positive comments. (See #10.)

#8 – Administrative help. Yep I’m creative. That means administrative details are difficult and draining even if I am good at them. Can you get the music ready each week? Can you handle volunteer communication? While these seem like tiny tasks, my week is full of these tiny admin pebbles in my artistic boots that can wear me down. What seems easy to you can take a tremendous weight off me.

#7 – Music gift cards. Don’t buy me music – I may already own the file. A gift card with suggestions of new music works better. Just be careful when suggesting a new song in hopes that we’ll sing it in church. I put a lot of thought and prayer into bringing new songs to the body. Not using your song during the service doesn’t mean that I don’t like your music. So let me know your favorites, and let’s enjoy listening together.

# 6 – Invitation to worship.  A big part of my job is to lead you in worship every Sunday. Don’t get me wrong— I love my job! I also enjoy worshiping God when someone else is stressed about whether the keyboard player will remember the intro. (I play keys, so I can say that!) This week I was invited to the senior worship project of one of our interns. What a soul-refreshing treat!!

#5 – Tickets to a production.  Artistic people soak up inspiration. In fact, we need it like our physical bodies need food and without it my soul begins to whither. A play, art show, night at the symphony, and other events outside the church music world are a necessary luxury that is usually unaffordable. Please check with me though, to make sure I have the date open before you buy tickets. A bonus would be to include a ticket for my spouse.

#4 – Time to create. Creative cross-training keeps me focused and sharp. This is similar to #5, except that I’m engaged, not just soaking it up. Make arrangements for me to take a workshop or spend all day in my studio. Again, check with me to make sure this works with my schedule, then drop off a basket of snacks or a brown bag lunch so I can create all day without stopping.

#3 – Initiate. Do you see a need and have the ability to take care of it? Even something simple would make my day! Wrapping cables, re-setting the stage, sorting music, throwing away coffee cups, stacking chairs…. What do you see me doing when you leave the church? Offer to help me do it, and let’s serve together!

#2 – Pray. All week my efforts go into arranging everything in the worship center and service so that you can have a dynamic encounter with God. I pray for you and for the service. I would love to know that you are praying for me. Drop me a note or an email. Send an encouraging Scripture. When someone sends me a verse or two it often hits the aching spot in my heart. Like preaching pastors, worship leaders are on the front lines— leading the charge into enemy territory similar to the worship leaders who led the Israelite army into battle. The age-old tactic to take out the leader is a favorite one of our enemy’s. I can’t do what I do without prayer. The stakes are too high: we need to gather together and worship God.

#1 – Worship. The best way to encourage your worship leader is to worship God. Some of you connect best with him by pulling into yourselves. Head down, hugging yourself, lips barely moving… you are deeply worshiping him. When worshiping him in community, our main purpose is still to individually worship Him from the depth of our souls – but to do it together. The dynamic is different even though the purpose remains the same. To encourage those around physically show with your posture, countenance, and voice, what is going on in your heart. Try being more overt. Throw your hands up high in adoration. Kneel and cry out to him. Sing so loud you are hoarse. When you worship alone, you have only God to consider. When we can see you are worshiping God, we worship him more deeply—and I lead you better.

Knowing others are worshiping God is the second most glorious experience for a worship leader.

The first is worshiping him.

Exclusivity

1 Jun

Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
    and him only shall you serve.’”  Matthew 4:10

The entire Bible is a call to worship God exclusively and turn away from idolatry.

(I can’t remember where I read or heard that, so fill me in if you know the source.)

An over-simplification?   The more I think about this idea and read the Word with it in mind, the more I think it’s true.

Consider:

  • God commands us to worship Him.  He is the only One worthy of worship; and He knows that it is also best for us, because other gods cannot satisfy the desires He put into us.
  • If we worship God alone, we don’t serve other, lesser masters.
  • Lesser masters are not perfect (only God is perfect), therefore lesser masters contain an element of corruption.  They are not worthy of worship, and when we do worship them, we take on their corrupted nature.
  • I have been corrupted by sin, so focusing on myself (self-worship) is also a bad idea.  It can lead to all sorts of selfishness, manipulation, and hedonism.
  • Satan is the one who wants to draw my attention away from God.  (See Matt 4:10, above.)
  • God is love, peace, faithfulness, etc., and we (individually and collectively) find these intangibles when we worship Him, not lesser gods.
  • Worship isn’t necessarily bowing before a statue; worship is giving my attention and devotion to someone or something, expecting to receive from him or it what only God can give.

I could go on.  These are only a few ideas off the top of my head.

I know they are all undeveloped arguments laden with presuppositions.  The point is, no matter what angle I take, I keep coming back to my original statement: The entire Bible is a call to worship God exclusively and turn away from idolatry.

———————–

Ready for Sunday

What does this mean for us as we lead others in worshiping God?

I think of the incredible responsibility we have to make sure everything we do, say, sing, play, etc., glorifies God, and only God– not my musicianship, not the soloist, not the drama team, not our beautiful building.  All of these can be used to bring Him glory, but none should receive glory in themselves.  Everything must glorify Him alone.

I know that we worship all week long, not just when we are singing on a Sunday morning.  But our corporate worship time can help set the direction for the rest of my week, propelling my heart toward God.   While we are together, brothers and sisters united in Christ worshiping the Father, my heart is encouraged and re-directed to worship God alone.

I am humbled by the responsibility this places on me as a worship leader.  I am sickened by my sin of idolatry as other things distract me from His call.  I am resolute, with His matchless power at work within me, to worship God only and to lead others to do the same.

Soli Deo gloria!

%d bloggers like this: