Tag Archives: Worship Leadership

Keep Your Eyes Open

NOW FEb 2014

Read this quote from Lorie King: “Keep your eyes open. Watch the congregation. Shocking, I know. In order to lead well, however, you need to know what’s going on around you. You may notice that people aren’t singing along, but rather look confused or perplexed (or bored). Hmm…maybe they don’t know the song? Maybe they don’t know they’re supposed to be singing? You can invite them to sing with a statement like, “Now that you know it, let’s sing that again together,” or simply “Let’s sing that truth/prayer together again.” You have not only let them know that participation is encouraged and expected, but you’ve pointed them to the content and substance of what is going on.”

I agree – and I mean it literally. Keep your eyes open. If you are leading, it doesn’t mean making music with your eyes closed. It’s not your private time of worship – you are leading, and that means interacting with the people you are leading. It’s easy to hide behind closed eyes – I’ve done it many a time. Every so often it’s appropriate, but not as your norm. And now…stepping down from the soapbox… : )


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Communication vs. Manipulation

Any time that you deal with people, things get messy…

There really is a fine line between communication and manipulation – actually, a very blurry fine line, if that’s even possible. In fulfilling our job to lead worship (to really help people engage in worship), there are two primary schools of thought. Let me use their extreme examples to highlight the difference. One is the “I’m worshipping God privately here, and everyone can watch me doing that, and that that will inspire them to do the same, because I’m so worshipful.” The other is the “I’m a worship cheerleader, hey I can’t hear you, you’re not singing loud enough, hey, I’m talking to you, person in the 5th row!”

I don’t have the perfect answer. I’ve headed too far in both of those directions at various times over the years, but my gut feeling is that there really needs to be a balance. It’s kind of a representation of the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, if you will – a call to worship God above all, and a call to care for those around us. It also is a call to be a part of a community. I really am kind of distressed how attached to our gadgets we are, and how alone we can be, even in the midst of a crowd… Worship in community – praising God, encouraging each other – is better than that. It’s good for our, souls, and is just – well – right.

We need to communicate God’s love to each other, to support each other, and to help each other walk away from our pain, temptations, weaknesses and hardships (even our boredom). This takes worship leaders who will look us in the eye and show God’s love, all while actually showing love back to God. Not put on a show (i.e.. manipulate), even though everything in our culture pushes us in that direction. Not close off the world, because that locks out the very people God wants us to show His love to. It’s not easy to get it right. In fact, it’s impossible to do without God. But we all need real worship leading – and leaders – desperately.

Raised Hands


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Something Beautiful

“It’s not the job of art to reflect culture, it’s the job of art to subvert culture. I think Bob Dylan said that. If he didn’t, he should have because it’s a good thing to say.” – K. Friedman

Actually, I disagree. It’s the role of art to inspire culture. Somewhere along the way, the motivation for creating art changed from the desire to create something beautiful to the desire to create something “important.” One way helps make a world sorely in need of beauty and inspiration a little better. The other way is an ego trip. The choice is ours to make, each and every day…



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It’s WORK, Doggone It!

I once had a worship team member who felt that it was an imposition to practice. “When I’m off work, that’s family time – I can wing my way through the music” was the feeling, more or less. I said that was fine – we weren’t telling anybody that they had to do anything. But not as a member of the worship team. We have no problem setting parameters for what is expected of people who chose to serve on the worship team. We are serious about doing our best for God and the people that He has entrusted us to serve.
A couple of quotes by Ben Patterson nail down why:
QUOTE #1: “A good metaphor for the true freedom of disciplined Christian worship can be found in the dancer’s art. Nothing looks more free and spontaneous than a great dancer performing. But beneath all that freedom and spontaneity are years of drills, repetition, sweat, strain, and more drills.”
QUOTE #2: Sunday morning worship is to the rest of our lives what cultivation is to a garden. We weed, prune, water, and feed to the end that the garden may be beautiful – spontaneous gardens are not; disciplined gardens are.”

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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Worship Team


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Who Are You?

It’s interesting…in many ways we define ourselves these days, rather than fitting ourselves into preexisting roles. So – who are you? (click here)

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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Church Leadership


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Words Of Wisdom

Some great words of wisdom from Perry Noble – especially the line about caring about “who people are becoming!” (click here)

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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in Church Leadership


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I’ve been around the block – in other words, I’m getting older. There are good and bad sides to this, but one thing that I really feel is that we have a responsibility to those coming next. Experience is hard to get, and we almost never get it on our own – we only ever got good at anything because someone gave us a shot and let us try it.
Several people have been instrumental in helping me to grow as a leader and as an artist. I continue to meet people who are willing to help me grow, without any sort of compensation, or anything being “in it for them.” I’m trying to pay it forward by doing the same thing – we’re going to start hosting brown bag lunches (thanks to Nancy Beach for the idea) every few months for area worship and tech folks. We just had our first one, in fact, due to the kindness and openness – and mentoring spirit – of David Crowder, who did a free 2-hour Q & A session for 75 Indianapolis worship leaders. Good stuff!

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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Worship Team


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