Musicians play worship music. Obvious, I know, but I say that because musicians are naturally the creative type. We love to try new things, be poetic and artistic, pioneer new sounds, and follow current trends. While those are all wonderful things it’s important to remember we aren’t just musicians.
We have a responsibility to lead God’s people into a corporate expression of worship, and to create an environment where people can experience the presence of God.
To present a liturgy that is God centered and spiritually formative. That means it is an absolute necessity to discipline yourself when planning your worship set each week.
I am a Pastor not just a Worship Leader
If I see myself as just a musician/vocalist that sings Christian songs in church, I run the dangerous risk of doing something for the sake of sounding or looking cool while doing nothing for the hearts of God’s people in the room. The truth is, as worship leaders, we are responsible for almost half the service. That’s an amazing privilege that should be approached correctly.
Week in and week out, for that portion of the service, we get to pastor our congregation through a time of worship.
What are the people in my congregation dealing with?
This is where being present for every part of our church’s Sunday experience becomes so important. I try to hang out in the lobby between services, be involved in small groups, and ask people what they are praying for. This helps me get acclimated to what the people of the church are dealing with. I also try to plan ministry/prayer times with individual people in mind. All of these things will help keep focus on the people.
Where am I taking the congregation?
Your four favorite songs and a cool light show might feel good, and might even get a great response from the congregation, but is it taking them somewhere? Here at Highlands we plan every set intentionally. It may be built to compliment the sermon series we’re in, conference theme, prayer focus, church holiday, etc. We do that because our heart is for every single part of the service to take people on a journey, while giving them really practical things along the way.
Understand the vision for the service. This starts by asking questions. Ask your Pastor what he is speaking on and create a set that allows people to confirm with words, through song, what they are hearing from your Pastor. This brings a unity that is powerful and effective in to your services.
My Campus Pastor always says, “Keep the Main Thing the main thing.”
The Main Thing always has and always will be Jesus, and his people. Remember, they aren’t our people, they’re God’s people. Let’s make it our goal to lead them well.