Our responsibility as worship leaders is to facilitate a corporate worship experience. Our congregations look to us to show them how to connect with God during our times of singing together. They are literally following our lead. I’ve learned that the majority of people in the congregation will express about half the energy that those on the platform are showing. So how do you help your team lead them better? Create authentic passion and engagement in worship on stage.
Today, I want to share five ways that will help you do that:
- Release them to be free in worship. Do not underestimate the power of permission. Your words hold some weight. Consistently remind your team that it is OK for them to be physically expressive in worship. Release them to appropriately connect with their emotions. I will often remind my team several times throughout a weekend, in the final minutes before we take the platform. This keeps it fresh in their minds.
- Model what you’re looking for. Follow up your instruction with your example. As you lead the team, you have to be willing to do what you’re asking them to do and more. Your team should be able to look to you for what’s appropriate for the platform. Make sure you’re walking the talk.
- Teach them what the Bible says about physical expression in worship. There is no greater resource than God’s Word to instruct and encourage. This way, it’s no longer about their personal preferences; it’s about what God’s Word commands us to do. The Psalms are a great resource for this. Here are some great examples:
Psalm 47:1 – “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.”
Psalm 63:4 – “I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands.”
Psalm 95:6 – “Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”
Psalm 149:3 – “Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp.”
- Show them what they look like on stage. At our church we have the benefit of some great video equipment. This allows us to look at the platform from numerous angles and vantage points. However, you don’t need a lot of technology to accomplish this. Set up a video camera or even an iPhone on a wide shot of the platform, and record what happens during worship. After you review it, sit down with your team and let them see it. Do not point out their shortcomings in this session. The goal is that they see the difference between what they think they are projecting and reality. This often is enough for them to change by itself.
- Encourage them along the way. This is one of the most important things you can do. The last thing you want is a self-conscious, apprehensive team. Your team should never feel like you are judging them, especially in a very personal area like this. Applaud effort you see, and make sure that you balance your critiques with lots of love and encouragement. Tell them that you’re proud of them when they take steps in the right direction.
Help your team understand the critical role they play in leading your congregation in worship. Show them the importance of their “outside” reflecting what’s going on “inside.” In doing so, you will increase the engagement of your congregations in worship. Love and lead them well through this process, and look out for some fantastic results!