You Really Don't Need to Talk That Much

Good news for worship leaders all over the world: There’s no reason for you to do much talking. Seriously. You really don’t need to talk that much.

Ask yourself: How many times per month/per Sunday/per service do I interrupt the flow of songs to talk for more than five seconds? Like the game of golf, the lower your score, the better. If you get a high number when you ask that question, may I kindly suggest that you reconsider your approach?

There are many good reasons you should talk when you’re leading worship:
 —To introduce a new song.
 —To read Scripture.
 —To give instruction (ask people to stand/sit/turn and greet neighbors).
 —To transition (to a different element of the service, to a different theme in the singing).
 —To explain (why are we singing an obscure hymn, what national tragedy are we responding to, why do you want them to just listen to the verses, etc.).

But there are many good reasons you shouldn’t talk when you lead worship:
 —It places you front and center in the consciousness of everyone in the room.
 —Your songs should connect well enough (most of the time) that you don’t need to say anything.
 —It runs the risk of you usurping the responsibility of your pastor.
 —When you talk too much, you become like the boy who cried wolf. When you really have something important to say, no one will listen because they’re tired of you talking so much.
 —It can make you unnecessarily nervous. If talking in between songs makes you anxious, then there’s an easy solution: Don’t do it.
 —It places you in a professorial role (i.e. that of a professor to his students), as opposed to a familial role (i.e. that of a fellow brother or sister).

Think carefully about whether or not your congregation would be better served by you speaking or by you letting things speak for yourself. Most of the time, go with the latter option.  

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Jamie Brown
Jamie Brown is the Director of Worship and Arts at Truro Anglican Church in Fairfax, VA. Before coming to Truro, he served at The Falls Church Anglican for ten years. Born into a ministry family and leading worship since the age of twelve, Jamie is devoted to helping worship leaders lead well and seeing congregations engaged in Spirit-filled, Jesus-centered worship. He’s currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Religion through Reformed Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Catherine, have three little girls. Jamie regularly blogs at and has released three worship albums: “A Thousand Amens,” “We Will Proclaim,” and “For Our Salvation.”

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