You, as a worship leader, don’t need to monopolize all the time speaking and praying. Let others you trust on your praise team participate. Find the people in your congregation and praise team that have the “gift of prayer.” You know, those people who seem to touch the heart of God with their eloquent prayers. I don’t mean the staid, ornate “O great God of the universe, we beseech Thee” type of prayers, either! Look for people who pray to God like He’s their best friend. This can be the most important time of your worship, where people truly interact with God. (Some people may tend to ramble. Have them focus on one idea in their prayer, perhaps the theme of the morning.)
4. Acoustic guitar.
For elements of worship in a tender worship song, try an extended intro featuring acoustic guitar. It’s amazing how this instrument can draw people in.
5. Familiar songs.
Some worship leaders get into the rut of constantly throwing new songs at the congregation and then wonder why nobody’s worshipping. Remember, we musical worship leaders are way ahead of the average person in the congregation. We’re tired of the latest worship songs before 99 percent of the congregation even know these songs exist (most Christians never step foot in a Christian bookstore OR listen to Christian radio, let alone care about the latest hot worship leader). “Open the Eyes of My Heart,” Paul Baloche’s mammoth worship hit written in 1997, is still in CCLI’s top 20!
A few years ago, I visited several Dallas megachurches in one weekend. I experienced great production, great music, but little worship going on, and lots of performances. However, at one megachurch in particular, I remember very distinctly being drawn in and touched by the elements of worship. Suddenly it hit me: I happened to know all the songs in the set, and I realized something important: People worship best with songs they know. It’s simply harder to worship when the mind is intent on learning a new tune, but the mind is freed up when the song is familiar and the heart can worship more easily.
Bottom Line: Determine this week to partner with God in making your church’s worship the best it can be!