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7 Ways to Lead Worship for Small Groups


Participation will increase when the group relates to the song. The worship leader can share interesting facts about the song: what the song means to them personally, its scriptural reference, or how it relates to the group study. 

Simple Rule: Plan your speaking and be brief.


The goal of group singing is connection: connection with God and each other. Music is a language that speaks directly to the soul. The worship leader’s job is to make the introduction and then stay out of the way. 

Simple Rule: Focus on connecting, not performing. 


Know your music and sing from the overflow. The Bible says, “If we are leaders, we should do our best” (Rom 12:8). The worship leader should know their music and words well enough that their leading is easy for the group to follow. Effective worship leaders are more than just skilled troubadours. The worship leader must have an authentic relationship with the Father, faithfully living a life of worship. 

Simple Rule: Leading worship with music requires spiritual and musical preparation.


Think of singing to God as a form of prayer. Don’t just play your songs. Pray them. People respond to sincere prayers especially in an intimate group setting. Be aware of those you are leading while staying focused on the conversation with God while singing. Approach worship leading as more of a prayer time than “special music” or a mini concert. 

Simple Rule: Pray and play.

Rick Muchow was Saddleback’s founding worship pastor and served with Pastor Rick Warren for 25 years. He has helped train over 150,000 church leaders. Rick continues to equip and encourage local church worship teams, pastors and worship leaders around the world.

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Rick Muchow is the Pastor of Worship at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA and has served faithfully there for 21 years. Rick has recorded 11 albums and has 84 songs registered with CCLI; he also authored The Worship Answer Book and is a contributing editor to Leadership journal. Rick offers resources and ministry support to the local church through his Web site, EncouragingMusic.com.