Since I’ve made a purposeful switch to speaking on Sundays more often than leading worship on Sundays, everything is suddenly louder when I lead worship. Preaching three Sundays a month and then leading worship one Sunday a month has been so good for my worship leading soul. Here are some things I’m discovering often go untouched:
1. Make tired songs new by pointing out new truths.
You see it happen. That glazed look not only in the congregation’s eyes but your band’s eyes the second they hear the “do do do, do do do, do do do, do do do, do do dooooo” of the guitar player’s intro of “Mighty to Save.”
It’s because there is nothing new about the song after the 43,422th time you have done it.
You have to LEAD them.
Lyrics are your friend.
This weekend I introduced the song by pointing out the second verse…
“I know you may have sung this song 1,000 times, but the truth of verse two is available for redemption today. No matter the sin of Wednesday night, Monday morning or last night, Christ wants you desperately and won’t stop pursuing you, so as we sing this today, go to that place of loneliness in your sin and know that He is there waiting for you, desperately wanting you just the way you are.”
The simple bringing of a lyric to the current situation of the people you stand in front of will make a song brand new.
2. Don’t talk TO…Do talk WITH.
Nothing drives someone more crazy than a pointed finger.
It can become easy to lead from a place of self-righteousness when there is a microphone in front of you. So I try to replace words like YOU with US and WE. I like to tell congregations that WE are going on a journey together toward the heart of God. Not that I’M leading THEM to the heart of God. How ridiculous.
Lead from BESIDE them, not in FRONT of them.
Lord knows we need all the help we can get so we don’t end up in who-knows-where instead of Heaven.
3. Lead the weary AND the cheery.
OK. That was lame. But you get it.
It becomes SO EASY to just harp on “those of you who are broken and downcast and in need of Jesus.”
In fact, I’d say most worship leaders I know, myself included, speak primarily to the downcast during a worship set. As if we are the worship leading version of Dr. Phil trying to pull them out of despair.
News Flash. Not everyone in front of you is depressed. In fact, many of them are having the time of their lives.
Don’t forget them. The joy of the Lord is their strength and many of them have it.
Let them know that you aren’t just waiting for the next bomb to drop on their heads in order to be able to worship God with you on a Sunday morning.
It’s better that way…