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How to Lead Worship with Limited Resources

That can be done in a sermon, brief comments, on a website or in conversation. Among other things, the church sings to remember the gospel, to teach and admonish one another, to communicate our affection for God, to express our unity in Christ, and to prepare for heaven. Even though my church may not look much like heaven now, every time we meet we’re joining in with the worshipers around the throne (Heb. 12:22-24). We aren’t putting on a performance. We’re participating with saints throughout the ages offering praise to God through the finished work of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 2:4-5).

Make it clear that instruments are only there to support the main event: faith-filled congregational singing (Ps. 71:22-23).
When your church doesn’t have the musicians you think you need, it’s a perfect opportunity to let people know their “worship” isn’t hindered. Instruments can support congregational singing, but they can never replace it. Use a hymnal. Sing a cappella. Find some simple choruses with great words.

Pick the best songs and sing them more often (2 Pet. 1:12Phil. 3:1)
Sol told me that his church has a repertoire of about 25 songs. I think that’s wise. If your church is musically illiterate or inexperienced, learn fewer songs and sing them well (In Christ AloneAll I Have is ChristIt is WellBehold our God, etc.). But make sure your few songs cover a lot of theological ground. And remember that musical simplicity doesn’t negate biblically thoughtful, gospel-focused lyrics.

Encourage your musicians to improve and provide resources if you’re able (1 Chron. 25:7).
Whatever the skill level of our musicians now, they can grow. Cultivate an attitude in your instrumentalists that says, “I want to get better on my instrument so I can joyfully serve the singing of the church more effectively.” Resources and teachers might include other band members, YouTube, books and musicians outside the church.

Ask God to bring musicians to your church (Mt. 6:82 Cor. 9:8).
Without minimizing anything I’ve said so far, pray that God adds skilled instrumentalists to your church, either through conversion or from another church. Although great musicians aren’t necessary to worship God, he can certainly use them for the good of his people.

So while we continue to pursue greater musical proficiency, we never have to wonder if God’s purposes are being thwarted by our below average musicianship or lack of a band. His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).

Besides, our limited resources are all he ever has to work with. And they’re all he needs, because his grace, mercy and power are limitless.

This article about how to lead worship on a budget originally appeared here.

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Bob Kauflin currently has the privilege of serving as the Director of Worship Development for Sovereign Grace Ministries. © Sovereign Grace Ministries. WorshipMatters.com. Used by permission.