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Why You Must Lead Worship Like a Boy Scout

As a kid, my mom wanted to make sure that my brother and I had significant male role modeling in our lives since she was raising us on her own. Beavers, Cubs, and Boy Scouts were a normal part of my life until I was 12 or 13, and I’ve got tons of memories of camping trips, earning badges, spending time with other kids my age, and the constant reminders to be prepared.

I haven’t given much thought to my Boy Scout days in any significant way lately, but that encouragement to be prepared has come in handy more than once lately.

What does that have to do with being a worship leader?

On Sunday morning, our band started a song in two keys. Not ideal, obviously.

Most of us were playing in the correct key; some of us were playing in a different key. No names shall be revealed. 🙂 We had tried the song in two different keys at rehearsal, but somewhere along the way, there was a slip-up when it came to communicating which key was the right one for Sunday morning.

So…imagine that situation for you on a Sunday morning. What do you do? Do you try to get everyone on the same key? Do you stop the song? Do you run off stage?

We can’t have contingency plans for every single possible thing that could go wrong.

What if the power goes out? What if my guitar strap breaks? What if the drum shield falls over? BUT…As leaders, we can be prepared to be the one to step up if – and when! – something goes wrong.

So in our “one song, two keys” case, what did I do? We stopped the song. I politely and sheepishly admitted to the congregation that we had screwed up, thanked them for showing us lots of grace and letting us start over in the right key.

Everyone chuckled, embraced the moment, and when we came back in with the song the second time, do you know what happened? They sang louder! They gave us their vocal encouragement by lifting their voices together, knowing full well that the worship team is a bunch of humans who make mistakes but are prepared to handle those mistakes with grace and confidence in a way that serves the congregation.

What about you? Have you had a moment in your worship leading recently where it really helped to be prepared?