I have always loved music. All kinds of music; it’s what I spent my allowance on as a kid and, well, as an adult too; I love to listen to it, I love to watch it, I love to learn it, I love to play it.
Which is why I am pretty grateful that my graduation from Bible College coincided with the launch of something new happening in the church around worship. I know, it seems strange now, but back then, hiring someone on staff for the sole purpose of leading worship actually wasn’t normal. (I know, I’m old.)
But it wasn’t long before worship leading became my career, and I’ve had the privilege of getting to do what I love now for something like 24 years. (I know, I’m old.) But the most important thing I’ve learned and continue to learn about leading worship is basically those two words, “leading and worship” boil down to one thing: serving.
That’s what it looked like when Jesus led right? He served. He washed feet. He listened to people he wasn’t even supposed to be talking to. He gave his life. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the greatest leader of all time, served. And worship? That’s all worship is, it’s coming to a place of surrender and service of a God who came to seek and save. Tweet this! So if you want to be a great worship leader, learn how to serve. @td_oakes
- Serve your pastor. It is such a gift to be able to work alongside guys whose vision I am proud to help promote. I know it’s not always that way, but God has placed you where you are for a reason. When’s the last time you’ve asked yourself, “What’s the vision God has given to my pastor for this church, and how can I help accomplish it?” If you will champion the cause and direction of your lead pastor and leverage your gifts, talents and skills to help that vision, you will create a powerful tandem to reach people and grow people in their relationship with Christ.And I don’t mean to be dumb here, but don’t be a diva. Serve.@td_oakesTweet Quote
- Serve your team. Make it easy for people to be involved and succeed each week. Schedule and prepare them in advance, so they can show up to rehearsals and services ready. And I know as a church planter, you may not have all the newest and nicest equipment, but don’t let that stop you from making your team feel equipped. Maximize what you do have. By creating a good and well-prepared environment, you are communicating that you value them and their time and that you care. This can really go a long way in creating and establishing the kind of culture you want for quality music and worship in your church. When you prepare and show you care it sets a level of excellence for the team and the church of consistent quality with worship.
- Serve your gift. I know that’s kind of a weird way to put it, but we have a responsibly to keep growing, keep learning, and to have our stuff together. When we show up to rehearsal and services, it’s our job to be personally prepared, so spend time on it during the week, so your focus at rehearsal and services can be on serving and helping your team.
- Serve your church. One of our main roles as worship leaders is to help set the table for the feast–to create a space where people can learn, grow and hear what God has for them. So, ask yourself, “What do the people I’m serving need?” Not just, “what do I like?” Or are you entertaining, putting on a show or elevating the stage and performance in a way that doesn’t encourage or allow people to engage? You are leading them into worship. Don’t forget them along the way!Are you fostering an environment that encourages people to engage, participate, and worship?@td_oakesTweet Quote
The best example of leadership we can follow is also the One we worship, and he didn’t come for a platform, stage, spotlight, headline, throne, or billboard hit; He came to serve. If you want to have a thriving church and worship ministry, model your life and leadership after Jesus. Learn to serve.