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Leading worship is amazing; to be given the responsibility

of leading people into intimate worship with the living
God is such a blessing. It could be the most rewarding
and worthwhile thing you'll ever do! But the responsibility
can also be quite overwhelming. It's not an easy job, and
is often frustrating, exhausting and even demoralizing.
Leading worship is a call to humility. We have to respect
the trust that God has given us and be a servant to his
will, staying humble, selfless and willing to learn.
The role of the worship leader is to engage people with
God. I think of it as trying to get everyone to forget who
and what is around them; to get them to worship God as
if there is no-one else in the room, and to encourage their
own relationship with God. Worship is a corporate activity,
and we are all one family. But I want people to have
freedom in worship, a sense of abandonment as they sing
to God. I don't want them to be concerned with what
everyone else is doing. I don't want them to have to rely
on a worship leader to be led into worship, I want them to
be able to lead themselves there. I want to encourage
them in their own personal worship.
"The responses between God and his people should be
dynamic, natural and spontaneous" (John Wimber)
The most important thing you can do when leading
worship, is worship God personally. If you passionately
worship God, then people will see that passion and be
drawn into worship themselves. Your own worship and
passionate relationship with God will model and teach
others how to worship continuously themselves.

It is important that you're yourself, don't try to be anyone

else when you are leading worship. Don't compare
yourself to others, and don't compete with them in your
hearts. Do what God has made you to do, God has made
you different for a reason. Use your own musical style
and giftings, You have to be real, you have to be yourself,
otherwise it won't work.
In reality the real worship leader should be the Holy
Spirit. The Holy Spirit directs the worship through you, the
worship leader. You need to be open to what the Spirit is
doing so he can lead you in leading the people. "Real
worship is worship led by the Spirit" (Carl Tuttle)
As worship leaders, it is important that our hearts are in
the right place. Worship is not just expressed through our
songs, but through a life that is devoted and pleasing to
Jesus. If we don't spend time with God throughout our
whole lives, and leading worship is just a thing we do on
Sundays, then it is not a real honest expression of
worship. We must be in an attitude of worship continually.
And we must look to be holy and pure in sight of God.
"Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to
offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to
God - this is your spiritual act of worship. do not conform
any longer to the pattern of this world, but be
transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans
"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a
sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess his
name." (Hebrews 13v15)

Holiness, Godly character, remaining or spending time

with God, is so important. The more time you spend with
God, the more you will become like him, and the easier it
will be to recognize his voice. God will bless you in those
times, increase your anointing and your heart for worship.
God is always with us. If your heart is in line with his, then
you're both going to be doing the same thing. And God
will be there working with you and through you when you
lead worship.
"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can
bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can
you bear fruit unless you remain in me." (John 15v4)
You can't lead anyone into worship if you are not there
yourself. It is essential that we worship on our own, when
we're not leading. It is so important to have our own time
with God. Otherwise our relationship with him suffers. In
the times that I have alone with God he speaks to me
personally; I can feel his love and his presence, I get
refreshed, he gives me new songs to sing and he gives
me guidance for everyday situations and for leading
Leading worship is a time of serving the church, it cannot
replace your own personal time of worship, you need to
be able to receive somewhere. Otherwise you will dry up
and burn out.
It's important that you worship God yourself when
leading, but, if you don't consider the people, you will
lose them. Don't get lost in your own world. Especially if
you are in a different place emotionally and

spiritually. If you are feeling depressed, then it's not going

to do them any good if you selfishly lead them in
mournful songs. The same goes for musical taste,
sometimes you may have to play songs you don't like.
But if it's going to serve the church, then lay down your
agendas, your pride, your desires, and God will bless you
for it.
Check your heart to see what is giving you the desire to
lead worship, make sure it is not selfish ambition, Check
that it isn't because you desire to be seen and heard. God
knows your heart and will humble those who are proud.
"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he
who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 14v11)

Let me ask you these questions: Has God called you into
leading worship, or not? Has he given you the desire to
lead people into his presence? Are you a worshiper? Do
you have a vision for worship? Is this your passion? Or is
something else driving you? Think about these questions
carefully, and be honest with yourself. The call to worship
leading is a call to serve. It is not for exposure or
satisfying the ego.
This is very important. Worship leading is not a
performance. You will hurt others if your heart is not in
the right place. Stay humble, on your face before the
Lord. "Even the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve".

I can honestly say that leading worship is one of the most

emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually draining
things I've ever done. Many times, before leading
worship, I have been totally desperate before God.
Knowing that I haven't got enough strength to go through
it all again, feeling totally inadequate, totally depressed
and totally unworthy. It is so important to make sure you
get prayer.
It's essential to get alone and pray to God for his mercy,
strength and anointing, as well as receiving prayer from
others. There's nothing worse than feeling totally alone
when you're leading worship. Surround yourself with good
people, people who you can trust, be accountable with,
and go to in times of need.

"The worship experience ought to be very

sympathetically, very sensitively, conducted by people
who are fully prepared of the Holy Spirit. One of the
greatest and most important things a worship leader can
do is spend some time in intimate fellowship with the
Lord - before they come to bring the church into worship"
(John Wimber)

Pray for God's spirit to come, pray for direction, ask God
what he wants to do. Prepare your own heart, seek his
face, open yourself to hear God's voice. Pray that
people's relationship with God will be renewed. Pray that
lives would be changed. Pray that people will meet him
for the first time. Pray that people will worship with all

their heart. Pray for freedom in worship. Pray for


At times I've been so tired and stressed before leading

worship. Try and prepare for leading worship before the
actual night, get more sleep if you need it, try and figure
out the songs you are going to do before hand etc. Make
it as easy for yourself as you can. Cover yourself with
prayer. If I pray with the band before we start rehearsing,
then everything goes so much better and easier than it
would have done if we hadn't prayed.

Musicians and especially worship leaders are often under

a lot of spiritual attack. Your ministry will not go
unopposed. Satan does not appreciate our worship
leading one bit. The enemy will do whatever he can to
disrupt the worship of Jesus. Broken strings, sore throats,
headaches, faulty sound equipment, car problems etc.
are all part of his attack. On a couple of occasions whilst
leading worship, I've been given sudden excruciating
headaches, which have meant that I couldn't sing
anymore because the pain was so bad. These things need
to be prayed against.

A massive part of the spiritual warfare is sin and

distraction, watch what you watch and think, lust of the
mind and eye, even teasing and joking. You're often
vulnerable just before and after you lead worship.

You are assaulted with all sorts of insecurities and

temptations. Do not get down on yourself. Find someone
you can be accountable with, someone you trust, and be
totally honest with them. God uses the broken hearted.
By remaining in him, being in a continuous attitude of
worship, you can really work against any temptations that
come your way. It's the best way of freeing yourself. And
don't forget there is always grace for those who fall.
"The one who is in you, is greater than the one who is in
the world" (1 John 4v4)
Often the worship time that we have as a band, is totally
different to the worship time that the congregation has.
We cannot judge our performance from how we feel
afterwards. It is never as bad as you think. Don't get
down about any mistakes you make, everyone's done
them. If you are feeling bad afterwards then get someone
to pray for you. It's pretty common to feel this way. Often,
when I've felt nothing personally in the worship time, God
has come really powerfully to the people. God is worthy
of our praise and sometimes he just wants to see where
our motivation is.
Keep yourself in a humble attitude; always serving,
always learning.