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Before You Lead, Follow
It’s really tempting as an aspiring worship leader to want to jump up to the top spot.
But there are a ton of things you can learn by serving on a worship team first.
Before you lead, often it’s good to follow.
Also, if you’re a current worship leader, you should seek out to help on other worship teams outside your church.
So here are reasons you should seek to be a part of another worship team for a while even if your ultimate desire is to be the worship leader.
5 Reasons To Serve Another Worship Team
1. You see a more experienced leader and learn from them
This is the most obvious reason. The best way to learn is from someone who is more experienced.
They can mentor you without them even knowing it. Learn from their mistakes.
You can save yourself months and years of figuring things out on your own just by watching how they do things. You can make notes of things you don’t think are effective and then you know what not to do when you’re the leader.
2. You get to focus on your instrument or voice
When you’re worship leading, you are thinking about so many things.
You usually don’t have the brain space to focus on doing anything amazing with your instrument.
And you’re probably not focusing on posture, breathing, and other vocal best practices.
But when you’re strictly an instrumentalist or vocalist on the team, you get to put more focus into these crafts during the week and on Sunday
You get to improve your skills in different ways. Yes, you improve as a worship leader when you lead worship, but often, you are not intentionally improving your musical craft at the same time.
3. You get to relax a little and just enjoy worship.
I loved what Paul Baloche said one time at a conference I went to
He said being a worship leader is like being a waiter at a restaurant. The waiter is supposed to serve the person who’s there to eat dinner.
But what if you went to a restaurant saw your waiter over in the corner eating his dinner.
That’s a little bit what it’s like if the worship leader is totally focused on worship but isn’t paying attention to what the congregation needs so that they can worship
So as the head worship leader, you don’t really get to worship, but you are serving others as they do
As a worship team instrumentalist or vocalist, you get to relax a little and enjoy worshiping.
If you want to learn everything you need to know about starting to lead worship, check out my book, “How to Lead Worship in 14 Days.” It will guide you through the process of working up to your first worship session even if you’ve never led worship before. And the best part is that it’s going to take you 14 days to do it.
Or, if you lead a worship ministry and you’re looking for a how-to guide to hand every new worship leader, this book is for you.
4. You Learn Different Ways of Doing Things
Have you ever done something for a long time, then you saw someone else doing it a different way that was better?
Then you applied that best practice yourself.
I’ve had this experience I played keyboard for a worship leader friend of mine at another church.
He had a different in-ear monitor system that was app-based. At my church, we use Avioms. These are pieces of hardware – mixers that you plug into to create your own mix.
But the in-ear system I used at my friend’s church was run via an app on my smartphone – no extra hardware needed — meaning it was probably a much cheaper system. That’s something I can consider for my ministry if the Avioms quit working.
Whether it’s about equipment, speaking between songs, or communicating with the band, you can pick up better practices by watching other worship leaders.
5. Know How Good or Bad Your Team Is
This sounds funny, but it’s always good to compare your team to other teams.
Two things could happen:
a. You discover your team is better than you thought
This is a great morale booster. To know that you’re doing better than another local church can feel good. But don’t let it make you complacent. Keep growing your ministry, even if yours is the best around.
b. You realize your team needs work
This is great motivation to fix things in your ministry.
Strive for excellence as you’ve witnessed on another team.
It’s a good level-setting exercise to be a part of another team occasionally. Maybe you thought your team was doing great, but you see a worship group from a similar sized church that’s better than your team — whether that’s musically or spiritually.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and tips from the other worship leader to get to their level.
The Bottom Line
Here are 5 ways serving on another worship team makes you a better worship leader.
- Learn from a more experienced leader
- Focus on your instrument or voice
- You get to relax and worship
- You learn different ways of doing things
- Find out how good or bad your team is.
Learn To Lead Worship Better
Are you looking for a resource that will help you get started leading worship or improving your skills?
Check out the book “Learn To Lead Worship In 14 Days.” It’s a step-by-step, day-by-day handbook that can launch your worship leading journey in as little as two weeks.