Podcast: Listen Here
In part 1 of this 2-part series, I reviewed the challenges and immense rewards of being a volunteer, unpaid worship leader. In this episode, I get really practical and tell you how to successfully lead worship “on the side,” as I have done for more than 20 years.
Here are my best tips for leading worship if it’s not your full-time, paid career.
Get as much help as possible from volunteers and church staff
- Even though you’re not paid, get help from the church staff who are paid.
- Ask the pastor if you can have some of the time of someone on staff like an associate pastor or intern.
- Train someone to do the weekly scheduling and follow-up.
- Or find another volunteer to do scheduling and organizing.
- You have enough to do as it is. Focus on things only you can do, like choosing new songs, leading worship on Sundays, etc. Pass the rest off to someone else.
- Find a volunteer to be in charge of sound, lights, and slides. As a volunteer, it’s a big burden to lead those ministries as well. Hand that piece off to someone else.
Find co-worship leaders
- This has been the #1 stress reliever for me
- We have 3 volunteer worship leaders at my church. So, if we didn’t, I would lead every Sunday. Now, I lead about twice every 5-6 weeks and play an instrument occasionally for another team.
- That an immense burden off me.
- Of course, there’s training that goes into this and you might not have someone who is ready to lead worship yet
- But that’s why you train them and get them to the point where they are entirely self-sufficient
- To help you train them, get my book “Learn To Lead Worship In 14 Days“
- When you train another to lead worship, it shares the blessing of being a worship leader with others.
- Get on Planning Center so all your songs and files are stored in one place.
- Set a culture of practicing at home so when you show up at rehearsal, everyone can play their parts. This shortens rehearsal times.
- Create the expectation of the sermon notes being available when you’re creating your worship set. You won’t have to waste time asking about the sermon topic on the day you’re putting together your worship set list.
- Create systems – a way you create and distribute your worship list to team members each week. Stick to a routine until you’re super fast and efficient at it.
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.
Use every available minute
- Use car time on your way to work to do vocal warmups and keep your voice in top shape.
- Create a playlist of new worship songs. Listen in your car or walking or exercising.
- Listen to worship podcasts while taking care of other responsibilities around the house.
Final word: Bring your family along
- None of this matters if your wife, husband, and family aren’t in agreement with you being a worship leader.
- If you’re single, go for it 100%. Spend all your extra time doing it. But if you’re married, have kids, etc, make sure your spouse agrees that this is something you should do.
- Eventually, there will be conflicts where your spouse wants you to just relax but it may not be possible with this path you’ve chosen. Or maybe you like to take the entire weekend to spend time together. That’s no longer possible because you will be leading worship on Sundays. Full weekend trips will be harder to do.
- There will be things that “regular people” do that will no longer be possible if you’ve chosen to lead worship in addition to your full-time career. So make sure this is something you’ve talked about and agreed on with your family. Otherwise, you will be in constant conflict about it.
We looked at ways you can be a worship pastor / worship leader while having a full-time paid career.
- Find help with administration from church staff and other volunteers
- Train up co-worship leaders
- Create efficiencies
- Use every available minute. Multitask whenever possible
- Make sure your family is on board.
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.