Worship-Leading Ideas & Notes
Observations, Practicalities, Components & Planning for Effective Worship-Leading
Copyright 2000 by Randall Alan Fultz.
Worship-Leading Ideas & Notes - by Randy Fultz
"God made music that we might pray without words". - Anonymous
"Music is a fair and glorious gift of God. I would not for the World forego my humble share of music. I am strongly persuaded that after Theology, music is the only art capable of affording peace and joy of the heart." - Martin Luther
Worship means "to feel in the heart"; that's to first feel it in the heart. Worship also means "to express in some appropriate manner" what you feel. And what will be expressed? "A humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder". It is delightful to worship God.
- A.W. Tozer
- Music sets the mood, one's frame of mind, & the spiritual atmosphere or environment.
- Effective worship is accomplished through proper song choices for flow and direction.
- Worship planning's goal should be to lead people to freely express their love to God.
- Worship in song helps you to pray, as you speak words and as you sing the melody.
- Music breaks down barriers; first in a group sense among people, and secondarily between individuals and the Lord.
- The responsibility of a worship leader is to direct a group's attention to God, to marvel at HIS greatness, HIS love, grace and forgiveness.
- Worship opens a window for two-way communication and intimacy with the Lord.
- Nothing is as contagious as a Jesus-loving song leader truly worshipping God.
- Teach NEW songs early in the service, then come back and repeat to teach it well.
- Introduce NEW songs one-at-a-time; one per service or class time works best.
- GIVE DIRECTION (or focus) every song or two during worship; & keep it simple.
- Say, "Do this, say this after me, picture this, let's stand together, lift your hands if you can", etc.
- Note:(Give MORE direction for younger ages.)
- Room or chair layout: Rows or "blocks" work best. Avoid circles or semi-circles (they are too intimidating, especially for kids).
- Avoid meaningless chatter between songs. Ask yourself; "Does this lead others to Jesus?"
- Songs are best learned by memorization, overheads or slides can be distracting.
- When changing keys, tempo, or worship service direction, trygiving just the first chord or note, with a short pause.
- Use the V chord of the new key as a transition, whenever you are modulating to a new key. (i.e. When in key of C, moving up to key of D, use the Fifth (A, or A7) chord to transition up.)
Note: Always modulate to a higher key. Going to lower keys is usually ineffective.
- Keep the focus OFF the act of singing (or voices); instead, focus on movement, standing, sitting, hand movements, clapping, doing a fun or silly song, etc.
- Always try to FLOW smoothly from one song to another. Stopping, long pauses, or choppiness breaks the flow. You lose focus, and worshippers (especially kids) get wiggly and their minds wander. We are so EASILY distracted...
- DON'T IGNORE DISTRACTIONS - deal with them honestly, openly and gently. Perhaps set expectations by saying, "It's okay for people not to worship, but it's NOT okay to interfere with OTHER'S who are worshipping."
- Plan song selections and song order in advance. Try for a logical flow from fun, fast or celebrative songs, to contemplative songs, to personal relationship ("I" and "YOU", Jesus-focused) songs, to full-blown worship songs, etc.
- Pray beforehand for leading or direction for the worship service. Trust God. Be Bold. Be yourself. Don't be afraid to be innovative.
- Sing a song during a "new-song-learning-time", to transition to another part of the service or teaching, or to use as a group prayer.
- Mix variety with familiarity, don't get stuck on the same song selections, order or format.
- PRACTICE ALL song transitions, key changes, and starting pitches for each song until it is smooth. This REALLY HELPS both kids & adults!
- If you're concerned about any loss of spontaneity, prepare a song list of possible choices, and work from that list; but ALWAYS be open to change or drop your plans.
- Delete or add songs, or even stop during the song service, (for a quiet prayer or listening time), if appropriate.
- Let the Holy Spirit LEAD or INTERRUPT you; He may have a different or better plan.
- KNOW every NEW song WELL before introducing it to the group, or it will NOT be comfortable, or well-received.
(Intoducing a new song without the confidence of knowing it inside-out can leave a negative "feel" or "taste" for the song among the group).
- Watch & listen for new songs to add to your worship repertoire.
IV. The Components of Worship
(Note: This is ONLY an example; try different combinations, to find what works best for YOU!!)
1. The Call to Worship: an invitational song, a call to join in (focus) to worship God.
2. The Fellowship: Believers joining together in music with each other in His presence.
3. The Connection: Connecting upwards to God, and outwardly towards each other.
4. The Expression: of praise for Who God is, & our personal love-relationship with Him.
5. The Visitation: Our waiting for God to minister & respond to open hearts. Includes the flow of gifts, prayers, healings, and the moving of the Holy Spirit.
6. The Transition: from worship, into the rest of the service. This should preserve the atmosphere of worship, and provide an opportunity to build upon it.
May God richly bless you in ALL of the many ways you faithfully serve Him in Leading Worship! And may He gift you abundantly with skills to plant, nourish and build an everlasting Love for JESUS in the hearts of all of His worshippers.
Adapted from: "The Wonders of Worship with Children", by Randy Fultz
- Presented at Springfield Faith Center Sunday School Teacher Training, Fall 1995
"Now many will hear of the wonderful things He has done for me, & put their trust in Him"(Ps 40:3)E-Mail Randy at:.firstname.lastname@example.org
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