Over the last six years I have sung and played bass for three dynamically different worship teams. Despite having radically different styles and sounds, on all three teams we spent a great deal of time rehearsing music together every week. During these pre-service jams, a number of questions always rise to the surface:
How do we transition from the epic praise anthem to the intimate, reflective worship song?
How many times is too many times to repeat the chorus?
When is Dave going to learn how to play bass?
Working out all of the technical kinks ahead of time is an important aspect of the worship service, however (yes, I know I am preaching to the choir, but it still begs repeating) having a technically flawless worship service is not the most important task of the worship team.
So what are the right questions we should be asking?
I’m not anywhere close to being a worship expert (the jab about my bass skills wasn’t a joke), but recently I have begun asking 3 questions to help focus my heart and mind when I am called to lead worship.
1. Why am I here? Rather than feeling the gravity of the responsibility that the Father has given me to help lead his people, leading worship sometimes sadly becomes a responsibility that I have to the head worship leader who expects me to show up or in a broader sense to the congregation who is expecting to hear a full set of instrumentation. If I most concerned with them, I have missed the mark, and it will throw everything else off course. Get your priorities straight! If your heart commitment is to the Father first and foremost, everything else will work itself out.
2. Am I prepared? I’m not talking about musical preparedness(though that is incredibly important), but spiritual. This is not just a single question, but a series of spiritual self-assessment questions. Before I pick up my bass I must ask myself: Am I confessed? Forgiven? Reconciled with others? In right standing with the Father? Obedient to what He has commanded me to do?
3. What does God have for me? Oftentimes I get so caught up in creating an atmosphere of worship for the sake of blessing others that I forget that the Lord has things he wants to show me and bless me with! When you are in the middle of a worship set, don’t forget to take a step back every once in a while and just soak up what the Father wants to give you.
What are some questions or “checks” that you go through before you lead worship?
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