Question: Any advice for aspiring worship leaders?

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Over on Tumblr, a reader asks:

Hello I’m going to school in the next year to become a worship leader and do what Gods created me to do. I was just curious what advice do you have for an aspiring worship leader and amateur song writer?? (:

My reply:

So many things! Definitely plug in at your local church and serve the ministry to whatever capacity you can. Even if this doesn’t mean leading worship on Sunday mornings, it will still be valuable experience and knowledge. So, if this means leading worship for a small group or the kids/youth, playing in the band, singing in the choir, or even assisting the tech team, definitely do it. It’s all valuable practice and learning experience.

Videotape yourself leading worship. Watch it and take note of things that look different from a congregation’s perspective from how they feel to you on stage.

Write every day. A verse, a chorus, a melody, a few lines. Something. The practice of writing when you’re not inspired will make inspiration easier. Don’t be afraid to revise, revise, revise.

Co-write with other worship leaders and songwriters.

Play your songs for fellow musicians (especially if you know some good songwriters already). Take feedback graciously. Implement ideas that work and quietly set aside ideas that don’t work.

Try to surround yourself with musicians and songwriters who are better than you at what you do. You’ll grow musically that way.

The same goes for your spiritual growth (obviously). Surround yourself with Godly leadership and mentors. Be a servant to those in leadership around you.

Be passionate.

Be willing to take risks.

Be willing to give it your all when nobody’s there to see it (remember, we play for an audience of ONE…it’s not about how many people are in the room).

Ultimately that’s the main lesson: when we worship, our audience is God. Our goal is to lead a group of people (big or small) in the adoration of our Abba. As worship leaders, we use our voices, our instruments, and our our songs to help connect the congregation with the heart of God. Music is our tool but God is our focus, and our job is to draw the congregation into His presence.

God inhabits the praises of his people, and as worship leaders, we strive to create opportunities for people to set aside their distractions and focus on the greatness and love of Jesus.

Seek after Christ in everything you do. Be confident in his grace and love. As you pursue Christ and serve his people, he will open the doors that need to be opened for you.

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