One of the questions that I get asked the most is, “As a worship leader, how can I be more confident on the platform?”
In Part 1, I talked about the importance of having the right foundation, before you start building in new skills and abilities. We talked about the importance of our identity being a follower of Jesus first before we add the secondary titles like worship leader, pastor, or musician.
Today, I’d like to talk about the second key to becoming a more confident, effective worship leader. In fact, it’s one of the most important tools in your toolbox.
The power of preparing ourselves is something that I think we often underestimate. There are many reasons for this. A big one is that in the world of ministry, we all know there is most often more needs than there are time and resource. The key to remember is:
Preparation is really an issue of stewardship.
As leaders, we get to steward:
- The influence of the platform we’ve been given.
- The time of the team members we are serving alongside.
- The hearts of the people we have the privilege of leading.
One of the ways that we honor this call is to prepare. Time gets away from us if we’re not intentional. We must make time to prepare – and put it on the calendar. We need to prepare our hearts, our songs, our transitions, and our teams. You don’t have time not to!
I think sometimes worship leaders hear the word “prepare” or “plan”, and their first thought is how they’re going to be limited. They might say something like, “I just want to allow the Holy Spirit to lead…I want to be spontaneous.”
Here’s the deal: most people who say they want to be “spirit-led” aren’t being spontaneous, they’re being lazy.
God is a God of order. He operates in processes. He always has a plan.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV 1984)
Did you see that? God prepared the good works for us to do in advance.
What about Jesus? How often did we see him intervene in someone’s life while he was on the way (read: He had a plan) to somewhere else? Luke 8 tells about Him healing the woman with the issue of blood on the way to heal Jairus’ daughter. Luke 17 tells us of the healing of the 10 men with leprosy, while he was on his way to Jerusalem. John 9 tells us how he healed the man born blind from birth, “as he went along.”
I believe that being prepared and having a plan helps us confidently break away from it when the Holy Spirit wants to do something while we’re “on the way.” I like to call it being “plan-taneous.”
We spend time preparing and rehearsing so that I’m confident when I’m leading – and when Jesus wants to interrupt our plan, we know right where to land once that moment has passed.
Here are a couple ways that I’d encourage you to prepare:
- Make time to INTERNALIZE SCRIPTURE.
Notice I said internalize, not memorize. There is a big difference. If you want anything of value to come out of you, you’ve got to put things of value into you. What goes in will come out. Don’t study God’s Word solely to prepare for Sunday. Get into it, so that it will get into you. When the time comes, you’ll be full and ready.
- Make time to worship when it’s just you and God.
Make time to worship for no other reason than to worship. We spend so much time listening to songs, preparing for weekends, etc. that we actually forget to just spend time in God’s presence.
I believe that the primary role of a worship leader is to know God and to be known by God, and then help the people we lead to do the same thing. This kind of leadership only happens when we open ourselves up to God in our own personal time.
Look back at 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV84):
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
It’s our knowledge of God that helps us tap into his divine power. The more we know Him, the more power we have access to – and the more confident and effective we’ll be!
Do you want results? Do you want to be more confident when you lead? This is how you get there. Be intentional about your preparation and watch how your leadership transforms!
Question: What are some of the ways you prepare yourself and your team to lead? What works for you? Leave your comment below!