Being A Guest Worship Leader

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For the next to Sundays I’m leading worship at a church I have never lead worship for. It is called Real Life Church in Ankeny, Iowa. My friend is a worship leader there but will be on a missions trip in the middle east reaching out to Muslims (that’s a missions trip and a half). So I’m filling in for the next two weeks.

Although some of the people there know me, for most of the congregation this will be the first time they have worshiped with me (or met me for that matter).

This is an interesting challenge. Most of the time when I lead worship it is for people I know very well. It feels like we are family. This time the security of familiarity won’t be there. So I feel like I need a “strategy” (that’s not the right word but it will work) for the next two Sundays.

Here’s what I’m thinking. If you have any other tips I would love to hear them.

1. Select songs we both know. I’m only there for two Sundays and my agenda is to lead them in honest worship, not teach them a song I think is really cool.

2. Start the worship by sharing scripture. The Word of God is one of the best inspirations for worship. It has a way of resetting my brain for worship. Hopefully this will have the same effect on a congregation I have never met.

3. Eye contact and smile. Never underestimate the power of these two acts when leading worship. I won’t be a robot about it. Their will be moments when it is just me and God, but I also need to bring others to that place.

4. Be genuine. It can’t be faked. I can’t lead where I don’t go. I can never expect other to genuinely worship if I don’t first.

Should be a great experience. I’m am really looking forward to this.

Keep sharp,


2 Responses to "Being A Guest Worship Leader"
  1. Karl says:

    Love the genuine thing. And the eye contact and smiling…that was a hard one for me, because I was trying to be humble and invisible. But it just ends up looking like you’re bored. hehe

  2. Jed says:

    I used to do that too. I feel like the smiling and the eye contact thing is part of the “leader” in “worship leader.” It’s like we have a two sided coin (um…as opposed to a one sided coin…) we have to connect with God but we also have to connect with the people we are leading into worship to encourage them to connect with God. To use the sheppard metaphor: we have to be focused on the destination (connecting with God) as well as tending to the sheep we sheppard to get them there. All this from a nobody who just decided to put up a blog.

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