4 Habits Of A Good Worship Leader

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worshipleaderThere are a lot of different ways assess a worship leader. Here are just some of the ways we might decide if someone is a good worship leader or not.

  • The hipness of the hair cut
  • The skinniness of the jeans
  • The number of tattoos
  • The size of the beard
  • The thickness of the rims around the the non-prescription glasses

I’ve met a lot of worship leaders over the years and I’ve noticed that, not only is there choice of fashion all very different, but their personalities are very different. Worship leaders are a pretty diverse group. Not only are we a strange bunch, but we offer many variations of strange.

Even with all of this diversity, there are some things good worship leaders all have in common. You may not see it at first, but if you spend some time with them and watch how they work you’ll notice they all have certain habits in common.

Below are four habits we can all improve on to help make us better worship leaders.

1. They Treat Volunteers’ Time As Precious

People are busy. Your busy. Your pastor is busy. You congregation is busy. The world is busy.

We have no shortage of things we can do with our time. The same goes for our volunteers. When someone shows interest in being a part of your worship ministry, realize they have all sorts of obligations and responsibilities outside of the worship ministry. When they are offering to serve on your worship team, they are trusting you with there time. Treat that time as valuable.

If you prove to your team members that you won’t waste their time, they will trust you with more of it.

For most of us, the biggest challenge with this is during rehearsals. Click here to read my thoughts on improving rehearsals for you and your team.

2. Look Ahead.

I don’t remember who said it, but I once heard/read someone say a good leader anticipates while others react. I’m pretty sure it was Bruce Wayne. Regardless, spending some time thinking about the future is a good exercises for any leader, even a worship leader.

Spend some time thinking about how people will react. Is there a part of the song your musicians might need to spend extra time and attention on? Is there a line in the song that might need to explain to your church? What will you pastor think about a new direction you’re considering? How will you drummer react to a new dress code?

Learning to anticipate is like learning how to dance. You might get your feet stepped on every know and then, but the more you do it, the better you’ll get. If you can get to a place where you can anticipate challenges and barriers, you will be well on your way to becoming an effective leader.

3. Be Connected

Did you notice all of the examples I gave in the previous point involved anticipating people? The truth is, if you are a worship leader, you are not in the “music business,” you are in the people business.

If you want to grow in point number two, you have to first know the people around you. What would you pastor have been if they weren’t a pastor? What is your bass players biggest challenge at work? What’s your sound engineers favorite movie?

How do you do all this? We’ll the typical American response goes something like this: be intentional about getting know people. Set up coffee appointments with people and have a prepared stack of questions and afterwards put down everything you remember in an Excel spreadsheet along with their top five Strength Finders results and what you think they might score on the DISC and Hartman personality test.

Although, being intentional is a good thing and there will be times when you will have to be intentional about your relationships, might I suggest being unintentional every once in a while.

If there are some band members in your worship ministry who are volunteering at VBS, volunteer too and see if you don’t get to know them better. Go golfing with some people. Don’t like golf, go disc golfing then. You and your friends will be bad at that to but at least it’s a lot cheaper. Talk about movies with you band members after rehearsal.

Don’t make getting to know people a project. That’s just weird. Put yourself in situations and environments where you’ll naturally get to know people better. Don’t make it more complicated than being real, being natural, and being with people.

4. Have & Express Confidence In Your Team

Think for a moment about any times in your life where you have had a boss or a leader who didn’t have confidence in your abilities. Did you want to work for that boss? Did you want to follow that leader?

A musician’s confidence will often reflect the worship leaders confidence in them.

A worried worship leaders makes for worried volunteers. Worried volunteers make for awkward moments during worship. No matter what, keep calm and lead.

There may be a ceiling on what some of your volunteers can do. If it’s the morning of the service, except and be satisfied with those ceilings. There is no point in pointing out a musicians short comings on a Sunday morning. Create avenues of growth for musicians who need it, but realize you probably can’t bring a musician to the next level ten minutes before service starts.

If your team is great, tell them. Let them know that you think they are doing a great job and why you think they are doing a great job. Be specific. A team that leads with confidence leads well.

You can do this. I have confidence in you.


2 Responses to "4 Habits Of A Good Worship Leader"
  1. Dylan says:


    As a worship leader I found this very helpful. My biggest struggle with my team is getting them to commit more time, and building community outside of practice. All of my team members have time consuming work and family obligations that make it hard for us to get together outside of church. Any thoughts on how I build a strong team on so little time?

    Thanks, Dylan

  2. Jed says:

    Dylan, the struggle is real. June has been a particularly hard month for me to schedule. Everyone is on vacation. Glad to hear this post helped out.

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