7 Essentials to a Thriving Worship Community: Part One

dirtLeading worship can seem like a balancing act sometimes- especially when it comes to some of the more practical facets of the role. Approach it too simply for too long, and you’ll start to feel like you might be missing something, or too much is falling through the cracks. If you start trying to be a little more “full-featured” in worship gatherings, you’ll eventually start yearning for the time when “it was just so simple”.

Then, you’ll inevitably decide to simplify everything and realize you’re right back where you started. And round and round you go.

So what kinds of things should you focus on, and what is most important in a community of worship leaders (we’re all worship leaders after all)?

Well, in my experience, I’ve seen a few recurring themes in worship communities that seem to be thriving. And I’ve listed 7 of them below in order of importance (in my opinion). My guess is that there is at least one of these elements that could use some work within your worship team.

 1. Individual Heart

The most important consideration to make when building a thriving community of worshipers is the individual hearts of those involved. Is each person here for the right reason? Is anyone prone to cause conflict? Is the common goal of everyone here to serve the church and ultimately the Creator? Answering these questions will be much easier, if you’re working hard on number 2 below.

 2. Community

I believe one of the most overlooked elements in worship teams at churches is genuine community among the members of the team. I am deeply involved in community with several members of our worship team at church. And others on the team are deeply involved with each other. We were not created to go through life isolated. So why would we attempt to lead others in worship while we aren’t trying to live out a God-designed life?

 Try this out: If you have a rehearsal on some other day than your church service, spend the first hour of it just sitting in a circle with the others in the team and share some your stories with each other. Or, set aside some time during the week to get together and share with each other. Do this each week for 2 months and see how it shapes your (and your church’s) worship.

 3. Preparation

I believe that leading others in worship is one of the most important responsibilities one can have. Helping give a voice to the broken and the hurting, and the restored and the alive, is not to be taken lightly.

So, how prepared are you each week? Have you learned all of the songs? Have you charted each song? Thought about how you are going to translate the part on your instrument into the room you’re in?

 How about spiritually? 

I try to start on Thursday or Friday of each week praying over the upcoming Sunday gathering. I ask God to reveal the burdens and hangups that I may be carrying with me and lay them at His feet. I ask God to clear distractions from my head, and spend a lot of time in quiet meditation of scripture. None of us should arrive to worship  our Creator unprepared.

This isn’t to say that any of us will ever be worthy to worship our God the way He has called us to. BUT, our preparation is an offering of thanksgiving and honor to a God who has redeemed us, and invited us to be a part of the party regardless of our unworthiness.

In part two of this blog we’ll talk about awareness, musicianship, trust and the dreaded 6-letter word: TALENT.

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