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50 Worship Leading Tips Rookies Should Learn and Veterans Should Relearn

50 Worship Leading Tips Rookies Should Learn and Veterans Should Relearn

Every worship leader should spend some time considering this list. These were written by my friend and counterpart from the Kansas-Nebraska Convention, David Manner, a frequent contributor to this blog:

  1. Learn more people’s names than new songs.
  2. Take a Sabbath every week.
  3. Make deposits in younger leaders and withdrawals from older leaders.
  4. Pray for and defend your pastor even when he doesn’t deserve it.
  5. Leave more things at the office when you go home.
  6. Ask how it might impact your family before asking how it might impact your job.
  7. Learn more theology than musicology.
  8. Welcome divine interruptions in your routine.
  9. Surround yourself with those to protect you from your own stupidity.
  10. Place more focus on people than projects.
  11. Stay longer.
  12. Celebrate the Lord’s Supper more often.
  13. Begin all worship planning with Scripture and Prayer instead of songs titles.
  14. Drink more coffee with senior adults and students.
  15. The original song key may not be the best key for congregational singing.
  16. Practice leadership as much as you practice your guitar.
  17. Cast vision for the future without denigrating the past.
  18. Not all thoughts that enter your mind have to exit your mouth.
  19. Don’t feel threatened when someone else gets the credit.
  20. Affirm volunteers in public, correct them in private and pastor them in both places.
  21. Don’t randomly blow things up without considering where the pieces might land.
  22. Help grandparents and grandchildren worship together.
  23. If you don’t guard yourself spiritually, emotionally and physically no one else will.
  24. Public worship will never succeed without private worship.
  25. Understand the difference between knowing you can and deciding you should.
  26. Never stop being a student.
  27. Always err on the side of grace.
  28. Build bridges from the platform to the pews.
  29. Turn house lights up and volume down occasionally to see if they are even singing.
  30. Don’t determine the worship language of your congregation based on how you might appear to other worship leaders.
  31. You’ll always sing too many or too few hymns or modern worship songs for someone.
  32. Filter songs theologically before musically.
  33. Wake up every morning feeling unqualified in your own power to do what God has called you to do.
  34. Keep your focus on where you are instead of where you wish you were.
  35. Spend as much time on relationships as you spend on ministry job placement sites.
  36. Not all staff problems originate in someone else’s office.
  37. There are lots of other churches but you only have one family.
  38. Your attitude may be the only change necessary.
  39. Scripted, explainable and rational aren’t always worship prerequisites.
  40. If you try to succeed alone you’ll also fail alone.
  41. Setting boundaries ahead of time gives you the resolve to say no.
  42. What you once learned is not enough to sustain your entire ministry.
  43. The worship service you prepared may not be the most important worship that occurs this week.
  44. Just changing the music won’t grow or kill your church.
  45. Not every worship song is appropriate for congregational singing.
  46. Leading music doesn’t necessarily mean you are leading people.
  47. Worship even when you aren’t the leader.
  48. Your musical talent may help you secure a position but leadership and relationships will help you keep it.
  49. Don’t lead worship just because you don’t know how to do anything else.
  50. If you’re saving your best for where God might call you next, why would He want to?

Do you have some additional tips?

50 Worship Leader Tips Rookies Should Learn and Veterans Relearn Click To Tweet


This post was originally published at David Manner’s blog here.

About The Author

David Manner

Dr. David W. Manner serves as the Executive Director for Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists. Before joining the convention staff in 2000, David served for twenty years in music/worship ministry with congregations in Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oklahoma Baptist University; a Master of Church Music degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; and a Doctor of Worship Studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies.


  1. Jerry Maday

    Great lesson-filled zingers! One lesson we remind ourselves often with is: Compared to prayer, preaching of scripture and the Lord’s supper, music is the least important part of our assemblies. It gets it’s profound importance through supporting those more important acts of worship. Our volunteers are encouraged when they miss a rehearsal because of a need n their family, or a hurting member needing to talk, or a seeking soul needing to study the word, and there was no other time free for them to meet. We do use Ezekiel 33:30-33 once in awhile in our group reflections.

  2. Mike Mitchell

    An older choir member taught me to not do too many songs in a row – she needed to sit every so often. So will some of the congregants. A minute of prayer or scripture reading works. And the font of the words on the screen should be no smaller than the average age of the congregation (age 40 – 40 point minimum)

    • Kenny Lamm

      Thanks for your comments–these are good things to remember. One thing to note is that the same point font is not the same size between differing fonts, so just make sure the people on the back row can easily read what you have on screen. Check out for more helps in lyric display.


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