Preparing Personally for Worship
How do you as a worship leader personally prepare for the corporate worship service? This can make a powerful impact on your leadership. Today, I will explore some ways I prepare for leading worship.
Spend time with God throughout the week. Make worship a natural part of your life throughout the day. A great way to prepare specifically for the week’s worship service is to spend time in private worship with the songs you will be leading. Meditate on the words. Let them impact your life. Read relevant connecting Bible passages to the songs. Sing the songs to God as you personally offer your worship and praise. The more you worship with the songs during the week, the greater your leadership will be an overflow of your walk with God. When possible, get alone with God in your church sanctuary and pray for those that will be attending the service. Prayer walk the room. Play the piano or guitar while you sing the songs you will be leading Sunday.
Prepare for leadership.
TRANSITIONS & INTRODUCTIONS. In addition to the spiritual preparation, I take time to think about transitions between each element of worship. I especially focus on how I will introduce each song the congregation will sing. If the song is part of a set (two or more songs in succession), I also think about any verbal transitions that may be needed during the musical segues/transitions that seamlessly link the songs together. It is almost always best to keep the comments concise and often best to let the lyrics speak for themselves (say no words of introduction).
In introducing songs, I find quoting Scripture is one of the most powerful ways to introduce a song. I often use LifeWayWorship’s scripture suggestions that are found under the “additional information” tab on the song’s page. Commit to memory verses of praise (here is a listing of 144 Bible verses about praising God
). There will be times God will bring a verse to mind in worship as you lead.
WRITING OUT YOUR VERBAL TRANSITIONS. Once you have an idea of how you will introduce a song, WRITE IT OUT. Too often worship leaders speak from the cuff and they ramble without saying anything substantive. Writing it out helps you organize your thoughts and make them concise. You do not have to read what you wrote, but when you speak, you will know what you want to say clearly.
. Our church uses ProPresenter
with the stage display feature. This is great for a confidence monitor, allowing you to see the current lyrics AND the next slide coming up. I also print out a one page sheet for each song with lyrics as a backup, if needed. Additionally, I will print out any notes I need for introducing songs. I also have a copy of the worship flow to refer to throughout the service. I often use my tablet for all of this rather than printing multiple pages. (I generally load all of this plus lead sheets for every song on my iPad, using the app forScore
. Each lead sheet has an attached mp3 for reference. I have pretty much everything I need for rehearsals and worship in that one place.)
When you arrive at church before worship, you are spiritually prepared. I have the band, singers, and tech team arrive early to run through the songs and pray together.
As you come well-prepared, you will find that you have greater freedom in your worship and a greater ability to worship while leading.
What ways would you add to prepare for leading worship?
Here’s an overview of this series (see the intro here):
- Planning the worship service. We will look at everything from sitting down with your pastor and exploring upcoming sermon concepts to choosing appropriate congregational and presentational music. We discuss how to find creative elements to infuse in the service and ways to organize your plan for best implementation.
- Preparing the choir. Once songs are selected, how do we get the most out of our choirs/vocal teams to prepare them to be amazing worship leaders? How can we help them be successful? We talk about rehearsal planning and implementation, practice tracks, discipleship, and much more.
- Preparing the band. We will deal with scheduling issues, technologies to assist you, band charts, mp3s, rehearsals, and more.
- Preparing the media. How can our media enhance the worship service? How do we conceptualize and implement what will show on the screens in our church?
- Preparing the congregation. This part is so often overlooked. How do we help our congregations personally prepare for our times of corporate worship? This can be a huge benefit for corporate worship when our people are adequately prepared.
- Preparing personally for worship. How do you as a worship leader personally prepare for the corporate worship service? This can make a powerful impact on your leadership.
- Corporate worship! How do we implement all that we have prepared for?