Worship Pastors and their Teams - Lesson 9

Common Questions and Best Practices

Introduce a song as new for 3 weeks in a row. Introduce people to parts of the song the first few times. When choosing songs, think of yourself as your congregation’s spiritual dietician and give them a balanced diet across a range of emotions and thought. The best songs seem to be ones that people can sing with and engage with. Know who you are leading worship for. Establish an understanding of how they hear you vs needing to say what you think. Respect the direction of the pastor. If you are younger than the pastor, you earn their respect by your character. Three levels of communication with your worship team: 1. Information, 2. Encouragement, 3. Insight. Pray for what you envision for your congregation. Christianity is not purely a thought, it’s the expression of thought…the Word became flesh.

Carl Cartee
Worship Pastors and their Teams
Lesson 9
Watching Now
Common Questions and Best Practices

I. How Do You Introduce a New Song to Your Congregation?

II. How Do You Choose the Best Songs for Your Congregation?

III. How do YOU Find a Balance Between Traditional and Contemporary Songs?

IV. How Do You Handle Auditions for the Worship Team?

V. How Do You Tell People That They Didn't Make The Worship Team?

VI. How Do You Handle It When Someone Needs to be Removed From the Worship Team?

VII. How to Collaborate With Your Pastor.

VIII. How Do You Best Communicate With Your Team?

IX. How Do You Follow the Leading of the Spirit When There is an Organized Plan?

X. What's a Worship Leader's Job When You're Not Singing?

XI. How Do I Use Production Elements Without Making it Feel Like a Show?

XII. How Can I Take My Team to the Next Level Musically?

XIII. How Do I Get My Congregation to Engage More?

XIV. How Do I Minister to People Outside the Realm of Worship?

  • Carl Cartee, a lifelong musician and experienced worship leader of 17 years, will be leading this course on how to effectively invite people in your congregation to worship God. He will cover topics such as choosing members for the team and mentoring them musically and spiritually, emphasizing truths during worship, and planning services. Students are strongly recommended to go through The Essentials of Worship by Dr. Gary Parrett beforehand for a theoretical basis for worship.

  • Worship leaders have an opportunity to paint a picture of eternity to reveal how beautiful and powerful God is. Worship can be defined as the mind’s attention and the heart’s affection expressed. Biblical worship is both individual and corporate worship. In each worship service, you as a worship leader should focus on communicating the one thing people in the congregation need to know, what they need to do and how you can help them remember it.

  • You are a child of God and you are chosen, royal and purchased. You are called, not so much to accomplish but to worship. You must be worshipping before you can lead others to worship. Work on your job, you’ll make a living. Work on yourself, you’ll make a fortune. Don’t stay where you are at. God invites us into his work, not because we are needed, but because we are loved.

  • Don’t let there be a disconnect between what you say at church and what you do in the world. In order to lead people beyond your title, you must earn their trust by making your life and words line up. When you depend on your title alone as worship pastor, you are being a fixture, not a shepherd. Prioritize time with God. Your calling is to a journey, not a destination. Bearing fruit requires time and effort, not from trying to cut the process short by copying someone else. Don’t try to make people happy, make them disciples. Pray that God will nurture in you an inward passion that transcends outward appearance.

  • If you are insecure, the temptation is to be nervous about what the people in the congregation are thinking rather than concentrating on having an attitude of compassion. Humility is the opposite of insecurity and you discover it in God's presence. One way to demonstrate kindness is to spend 30 seconds each with as many people as possible before you lead worship. You perform from a stage, you influence from a platform. Trajectory of a Christian leader is not an ascent into fame and influence but a descent into obscurity and service.

  • Creativity and thought can make an experience memorable. Core truths of the Christian belief are God is holy, man is sinful, grace is amazing and Jesus is the hope of the world. It can be valuable to include durable and well thought-out ancient confessions and creeds. We learn theology through well-written hymns. Be prayed up, punctual and prepared. Worship is a relational encounter with God and others.  We don’t build temples, we dig wells. 

  • Different people often view the same experience in different ways. People may be deeply moved even though they don’t express it outwardly. Earn trust short term by using a welcome using gestures you use daily, like a smile or a nod or a greeting. Think of things that are universally welcoming. You need to break down resistance, curiosity, reluctance. Earn long-term trust by representing the bible well over time and musical integrity and proficiency. Be careful about “barking orders” right away. Tend the flock rather than driving cattle. Don’t force-feed people information but offer them a meal. Rather than be a cheerleader, encourage and invite people to have an encounter with Christ. Make your body language match what your mouth is saying. Open your eyes to connect with people. Body language can also help non-musical people participate and sing. Use your music to take people on a connected journey. Try to add familiarity in everything you do.

  • Use words purposefully (Prov 12:18, 10:19). The worship leader is often the second most influential person in the church so your words carry weight. Prepare your introduction. Invite people in by telling them what is about to happen and by telling them, who you are, what you are about to do and why you are doing it. 

  • We sing individually, corporately and worldwide. There is always music somewhere in the world. Music and singing help connect affection for God and truth about God in one unified expression. Make it simple and nourishing. For a new song, introduce it three weeks in a row as a new song. Maybe even play through the chorus first to let people hear what a segment of the song sounds like.

  • Introduce a song as new for 3 weeks in a row. Introduce people to parts of the song the first few times. When choosing songs, think of yourself as your congregation’s spiritual dietician and give them a balanced diet across a range of emotions and thought. The best songs seem to be ones that people can sing with and engage with. Know who you are leading worship for. Establish an understanding of how they hear you vs needing to say what you think. Respect the direction of the pastor. If you are younger than the pastor, you earn their respect by your character. Three levels of communication with your worship team: 1. Information, 2. Encouragement, 3. Insight. Pray for what you envision for your congregation. Christianity is not purely a thought, it’s the expression of thought…the Word became flesh.

  • Questions about how a pastor and worship leader can work together to create a seamless worship experience and model working together in relationship.

As a worship leader, you don't lead music for people, you lead people with music. What do you do and say that is effective in inviting people in your congregation to worship God? How do you choose members of your worship team and then mentor them musically and spiritually? What truths do you emphasize and how do you articulate them? How do you design and implement a plan for your worship service? What should your planning time with your pastor look like?

The speaker for this class is Carl Cartee who is a lifelong musician who has had experience in playing concerts and recording music. For the past 17 years, he and his wife Heather have been leading worship, writing songs and mentoring musicians.  

We strongly recommend that you attend this seminar in conjunction with Understanding Worship seminar by Dr. Gary Parrett. Gary will give you the theoretical basis for worship, and Carl will give the practical applications.

Carl Cartee

Worship Pastors and their Teams


Common Questions and Best Practices

Lesson Transcript


Hey, everyone, this is Carl Carty. We've been talking about worship leadership. I'm here with my friend Brandon Gates, and we thought of some common questions and best practices that a lot of worship leaders ask. And we wanted to do the best we could to answer some of those questions and give you some some good practices to handle some common, common challenges that worship leaders have a lot. So, Brandon, I'm glad you're doing this with me. Me too. Yeah. Exciting. First question, How would you go about introducing a new song to the congregation? Well, I think a good way to introduce a song to a congregation, a brand new song, is to just go and take the long view with it. So we're going to lead this song. We're going to introduce it not just one Sunday and assume that everybody knows it, but really are. I've found that introducing it three Sundays in a row. Back to back to back. Letting people get familiar with it. And each time I usually the first two times I introduce a song to the congregation, I will say, Hey, we want to remind you guys, let you guys know this one new song. I always say that and it just kind of lets people off the hook to know that like. This isn't familiar. I don't have to feel bad about not knowing it. I'm just. I'm here to learn this. And then I usually take, like, a chorus and just teach that to them on my instrument. Sing it to them. Just say, Hey, get this in your in your ear a couple of times. And this is the way. This is the way forward. So I always, always take the long view and understand that, you know, people learn things, you know, a little bit at a time.


And so let that let that be the the way I teach it a little bit at a time. You know, I don't expect them to fully embrace it until three, maybe four times in a weekend that I've let it. So it's the repetition is the key. Yeah. You know. You know, repeating things for people is, you know, I learned that way. I have to be told over and over again, you know, So that's easy now. But giving giving people permission to, like, know that, like, not everybody is going to know the song. We're just inviting you in. We want to help you with a new expression. This is a new thing. So you got to get into it, you know, And there's I've had so many times where someone had said, you know, the first two times you led that song, I didn't really like it. But when the third, you know, I mean, it's just like, okay, you know, I think I think we are, as worship leaders, prone to get tired of things way quicker than maybe people in our congregation. Me Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Cool. So how do you go about choosing the best songs, best fit for your congregation? Yeah, well, the best way to think about it in terms of choosing what songs and what kind of songs the themes is to really is I think of myself as the musical dietician and the content dietician for my congregation. So I try to make sure that there's some nutritious stuff that I'm feeding them. There's some there's some things that are enjoyable that they like, like dessert. That's good, you know? But it's it's a balanced diet and it's not so much sugar that they don't have any nutrients, but it's not so much broccoli and like good things for them that it's like I mean, it's just so much, you know what I mean? It's a balanced diet across a whole spectrum of emotions because that's really the way people live their life.


It's not, you know, like in this narrow frequency range. It's like, wow, I mean, I want to experience all that. There isn't then there's there's a lot to talk about in the Christian experience. And so for me, like, the easiest way to look at it, if I pick a song, I ask myself, where does this where does this fit in? In a healthy diet of thought, expression, emotion, intellect, you know, and, you know. The best songs for the congregation tend to be the songs. People can sing with, you know, people can engage with. And it doesn't take eight times for them to hear it before they can understand the sophisticated musical subtleties of the song. They can get in quick, you know, EMS or EMS or that way they're designed that way. And by invite people in there. Yeah, Yes, they're going off of that. How do you go about finding a balance between the new and the old, you know, the him and the contemporary and a blended service? What are your thoughts on that? Yeah, well, I think it's I think it's fair for the worship leader to get to know. Who he's leading worship for. And to. Not alienate them. By, you know, seeing things that he knows to hate, but also not patronize them and stunt their growth and expression and their capacity for thought. Because a lot a lot of people get attached to like a song or a sound because of sentimentality, because it's like, oh, well, this is the way it's always been. So that certainly must be the way it should be now. But that really doesn't have a lot of roots in like growing in your faith and and deepening your expression. It's not that it's all bad, but like the reason why you would you would sing a hymn.


I would hope that it's blended with the same reason that you would sing a new song, you know, teach a new song, because both of these have value. And, you know, I've heard the critique like, you know, well, the new songs just aren't as good as the old hymns. Maybe. That's right. But there are some new songs that outdo the old hymns because if you take a hymnal, you know, not all of them are solid gold. You know what I mean? There. There are some in there that you might think, well, you know, now that I think about it, even though it's even though it's been around for a long time, it's not necessarily, you know, worth keeping around. You know, of course, it's you know, the cream rises to the top, you know. But, you know, the way I approach. You know, the number of hymns that I would use versus the number of new songs that I would use. I still look at the people that I lead and. Try and find the balance between inviting them forward in their expression without jerking them forward. You know what I mean? And, you know, exposing them to the new so as not to just patronize, you know, or like, indulge sentimentality, which is also that's not a that's not an expression of your mind's attention and your heart's affection. It's like making yourself have warm, fuzzy feelings, but for the totally wrong reason. You know what I mean? Of course, to hope that hopefully that's helpful. Yeah, absolutely. Next one. How do you handle auditions for the team? Yeah. And this may be specific to some some context, because I don't want to assume that everybody has enough people to hold hold auditions. But a lot of churches now are in an era in a time where, you know, a lot of people want to serve, you know, on the worship team.


And it might make sense to see well, take an analysis of who we who do we have and what are they good at. And for me, I always do auditions like like this. I will say we have one song that's a control, so everybody learns the same song. You know, you were telling me earlier about your, you know, one worship pastor that sing Happy Birthday. You know, it's a simple song, but everybody sings the same one. So that establishes a baseline for, you know, can you sing in tune? Do you have a good time? Do you have good tone? Can you play this song, learn it, establish a control that everyone plays, and then give someone the opportunity to present something that they feel like this is good for me. This is my wheelhouse. I give people that opportunity and let them, you know. Let them sing or play. And then. And then I ask people to do more things for singers. I'll sing a simple song and ask them if they can harmonize with me. You know that there's usually an ability to do that. Is it pretty easily a pretty good indicator about where someone's musical proficiency is? And then and then for a player and instrumentalists, I'll ask them to look at a simple chart and read it for me. And that and that also for a person who doesn't sing, plays guitar, keys or drums. Can you can you read this chart and can you tell me, you know, what it means? And so it's very simple. I hold auditions, kind of use that format. And what I also do is. Establish a baseline for the people by saying this, Look, this is the kind of person I'm looking for. The people if the people who are already on our team are between an eight and a ten out of one out of ten.


So the people who are already on our team being eight or ten. You don't have to be, you know, winning American Idol or, you know, be be the most professional person. But so that's not the, you know, the highest level of musicians and not necessarily the standard we're looking for, but the people who are currently serving in the capacity on our team, if they're an eight or a ten, that's what I'm looking for. Yeah. You know, and sit and kind of set that up. Yeah, of course. Going along with that, how would you tell people they didn't make the team? Okay. It's always very hard. And there been a lot of, you know, conversations about, you know, whether or not that's even a good thing. You know, like if it's church. Why wouldn't you use everyone to be on on the worship team? I usually respond to that question. But, you know, by the same standard that we don't let everyone preach, we don't let everyone lead worship. We're we're looking for at least a measure of skill and ability and a gifting in that area. And so if someone auditions in and it's a no, I always start this way so they know the standard about. The people I'm looking for are current team. They're eight out of ten. I always ask them, How did you do? One out of ten. You know, you give yourself a number on that one out of ten scale. Understanding that I'm looking for, you know, eighth, ninth and 10th if I can get them. And their answer to that question is usually a good opportunity for me to know, you know, what what their awareness level is, how how well they did. People are pretty good at self-assessment.


There have been a couple of times where someone said to me, well, I was I think I it like seven, you know, and they might have been cheating themselves up a little bit. But but what that does is give me the opportunity to say, well, for me, you were more like a five. You know, so we've got this established like criteria. It's not a moving goalpost, you know what I mean? And we can reference, you know, this lady and that guy, you know, they're eight or they're eight or nine, you know, so. So we would, you know, have that. And then I would you know, I always do this, though. If I say no to somebody, I let them get involved in saying how they think they did. And then if if it's different. I'll say, Well, you know, maybe I thought you were five. So for now it would be No. But I always I always do this. It's never a no. Period. It's always a know with hope because as as a pastor, as a shepherd, as a worship leader. I'm not in the business of like forming super groups that are like trying to impress people on Sunday mornings. I am in the business of people development. So I always say it's not for now. But if you're willing. To invest the work that it would take to improve you from whatever number you are now to whatever number I need you to be. I will make the effort to help you get there. And I always do this. If I say no to somebody, I tell them I will. I will start right now. I'll buy you three private lessons with a professional instructor, whether you're a guitar player, a singer out of my pocket.


I'll buy those lessons for you if you'll take them and get started down that path. Now, three is not enough. But I want to know. I want. I want that person to know that to I know I am adding my commitment to help them develop and help them, you know, and you know, you know, our you know, some churches may not be, you know, be into that. And and it's it's great. It's fine. But I think as just the person who looks at life like I want to develop people, I want to help people. No, it's okay to say no, but the best thing that can happen is knows the beginning of a conversation and you say to someone, No, but yeah, I'll help develop you and here's my skin in the game. I'll. I'll pay for you to have three private lessons. Sure, I'll. I'll get you started and then will you re audition? And so that has been a very effective way. Like peop you know, sometimes people like you receive personal critique. It's very hard, especially like, you know, hey, you didn't make the team, you didn't pass the test, you know, the audition, you know, didn't go great. You know, people people have and and understandably so. You take a personal value hit. Yeah. You know, I mean, it's happened to me. It's fine. I understand it. It is a part of growth. But as someone who's, you know. Not doing this like, because you're like, well, looking exclusively for professionals. Being somebody who's saying no, but then adding to that, a desire to develop people is probably the best, best practice I've come up with. Cool. That's awesome. So another thought, it kind of came to mind later on through this.


When dealing with someone that's currently on the team and there needs to be change made, maybe someone needs to be taken off the team for a specific reason. How would you go about handling that? Yeah, well, I mean, it would have a little bit to do with like the specifics of, you know, of why. Like, if it was like their, you know, their lifestyle or choices that they were making off the platform were becoming a distraction to the congregation because, well, you know, I know so-and-so's up there singing, but I also know that they're, you know, cheating on their taxes or they're chronic shoplifter or they're doing things in the community that are eroding their own testimony and the reputation of our church. That's kind of an immediate distraction type of thing. And that would be like, hey, we have to have a conversation about some things that I've heard and. The expectations of a Christian leader are applied to you if you're on this platform influencing worship, you know, and being a part of worship leadership. So just like, you know, we would say the same thing to the pastor, I need to have a conversation with you and and have a frank dialog with that person. And if it's time for them to go, they're unrepentant. Then it's time for them to go. If it's if it's a musical thing, a frank conversation, and a reminder to them of what expectations are, you know, prayed up, prepared, you know, punctual in tune in time, good tone. Just kind of a reorienting. Because if we don't talk about these things, people drift, you know, have things happen. But it might be time to say, you know, I, I think I might need to remind you.


Of of kind of the the expectations that that have been set up. Now, if you have to have that conversation in the absence of some previously set up expectations, it it might be a process over time we have to establish them say look. Kind of it's a new it's a new season for us. It's a new day. This one I. I really want from you guys. People. People will tend to elevate to the standard that you set for them. You know what I mean? Most people are smart. You know, and giving them an opportunity to elevate their game first. And then if people don't want to, if people have, you know, authority issues or care character issues, problems with leadership, things like that. It's hard it's hard to diffuse those things, like in one conversation or in a, you know, in kind of one fell swoop. But it I think it would be you would best begin by starting the dialog with whatever person versus leaving those kind of open. Sometimes you hear a sideways comment or, you know, somebody says something like You're second hand. Letting those things simmer and remain unaddressed is that's kind of where the trouble starts to brew. So your thoughts on how to collaborate with your pastor working alongside him? It's a very good question because the the relationship dynamics between a pastor and a worship leader can be all across the board. You know, I've had the great fortune of always working with pretty healthy pastors who are supportive and and they. Didn't see. The worship as the thing that they had to endure so that they could get to the preaching. You know, and I've I've tried to be the kind of worship leader that led worship that was, you know, like not the main thing in my mind, but really a joint effort, you know, to teach and to preach and to instruct and encourage just as much as the sermon was.


And hopefully the pastor is preaching and teaching and encouraging and leading worship just as much as the music does. Sometimes, though, pastors can be more thinkers, and I know worship pastor can be more of a feeler. And sometimes those two, like worldviews, can can collide. I think one one way that to navigate those waters is to think of it in terms of when you're trying to collaborate with someone, establishing an understanding of how they hear you. Versus like needing to say what you've said is a is an important dynamic. You know, like I remember when I was when I was first first married. Like, I came from a certain kind of family and we were loud and demonstrative and we weren't fighting, but we're just being loud. But when my wife heard me being loud, like in her family, loudness was bad. Always bad. You know what I mean? And so, like, we were just on different pages and and I think it took me not not fighting for my right to be loud, but understanding that I need to speak in a way that she can best hear it and acknowledging, hey, we're from different worlds. You're a thinker. I'm a feeler. We don't have to change that. But what we need to do is to open up our understanding of one another, you know, just and just say, I'm not going to say it how I want you to hear it. I'm going to try and say how I think you can best hear it, you know, and the collaborative process, really, um, it, it opens up a little more under those terms now that it's a very nuanced relationship. I mean. At. At some point, I think as the pastor and senior pastor of the church, the worship leader might do well to say, hey, that's your call to make.


You know. But, you know, you're responsible for this congregation. I'll do what you need me to do. And but thank God that, you know, the judgment of God is not going to be upon me. It's going to be. No, but but that is that is an important, important point to draw out that. If if he's if he's the leader of the church, God's put him there. And it's okay to trust that whatever direction things seem to be going. Even though if you don't love it, that you can say yes to the Lord, He's called you, you know, definitely to follow that. Okay, cool. Um, so next. How do you, uh. Oh, can I say one more thing about that? It's been my experience for many years that the worship leader is younger than the pastor, and in every dynamic, cultural dynamic in the church are not, you know, it's harder for a younger man. Takes longer for a younger man to earn the respect and the trust of an older man. It just happens. It will always be that way, for it has always been that way. You know, those are one of those things. But I just wanted to bring up Paul's admonition to Timothy. First, Timothy 412. Don't let anyone look down on you because you're young. I think Timothy might have been in his forties when Paul was writing this to him, so he wasn't like, necessarily so young. At least by by our modern standard. But don't let anyone look down on you because you're young. But set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and impurity. If a young man wants to earn the trust of an old man, he's not going to do it with his ideas and his performance.


He's going to do it with his character. The kind of things he says, the way he handles himself. How does he love people? What kind of faith does he demonstrate? And honestly, is he pure in heart? This is a poor guy. You know, sometimes young guys get a reputation. You know what I mean? If you want to earn the trust of your pastor in a lot of contexts, your pastor. Can be older than the worship leader. If you want to earn the trust of that man, don't try to impress him with your skill. Show him what kind of man you are. He won't be able to look down on you. Yeah. Awesome. Okay. Good thoughts. So how do you go about best communicating with your team? You know, working with volunteers is is tricky business. You have to. You have to be nice to people. And at the same time, you have to ask them to give more. Yeah, I mean, it is really challenging. And people more than ever are super busy, so. But communicating with people, letting them in on what's going on is a is a great way, I think, over the long term to enhance how they lead the congregation in worship. So if it's communicating with them on just informational level, that's great. But I think there's kind of a three tiered way that a worship pastor can communicate specifically with his team to really deepen their connection and deepen their understanding of really what they're doing. The first level of communication is like information. Be at rehearsal at this time. We're going to play these songs in these keys. It's informational. The next level up from that is encouragement. Like, Hey, here's the information. I want you guys to know how good you guys did, or thank you so much for a wonderful weekend encouragement type things.


And once you move past encouragement, information, encouragement, then you're able to be somebody who can offer insight like, Hey, what about this? I think we could be doing this. Or I was reading in the Scriptures and the Lord showed me this. You know, I've been praying for you for these things, so. If over time you consistently communicate on those three levels information, encouragement and insight. Now it's cumulative, like random communication. I think annoys most people. Uh oh. So interested in an emailed. It's been months since we've heard from their you know what I mean? But information, encouragement and insight cumulatively over time has has has a great effect to solidify a team and help that team mature. Because if you get to the place where you're able to offer them insight, that helps them to mature in their own faith, to understand a little bit more deeply not what they're doing, but why are we leading worship? What does this mean? Most most people get into worship volunteering and being a part of the team just because they like technical aspects of things. They like running sound. They like playing the drums. It's fun, but opening up that dimension of worship leadership to them on another level, like you like this. But this is the big why. Yeah, that we're trying to accomplish here. I think that's a really helpful way. Sure. But consistently over time, it accumulates on you. It's kind of like interest in the bank. Yeah, sure. Well, so how do you for how do you follow the leading of the spirit when there's a very tight, organized plan service? So it's a very good question. I've been part of, like a lot of churches where it's like. Don't deviate from the plan.


Yeah. And and a lot of churches are in a situation where we have we have multiple services. So if you have multiple services, the childcare and the parking and different things like that, the service needs to end on time and it has to, it has to follow in some ways a plan. Yeah, I think it's important for worship leaders to remember that just because there's a plan doesn't mean that God can't work. And and we've somehow limited him, you know, with by putting time on our services, you know, God is outside of time. And so he uses an hour the same way he uses the minute he is eternal. And so remembering that and using it as an act of faith, it's like God. If I sing another. If I sing an extra song. It doesn't increase or diminish your power in any way. Or if I only get to sing one song, you know, this plan or this part of the service doesn't call for a big music set. I'm okay with that because I'm, you know, the quantity or the quality of which, you know, the things that I get to do doesn't determine how powerful God can be and how he can use things. So say to say in the midst of it, even if it's a tightly programed service like this is the Lord's service to run. And if it runs right on the plan, that's great. Now, it also is a work of faith. To be confident in a moment to say we're going to we're going to get off the script just for a minute. I know we've got lots of things to do, and I know there are people, lots of places to be, but just for a minute.


We're going to get off the script and. Singing different song. Say a different word, pray a prayer that seems important and, you know, imminent in the moment that that's the work of faith. Both both of those things fall in script. It takes faith to do that. To follow the program. It also takes faith to say we're going to stop and break through that. So what I would say to worship leaders who are, you know, wanting to follow the spirit. In those moments, make sure that you remember that it takes faith to do all of this. All of this takes faith. You know, the work that we do, it's it's a work of faith. It's a step of faith in asking asking, you know, God would lead this. Mm hmm. You know, and you know, this the last thing I'll say about that. But the you know, the spirit works in a planning meeting on Tuesday in the same way that he works, like spur of the moment on Sunday morning or Wednesday night, you know? Absolutely. Yeah. So what's my your job when you're not singing? Yeah, that's a good that's a good question. A lot of times there's some confusion about, like, should I say something when I'm not singing? Can I talk? What do I say if I am talking? Just a few a few thoughts. Like if you feel like you should say something, but you don't know what to say, read the Bible. I'd say read the Scriptures. Pore over the Scriptures. Fine, fine, fine. The verse, the chapter, the Psalm that's applicable to what's going on. You know, if the songs you're singing are reinforced by the Bible, you'll be able to use the Bible to read, read those over your congregation, offer insights or wisdom, you know.


If you are able to connect what God is doing in your own life, you know? To a song or two other people kind of used the you know, I mentioned this in one of the other lectures, but the, you know, the feel felt found, you know, if you feel like this. I felt the same way. But what I found, you know, and you don't have to use those same words, but it's the concept of like, I know what you're feeling because I've felt it, but God is the one who makes the difference. Just connect that wisdom or insight. Providing a way to contextualize. Something that we're doing is always a good. Do you know why we have communion? Do you know what this means? Do you know that every time we do this, we proclaim the Lord's Death until he comes? This is a picture of what was. But it's also a picture of what's to come. Contextualizing it. A lot of people, especially in a in a in a you know, a post church culture, that they don't have the years and years of understanding why we do. They didn't grow up in church. They don't know these things. So. When you're not singing, you have an opportunity to contextualize, help, help people understand a little bit more clearly what's happening. Telling your testimony of God's goodness. I grew up in this culture where, you know, sharing your testimony was like a weekly occurrence, you know? We'd be in church who's got a testimony, you know, someone pop up somewhere else. But I thought that was really cool. We don't we don't see that as much anymore. Maybe we're too tightly programed. But but for a worship leader just to say, you know, I just want to remind you guys one more time how good God has been in my life.


You might not know this about me, but I used to be this guy. God deliver me from that. And and. And then he called me into this ministry, and now I get the honor of standing in front of you guys and helping you to sing about Jesus. Well, you wanna know something? When I'm. When I'm singing about Jesus, I'm not singing about something that I don't know about. I'm singing about a savior that has changed my life in my heart. You know, you say your testimony at that concert so much profound impact. Sure. People are. Oh, my gosh, I know that. But then again, you know, it draws people in. And that's that's another really good thing to do when you're. Then you're not singing. And then I'll say this. A prayer. Thoughtful prayer. You cannot be more influential. On a person, then when you're praying for them, you know, you could say the coolest thing. You could come up with the best concept. You know, you could be like me and I, I've got so much help for you, but I still think you could never be more influential in a person's life than when you're praying for them and for worship leader to to decide, not to just phone in some prayer with a bunch of Christian lingo strung together. But look at your congregation and pray specifically for them about things that you envision by faith that God would do in their life. Yeah, that's awesome. I, I want to hear my worship leader. Pray for me. I want that, you know, definitely. Yeah. So when you're not singing, read the Bible and pray for people. Sure. Simple and. Yeah. All right, next question. How do I balance production elements like lights, Haze without making everything feel like a concert or rock show? Yeah.


Yeah. This is it's very different across a lot of contexts, you know. You know, there are some churches, you know, it looks like a lighting factory exploded on the stage. It's like, Oh my gosh, what's going on here? Yeah. And then other churches, it's like a windowless room where, like, you know, this like doctor's office, you know? So I think there's a pretty good place to go for it, though, in this. And really. My objective in in leading worship. It's to tell the gospel story. God is holy man is sinful. Grace is amazing. Jesus is the hope of the world to tell that and use those themes to help people sing. So those production elements, visuals, lighting, haze, all that stuff, I wouldn't say throw it all away. What I would say to do is use those as a means to enhance people's capacity to engage at the point at which we get. If we get to the point at which all the production elements. Invite people to watch more than it invites people to participate. We've gone too far. You know what I mean? Yeah, absolutely. If the lights move and it's and it's it it helps to facilitate the congregation's expression. Or if you show something on the screen and it's it's it's an image that inspires somebody to respond in worship, whether it be in their body, with their voice, with their arms, then I'm all about it. But at the point at which people like, you know, for their arms and kind of look up and check it, you start checking it out versus engaging with it. That's where I think you're going to find there. Yeah, finding that balance and just always doing everything you can to invite people in to participate.


And I think some production elements are able to do that. They have they have a very, you know, cool capacity. I mean, it's awesome technology. You know, I think it's great. I think it can be used just for as much good as it can for for evil. You know, it doesn't have to, you know, feel self-serving or anything like that. There are a lot of people who are gifted to create visual atmospheres and and use lights and sound and video to to invite people in. I think those I think those things are so useful and like when executed in the service of a congregation and inviting them in and I'm all for it. But at the point at which it becomes a spectator sport, it's too far. Gotcha. Yeah. Thank you. So next one, How can I take my team to the next level musically? Yeah, well, I'm a big believer in in setting expectations for people and just saying, Hey, you know, these are the marks that I want you to hit. And, you know, I talked about it a little bit, but like, you know, I want to play in tune. I want to play in time. I want to have good tone. Those are those are important marks to hit. A lot of times, you know, a worship leader might do himself a favor or herself a favor by saying, hey, I want you to be at this point. By this time in your musical maturity and your progression. But here's an example of something that I ask ask of players that I work with. I don't want people to use charts. I want you have your music memorized. But I always try to make sure that I know my music because no one will do.


Anything that I ask them to do that I'm not already doing myself. You know what I mean? So if if I don't want you to use charts, then I don't look at chart looking. You know, if I want you have your lyrics memorized, then I don't look at lyrics and I mean memorizing music, you know, for, for some folks, it's hard, but I mean, it's a it separates the, the we the wheat from the tares really quickly because if, if you can get that done, you know, that eliminates anybody from showing up not having listened to the music beforehand, you know what I mean? So it's setting a standard first, being willing to meet it. And then holding people to it. Sure. I ask you to do this. Do you think you could do it next time? You know what I mean? Kind of. All our ships rise all the time. If the worship leader is setting an excellent musical standard. I think when his when his team sees that or her team sees that, they'll they'll rust the next level. Sure. Yeah. Okay. Awesome. Next one. How do I get my congregation to engage more? Well, I think it's important to remember if you're looking at a congregation and you might be asking yourself, these people aren't involved, why aren't they engaging? It may be true that they're not, but could also be true that they engage differently than you do. So let yourself off the hook just a little bit to say that different people engage in expression across a wide range. You know, a person may look like this on the outside, you know, arms folded, head down, not participating. But but they may be having, you know, a you know, an experience that just transcends anything or they just don't show it on the outside.


Sure. But also another way of another way of doing that is giving people a good model for expression. Like if you're interested in helping them express with their body, their minds, attention and hearts affection, which I mean, I really think that, you know, worship really is mind's attention on Heart's affection expressed. You know, it's it's not the thought that counts. It's the expression of a thought. It's letting that thought take shape, the shape of an action. So, like and the Bible is full of, you know, ways that we can use our bodies. To express how we feel about God. You know what I mean? Yeah, I think it's mandated it. Christianity is not a thought, you know, purely a thought. It's. It's the expression of thoughts, you know what I mean? And, uh, the, you know, Christianity is the word became, you know, flesh dwelt among us. It was expressed. And as we worship God, we express so. Helping people understand, Hey, this is how you engage in worship. Now, sometimes people don't know. So first you give yourself permission. To remember that everybody engages differently. And then secondly, you take the authority that God has been given, that God's given you as the worship leader, and use that to help model what expression and engagement would look like. Mm hmm. And remember that that is a slow process. Definitely. It it's over time. It takes a lot of faith and it takes a lot of a lot of patience. But I've seen it happen over time that as people have been disciples and worship, encouraged in worship and given a model to follow, they become more biblical worshipers. So it's a process over time. Sure. Yeah. Next one. How do I minister to people outside the realm of worship? Yeah.


When we have opportunities to lead worship. I always want to, you know, remind people that that's just one small dimension of who you are. You're first a child of God. You minister to people wherever you go, not as a worship leader. Your capacity to be a child of God doesn't end when you walk off the stage and you're not wearing your instrument anymore. You're not singing into a microphone anymore. You're child of God always. Secondly, you're a minister to people. No matter where you are, if you're in the grocery store, if you're in the hospital, if you're at a funeral, if you're at a football game, if you're at work. You're a child of God, always in your ministered to people and that you're a worship leader. Third. That's kind of down the list. So see yourself for who you really are at your core. Sure. I've been a worship leader all my life. But I am absolutely sure that there will come a time when this job will not be my job anymore. There might even come a time when I'm too sick or too old to get out of the house. I could still be a minister to people. I could still in some capacity. Even if it's for my neighbor or my kid or just somebody that comes to visit me, I'll be a minister to people. But even if my health fails, me and I can't see or speak or do anything, I'll still be a child of God. As long as there's breath in my lungs. So like letting worship leadership. Not be the only vehicle that you have to express your faith. You might not always be you. Things could end tomorrow, you know, as far as your ability to do a thing.


But who you are has already been set. If you're in Christ. And so, Minister, outside of worship, through. Through those perspectives. Absolutely. Possibly. Well, that's all the questions I've got for you on the list here. So thank you. Thank you. Yeah, it's been great.


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