I remember the first time someone approached me and asked me to lead Sunday worship. I was feeling exited and mixed into that excitement was a freakish sense of not knowing what to do.
I was new to the whole leading in worship thing (I play the guitar and have a relatively ok voice). To make matters worse, I’m not someone who enjoys speaking in public. But I was young, I was excited, I was full of zeal so I took up the challenge. The leader who gave the ‘offer’ to worship lead assured me that I would do ok.
So the next Sunday I lead and I probably chose 5 songs, i didn’t really remember, and to my surprise, it went well. There was really nothing to it really. I thought to myself,”Worship leading is easy”. As long as someone has these attributes it was ok;
- A good voice (ok you caught me here, i do think i have a ‘good’ voice)
- Knows a things or two about music (tempos and all)
- It will be an advantage if the person can play a musical instrument
- I think that’s about it
- Oh, yeah almost forgot, someone who knows the new songs…that’s a bonus
I went about it for the next couple of months using that same routine and low and behold I got fed up! Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better for them to train me to do this thing. I would have bouts of depressing feelings because there were times I led and I felt nothing. I wanted tears to flow from my eyes, I wanted the tangible presence of God to tickle my senses but all I felt was absence.
As I reflect back, I thought worship was about feel. You sort of get that when you see people stretching out their hands and with eyes closed and stretching as though it seems to the heavens, they had the look of being enraptured.
Worship was also about the right type of songs, none of those old ‘worthless’ bland songs. We want new ones, ones that we can constantly repeat and do that on and on and on. Songs that had a sense of personal feel to them.
Worship was about having the right worship leader. Well at this point this was on the scale if that person knows how to sing and follow the tempo of the music. This is important and not some minor issue but my understanding that time was shallow so I just dwelled on the surface of the matter.
And the way I saw how other worship leaders do it that time, it was more like random choosing of songs. Some had their favorites chosen and sung almost every Sunday they lead. Something like jukebox Sunday, only the one who chose the song was the worship leader. Sometimes some of us would make jokes, betting, ‘if leader A would lead this week he will surely pick this song’ kind of thing.
Well all I can say here is that I was young, naive, clueless and really needed proper guidance to do this thing call worship leading. We’re talking about leading people in worship here so this has to be important, right?