What you see from the stage is everything in worship leadership. And what you see from that stage has everything to do with what you want to see, need to see, or have learned to see.
Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash
When you are on a stage, you have to see the congregation in front of you as infinitely more than an audience or a crowd.
The songs are joyful. The songs are beautiful. But for a solid 30 minutes the worship leader’s face seems intense with concentration. Wait. So does the background vocalist’s face as she stares at her music stand. Why do I feel disengaged from those on the stage right now – and even from worship?
I’m scanning the stage for one smile, one engaging glance, over 30 minutes… there! I see one! The keyboard player looks up, and smiles! The room lights up.
For that moment, I feel like I am a participant in a community rather than a spectator in an audience.
One of my favorite worship leader and team trainers is good friend, Mike O’Brien. This guest post from him is fun, helpful, and typical of his practical and detailed style of helping worship teams upgrade. Check out this excerpt, and the full article at his blog.
5 Worship Ministry Hacks You Can Do Now
“After 18 years of leading worship for the same church (14 of those in the same building), I’ve had the privilege of over time adding some helpful tools to our setup that serve the congregation and band in simple ways. Check out these 5 simple Worship Ministry HACKS that you can do now to help your team and church engage with the Living God.
1. Provide Earplugs at the entrance to the sanctuary
As I’ve already covered in Winning the Volume War, most of a church’s volume issues can be handled before sound gets the loudspeakers and ears of the congregants. With that in mind, it’s nice gesture to supply earplugs at the entrance for anyone that might prefer a attenuated experience. I have found that even when the sound is appropriate by any standard of measurement, there are still a small percentage of congregants that would benefit from a set of free ear plugs. We refill this bin only once or twice a year and that’s taking into account that some kids think it’s candy.
2. Buy a Backstage Tea Kettle For Your Singers
Christianity is a SINGING FAITH! Adding a affordable electric hot water kettle a great way to bless the singers of your worship team and encourage good vocal health! As I mention in the $200 Voice Lesson (free if you register to my newsletter), hydrating our bodies with room temperature and lukewarm fluids is crucial for a great vocal.”
The Fraction Principle is, perhaps, the most important band-arranging principle any musician, worship leader, or arranger can implement immediately to make their music start sounding 100% better.
I first heard about The Fraction Principle from my master arranger/co-writing buddy, Bruce Ellis. He spoke in terms of the “Layering Principle” (which includes The Fraction Principle, plus other ideas on building a band’s sound from the ground up).
Then I heard Brian Doerksen, well-known worship leader and songwriter, speak of a similar idea he called The Fraction Principle.
Whatever you want to call it, this is THE game changing idea for worship leaders arranging bands, and musicians attempting to make beautiful music.
Many of us have been part of a worship community where worship leaders, musicians, sound techs, and visual techs have interacted for years. Every worship community has a “relational climate,” a tone of interacting that (eventually) dramatically influences both the worship experience of the church and the Body Life of the worship community. From my experience, especially during rehearsals, we could all use a Manners 101 course.
When Susie has stress in her eyes, and JimBob is wrestling with some hidden anger, it changes the music.
Having watched some great teams in relational motion for years (and enjoying the dynamics of our own worship community) here are 5 ways we can show some manners – and lift our church’s worship experience.