“If you have 2 minutes to lead a chorus, 5 minutes to lead a hymn, or 20 minutes to lead a set – it is enough.”
I’m a fan of the 3-hour worship set.
I’ve developed and led these special worship times over the years, and I’ve been a steady advocate for worship leaders and churches creating extended, lingering times of worship for their communities.
Why? For the purposes of peoples’ hearts becoming tender and open to the Holy Spirit, which can take time as we savor the worship experience we are having, and for creating room for what I call the “Loving Miraculous” to occur.
Healing of hearts, minds, and bodies. Encouragement for the discouraged. Communal prayer that ebbs and flows. Fellowship within a shared experience. Communion times that are deep, and full, and relaxed.
Long times, lingering in worship led by someone who knows what they’re doing and can pastor the room through an extended rhythm of worship, can be beautiful.
I’ll continue to lead and celebrate extended worship times – times when we can let a song simmer, reflectively and prayerfully, so as we enter a song the song can enter us.
The Time We Are Given
But I’ve talked to many worship leaders over the years who continually lament how little time they are given to lead worship.
“It’s never enough time” is usually the phrase that punctuates their pain.
“Never enough time for what?” is always my question. For the above lingering? Yes, I agree.
But not every context is the same, and you and I may need to create different contexts to create different environments for worship.
One Song, From The Heart
I’ve come to believe the heart you bring to the moment shines through – even if you only are given time to lead one song.
I’ve been in a room where a worship leader, with a clear calling to lead and a heart to match, led the community in one chorus of one song, and the roof was raised.
It was all we had time for given the other very spiritual elements in the gathering that had been planned ahead (like a speaker’s message, or a liturgical experience), and it was all that was needed.
The woman knew how to lead it. She picked a song everyone knew and loved, put it in a key that engaged the room, and led it with a passionate worshipper’s heart.
The heart we bring to the moment, and that the community brings to the moment, can make a few minutes swell with a fullness of intimacy with God.
Make The Most Of Each Moment
I would like to encourage you to be at rest with the time you are given to lead worship.
Ask God for the Grace to make the most of each moment. And most importantly, cultivate your heart as a worship leader in the secret place before you get on the stage and become impatient with the allotted time increment.
We’re not primarily producers, nor are we the star of the show, when we stand up to lead worship.
We are servants. And serving the community, and our fellow leaders, means that sometimes we serve the time well.
Each moment we are given the privilege of leading worship is another moment in eternity.
It is enough.
When your heart is in it as you lead us, our hearts want to be in it – and one song can be enough to open us to Jesus.
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Worship Resource Highlight
Songs Are A Place We Go (All Team) is a 30-day worship team devotional experience for your entire worship crew. The ALL TEAM version enables you to send the PDF to every person on your team. Print copies can be purchased on Amazon here (17 5-star reviews).
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