The Twin Masteries Of The Worship Leader

As worship leaders, we are often looking for a secret key that will make us more effective at what we do. But the answer to being more effective at leading worship hasn’t changed. It never will.

In my experience, we as worship leaders will do almost anything else in order to avoid mastering the following two areas. I know that I do. When they come together, however, there is a quiet increase in effectiveness and authority in one’s worship leadership.

What are the two things that every worship leader must master to become the most effective worship leader we can be? 

I am convinced that the answers are both simple and synergistic. If you have one, with the other, everything rises.

1. Master The Secret Place

If we’re not enamored with God in secret, we won’t be enamored with Him on a stage. If we aren’t fluent in acclaiming God in secret, our praise will lack substance on any platform.

Alone, with our instrument, we worship. We aren’t planning a set, trying out a new tune, or messing around. We are focused on meeting with God with our instrument.

Mastering This: Spend 40 minutes, twice per week, meeting with the Lord with your instrument.

2. Master Your Instrument

If our playing is weak, it will distract us and others. We need to work less at being believable and effective, and more at being true and skilled.

This takes time, energy, money, and outside influences. But prioritizing this growth, even just for one year, will make all the difference.

Mastering This: Start lessons on your instrument for one year, so you have outside influence and accountability. Find someone whose playing you respect, and let them work with you.

We can’t “produce” life-giving worship into being. Worship must grow inside us until we have no choice but to lead from the overflow of intimacy springing from our soul.


Question: What other masteries are we told make us effective as worship leaders, that distract us from these?

Resource: This is the heartbeat of the Essentials In Worship material.


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.