The 1-1-1-1 Challenge: What The World Needs Now From A Worship Leader

[Podcast Version]

The video seminar above is about the Secret Place Life of the Worship Leader. While I direct my focus specifically to Vineyard worship leaders in the UK and Northern Ireland, it is for you if you are a worship leader.

In it, I issue the 1-1-1-1 Challenge for Worship Leaders, explained below.

  1. Watch the video above
  2. Read the short post I wrote on the topic below
  3. Consider taking the 1-1-1-1 Challenge I mention in the video (short outline below)


“What the world needs now from you as a worship leader is not primarily your live and online production skills, your songwriting, your presentation abilities, your high quality gear, or even your years of worship leading experience.

What the world needs now from a worship leader is true spiritual authority – spiritual authority that is cultivated by relentlessly choosing a daily and weekly secret life with God, lingering in His presence on your instrument with no other agenda than worship. Spiritual authority emerges onto a stage or a screen with a depth and intimacy that is evident no matter the format, no matter the audience.

Many worship leaders are being led right now by the tangible things that are easier to tweak, and that are more in line with their interests and skills. Some are letting their production values and passions for gear and a great online video presentation take the lead. Others are putting their music in front of them, and leading us in music that worship-focused while struggling to engage with the person on the other end of the screen.

Focusing on those “controllables” is not what will give you the discernment you need to lead a Spirit-responsive worship set, live or online, that meets us where we’re at and is a conduit through which the Holy Spirit can heal, deliver, give words of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, and move the heart of the worshipper.

Music has never been enough to fix the human heart; it is only part of the equation when it comes to effective worship leadership. Years of experience matter, especially when music is memorized and there is a sweet, mature fluidity to the set. But spiritual authority is the intangible that makes it all work – and has always been the core at the center of effective worship leading.

Don’t be fooled; this is not the time to focus all your efforts on polishing the exterior expression of worship leading – it’s the time to cultivate your interior life as a worshipper. The end result will translate on any stage, and in any format, the cultural moment demands – and will change the sound of the music you lead.”

Dan +


The 1-1-1-1 Challenge for Worship Leaders

  • Once month
  • Once per week (4 weeks)
  • One hour
  • One song (per week)

How To Do It: 

As a worship leader, we learn to follow the leading the Holy Spirit in the secret place, not on a stage. For one month, once per week, for one hour, take one song (you can use a different one each week), preferably memorized, into your secret place with God.

  • You can have a Bible with you and your instrument, in a private space (60 minutes)
  • Don’t take a journal, a songwriting notebook, or your phone (unless it’s powered down)

Note that…

  • You will not record anything
  • You will not work on your next set list
  • You will not allow distraction
  • You will not document that killer new song idea (it’s an offering to the Lord)
  • You will only worship the Audience of One with that one song

You can move in and out of the song, pray with it instrumentally, sing a new song over the chords, flow in and out of another part of another song, but not go to other songs.

You can be silent, you can play, you can respond to the Lord’s leading, singing your prayers, singing the song, or not singing at all. If you have a prayer language (praying in tongues), you can do that as well with the music.

This time is set apart to worship before the Lord (2 Sam. 6:14-22), in the secret (John 7:1-44 explores how Jesus valued the private place of intimacy more than the public place of accolade), before an Audience of One.

If you do the 1-1-1-1 Challenge, yourself or with others also doing it, note, after one month, what you think has changed in your worship leading.

I would suggest your spiritual sensitivity will have grown, your healthy indifference to people affirming your leadership with expand, and your desire to spend more time alone in worship will increase.

At the end of the day, I believe your spiritual authority when you lead publicly will grow in depth and effect, and your capacity to be responsive to the Holy Spirit in worship leadership will grow, even when doing normal sets where you are leading 4-5 songs.

Take the Challenge. The world needs these kinds of worship leaders to take the lead.

Grace and Peace,

Dan +


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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.