We hope 2017 is a fantastic year for you and your churches. Here are 5 resolutions that I think all worship leaders should make for 2017.
A few notes about resolutions.
I believe setting goals and developing positive habits is essential when it comes to being successful in any area of life. January 1 is a great time to begin developing those habits, but so is today. So whatever day it is right now – make today the day you will become better.
1. Spiritual Development
I believe our relationship with Christ is the single most important thing – not only as a believer – but as a worship leader. Make a tangible goal that will allow you to deepen that relationship. Maybe you want to spend an extra 10 minutes a day in prayer – set your alarm 10 minutes earlier. Maybe you’d like to read through the entire Bible – grab a reading plan and be consistent.
2. Develop your volunteer teams
Your volunteer teams are massively important, and it is essential that you continue to build those teams constantly. If you don’t really know how to start building those teams, check out this video I made with a fellow worship leader – we go much more in depth about why it’s important to find new volunteers, and how to find them.
On top of building your teams, take time to invest in the volunteers that are currently serving with you. Let them know how much you appreciate them – how important and valuable they are to you and your church. Develop or find resources for them that will allow them to become more skilled in their area of serving. The effectiveness of your ministry will greatly increase if you spend time nurturing and developing the volunteers who serve with you.
3. Memorize your music
For some reason, music stands are a particularly hot topic among worship leaders and volunteers. We’re not here to start a music stand debate, but we do believe that not using a music stand is a great goal to aspire to. For more on our reasons, check out this video (and this video, and this video). Personally, I have not used a music stand on stage in years, and it has allowed me to focus on things that I consider far more important than the next chord I’m going to play or line I’m going to sing. It frees you up to engage with God and with the congregation on a completely new level.
Here is my encouragement to you if you do not memorize your music: take one weekend this year – just one – and memorize all your music. See what difference it makes. If you don’t think you can memorize your music, you’re wrong: you can do it. I think you’ll be surprised just how much better your experience leading worship will be.
4. Become a better musician
Never, ever stop improving your skill on your instrument (or as a vocalist). Seek out resources that will develop you. These could be online or in person. They may cost money – that’s ok – it’s well worth it. Here are a couple resources that I (as a guitar player) use on a regular basis to get better:
- Worship Artistry. They do in depth lessons on popular worship songs. You’ll learn how to play every note as both a rhythm and lead guitarist. They are also adding lessons for other instrumentalists as well.
- True Fire. This is a massive database of guitar lessons taught by world class instructors. Awesome stuff here.
I’ve linked to these two because I personally use them and can attest for the quality, but there are literally hundreds of great resources out there for all skill levels and instruments.
Bonus tip: Learn a new instrument. This will make a world of difference for you as a musician.
5. Intentionally develop your relationship with your senior pastor or leadership
As a worship leader, the most valuable relationship you have (besides with Jesus) is arguably with your pastor or church leadership. The senior pastor & worship leader should work together and hold one another up. Unfortunately, in many churches this relationship is filled with tension. I know that in many cases, the pastor’s vision for worship might be very different than yours as a worship leader, but I believe it is Biblical to submit to leadership in your church. For many, this may be a hard pill to swallow.
Here is what I would encourage you to do: Call a meeting with your pastor, and have simply two things to discus:
- Ask your pastor this question, “How can I (as the worship leader) support the vision God has given you for this church?”
- Come up with tangible steps or action items that you can do to fulfill the answer to the question above.
You will be shocked at how much this will encourage your pastor. If there is tension in your relationship, that one simple question will break down walls and barriers.
One last point…
I know I said 5 resolutions, but here’s one more. Be yourself. Our vision at Worship Tutorials is Authenticity and Excellence in worship in every church in the world. Authenticity and excellence can be pursued and achieved without any regard to budget or resources. Being authentic means being yourself. Allow your personality to come out on stage. Let people see who you are – let them see you’re a person who struggles with the same things they do, who has high and lows just like they do. The more authentic you are, the more people will trust you. And the more people trust you, the more they will allow you to lead them in worship.
Again, we hope 2017 is the best year yet for you and your churches!