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Encouragement for Worship Leaders in small churches

Sometimes leading worship in a small church can be frustrating – often we want more budget, or more volunteers, etc. It’s important to remember that engaging worship does not depend on those things – while they are extremely important – leading with excellence and authenticity can create engaging worship in literally any environment.

Yesterday (Sunday) was a great day for us at our church. I lead worship at a large multisite church, but I often lead in a smaller venue called Coffeehouse. It’s an acoustic venue that is quieter and more low key. Typically we have between 70 to 125 people in the room, much like many smaller churches. This weekend, we only had two people on stage, but the worship engagement was strong and powerful. Here are some thoughts about why it was particularly moving this past weekend:


Everybody came prepared, from the musicians to the production volunteers. We had a great plan in place and we executed it well.


Speaking from experience, it’s easy to get to a place where we feel like we are leading worship on fumes. Spending time with God – reading the Bible and in prayer – are essential to leading worship well. This will empower you to lead from an authentic spiritual place. Ask God to reveal to you how the Holy Spirit will move in your worship services. Ask God to lead you to scripture to share with your congregations. Ask God to help you craft a spoken intro to a song that will cause people to engage more fully with it. Just spend time with Him and watch as God blesses your ministry.

5 Responses to Encouragement for Worship Leaders in small churches

  1. Jacob Morgan Mar 29, 2017 at 6:05 pm #

    I’m at Goss Baptist Church in Columbia, Mississippi. I am not the music minister or youth minister, but for the past 6 months, I have been leading our 5-10 person youth group in a couple of acoustic songs every Wednesday night. I have also been co-leading a couple of contemporary acoustic songs for our Sunday night service for the past couple of months. Your material has really helped me get better and be of service to my church. Whenever I want to learn a new song, is the first, and usually the last, place I go to find the tutorial and acoustic play through. The Leadership videos have also helped me learn more about leading and the technology that is available to help. Thank you so much for all you do, and please keep up the great work for the Lord.

    Do you have any resources to learn how to chord songs? There are some songs that I want to learn, but I can’t find chords for them.

    • Brian Oct 20, 2017 at 9:36 pm #

      Hi Jacob – you’re probably wanting to learn more about ear training. That will help you pick out chords when you hear a song. Otherwise there are some great sites out there like PraiseCharts or SongSelect that usually have charts for most songs.

  2. Maurice V. Apr 1, 2017 at 11:48 am #

    Thank you Brian, great post. It really helped me to keep focused on what’s important but also not to neglect the excellence side of worship as well.

  3. Kent Regier Apr 1, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

    Thanks so much Brian for your words of encouragement. I am one of those small church worship leaders, and I have truly benefited from you, from the song tutorials to the advice on team building. Thanks so much. Keep doing what you’re doing. God is using you! Don’t forget that! Blessings to you and your family!

  4. Andrew Thompson Apr 2, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

    Hi Jacob.
    I use a site called chordify.
    God bless .
    St Lukes Anglican
    Toukley Nsw

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