This article is titled “Worship Service Etiquette” simply for the reason that I couldn’t come up with a better title. There are probably as many ways to conduct a worship service as there are churches. The leadership of each local church is given the responsibility of seeing that God’s vision for their church is implemented. However, I do believe that there are certain considerations that should be made in the implementation of a worship service vision.
My journey in worship leading had a humble beginning to say the least. Like a lot of children and teenagers growing up I had an infatuation with lead guitar players and rock-n-roll bands. However, it wasn’t until I was 23 years old that I actually began to learn to play the guitar.
In 1986 when I became the worship leader at Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Anniston, Alabama I had very little confidence in my guitar playing ability. I had only been playing for a few years and had not led worship with the guitar except in small group settings. After taking the reigns as worship leader I was content to allow our pianist to be the lead instrument. Most of the time I didn’t even play the guitar because many of the songs we sang I had not yet learned to play.
When I first became a worship leader I had little training as a musician or singer. I had taken a few voice lessons years before and had taught myself a few chords on the guitar. When I started learning to play guitar I had no idea that I would ever lead worship. Being asked to lead worship was a total surprise to me. It was something I neither aspired to do nor felt qualified to do.
One of the most important and God-given tasks of a worship leader is to train others to lead worship. I believe scripture gives us a mandate for training others for ministry. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12)
The life and ministry of Jesus gives us a perfect example of what the mentoring process should look like. His relationship and interaction with his disciple serves as a pattern for us today. The training of these twelve men was a priority to Jesus. He knew why he had been sent to earth and knew someone would be needed to carry on the ministry once he was gone.
The method Jesus used to train his disciples for ministry is a great model for leaders who want to effectively train others. Along with having an intimate relationship with his disciples, Jesus incorporated a three step method of training. For the purpose of our study let’s look at how Jesus trained his disciples in the ministry of healing.
There are probably as many opinions about choosing worship songs as there are people. Choosing the right worship songs will greatly enhance the effectiveness of your worship leading and give your congregation an effective vehicle to ride into worship. On the other hand choosing the wrong songs will become a roadblock to your worship leading experience and the worship experience of your congregation.
There are no concrete rules when it comes to selecting a set of songs for a worship service. Many factors can determine what songs are sung and the order in which they are sung. One such factor is the amount of experience and skill level of the worship leader and band members. The style of music and the order of worship are usually determined by the pastor or other church leadership.
Introducing new worship songs to your congregation can be a catalyst for fresh worship responses. Singing new songs often revives the worship experience that has gone stale or has found itself in a rut. There is no exact science in how and when to introduce new worship songs. Here are some tips that might be helpful.