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.
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.
I believe scripture teaches that those who are called to Christian ministry are to be held to a higher level of accountability than the average church member. This no doubt applies to those who are called to lead worship be it the “worship leader/music minister” or other members of the worship ministry. Though one person may be delegated to oversee the worship ministry and be the one “out front,” it is my philosophy that all members of the worship ministry are worship leaders. As such there are certain criteria such as character qualities, spiritual maturity, and anointing that should be examined when leadership considers someone for a position in the worship ministry.
I get e-mails on a weekly basis from young worship leaders who are struggling to understand their calling. Many of them do not have role models or mentors to help them as they develop their calling and talent. Confusion and frustration often arises because of the lack of communication between church leadership and these rising leaders. Much of this anxiety can be avoided if the worship leader has a clear knowledge of his role in the ministry of the church. Job descriptions are helpful, but they will vary from church to church. However, there are some key roles in ministry in which all worship leaders should fill. The first role I want to mention is the role of a worshiper. That may sound somewhat obvious but it is very important.
An important role of a worship leader is that of a mentor. The scope of mentoring includes at least three groups of people; the congregation, the singers, musicians and others involved in the worship ministry, and those who are called to be worship leaders.
It is important for each church to develop a working philosophy for their worship ministry. Having a worship philosophy helps to establish the values, priorities, and practices of worship in the church. Once a philosophy is established the information can be disseminated to the congregation. This will help each person to understand where worship fits in the priority list of the fellowship. The amount of energy, time and money spent on worship will determine the value and priority of worship in each church.
One Sunday morning around 8:30 our worship band gathered for morning rehearsal. We met early because Sunday school began at 9:00 a.m. and we wanted to have some time to look over the song list and get a sound check. Some of us looked like we had just climbed out of bed with the rest of us wishing we were still in bed.