Scott Hodge


Worship Leader Essentials

Feb 17, 2010

Two "essentials" that I think are hugely important in the lives of those who lead worship at The Orchard:


Authenticity.  Being real and willing to lead out of their own, personal journey.  Not afraid to be honest and transparent about their struggles, pain, and brokenness.  The same on stage as they are in every day life and conversation (have you ever heard a worship leader who stands up and talks to an audience in a totally different voice than they normally talk in?)  Someone who others can look to and say to themselves, "I get that person…they're not all that different from me." 

Depth.  If the worship leader has an empty soul…..then the only thing they'll really have to offer is authenticity and talent….and neither of those are enough as far as I'm concerned.  I want worship leaders who have taken the time to LISTEN…and get quiet.  Who make it a priority to wrestle through the scriptures and songs they'll be leading people through.  Leaders whose hearts are freshly inspired by the beauty and goodness of God….and who understand that a huge part of what they do in leading worship is sharing that beauty and goodness with others.

I suppose those are pretty important essentials for all of us as followers of Jesus.  But they're especially important to me when it comes to those who are standing on stage leading our community into worship each weekend.

Worship Leaders & Pastors – I'd love to hear from you.  What "essentials" are at the top of your list?

8 Responses to “Worship Leader Essentials”

  1. Rob Rash says:

    Being a worship leader, I am constantly trying to figure out how I can connect with the church. How do they know that I care about them and not just about singing songs.
    Being in the word is a huge benefit and discipline that has just refreshed my soul and has lead to great ‘worship’ moments.
    Authenticity, yes. Depth, yes.
    We just have to love the King, Kingdom, and being a part of that Kingdom.

  2. Barry Westman says:

    I think you’re right on with those two. I would also add humility as an important quality to keep in perspective. It’s pretty easy for a worship leader, or anyone on the team, to begin to take the praises and accolades personally and begin to think that it is all about them.
    There also needs to be a certain level of ability on their instrument and voice. That sometimes goes unsaid, or assumed, but to me it’s critical. It can become more of a distraction, drawing attention to themselves and off of where it should be.

  3. Eric Olsen says:

    i think you hit the nail on the head, Scott. Great pillars to keep in mind.

  4. Derrick says:

    Right on, Scott. I’m right with you, great thoughts.
    As a worship leader, I’ve been greatly challenged by the Holy Spirit lately to be more than a song leader. Worship is more than a song, more than the 20-30 minutes we spend singing together during the weekend.
    Worship is our response to God. It’s not enough to lift our voices and our hands on Sunday. God’s instructed us to lift them on Monday too… to be a champion for those in need.
    For me, this is key to my spiritual depth; to ensuring my soul isn’t “empty.”

  5. Jeffery May says:

    I would have to say one more thing is Openness to letting the Holy Spirit lead on game day.
    One thing that I have discovered recently is the fact that it is easy to be open during the week to where the Holy Spirit is leading the weekend with song choice and message. Sometimes during this preparation we can create a box that is hard to get out of on Sunday. I think you have to pray and prep the team to be open to letting the Holy Spirit move your heart to make changes at the moment like “playing another chorus”, “bringing the music down or up”, ect…
    Thanks for this blog post!
    Jeffery May
    Worship Pastor
    MyChurch Columbus

  6. Ryan Egan says:

    I think the number one essential should be a knowledge and continuing knowledge of who God is as a whole (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). Without a depth knowledge of the One we’re leading people to worship, how can they be led to worship Him?
    This was a thought-provoking post – thanks!

  7. Scott Sparks says:

    We are launching on Easter and I met with our worship leader just last week to discuss what I see as the five essentials for every leader and especially staff. They are an eagerness to serve, a hunger to grow, teachability, a positive attitude, and humility. If one of those isn’t present it throws everything else out of whack.
    Thanks for the post. I enjoyed it.

  8. marvin says:

    While I am resding those comments, I’ve been touched because it is very true that worship is more than the songs that we sing. Being a worship leader, is not an easy task because we’re bringing the people into the holy presence of God through singing. It is also important to make our daily life pleasing before the eyes of God so that the time we’re on stage to lead worship, we can feel the sincerity and true essence of worship and the people will be touched too.
    Worship leader
    Foursquare Church

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