From time to time I’m planning to mix in posts with the title “WL Thoughts: (subject).” These posts will be thoughts and reflections I have regarding the position of worship leader at State College E-Free Church (and other places I may serve in this role as well). I’ll place these in the Worship Leading category, so check there for these posts and my set lists.
I’ve served as a worship leader in some fashion or another from 2000 to the present (though not very much in 2006). I’ve worked with big bands and small bands and sometimes no band at all. I play either an acoustic or electric guitar when I lead. I spend a lot of time thinking about what it means to a worship leader and how to be effective in that role.
Most people in the church equate worship with singing. Worship can certainly happen in this setting, but the physical act of singing is not worship. Worship involves acknowledging who God is, speaking the truth of the gospel, praising God, declaring our love for God, obeying God, serving others, sacrificing our comfort to seek God, and much more.
Here is where I find it gets interesting. What should my primary focus be as a worship leader? Worshipping God or creating an atmosphere in which the congregation is able to worship God? Ideally I’d like to be able to do both (this is the Lead Worshipper approach that I think Matt Redman popularized). That is what I strive for.
As I plan the set list for a Sunday morning I try to narrow in on a theme. It might be specific or it might be vague. If I know the theme for the sermon I like to make it similar of complementary. Crafting a set list is something I’d like to address in more detail in another post, so let’s just say I develop a set list. I like to incorporate scripture as well. The goal is to have a linear thought progression for the service that fosters worship of God.
So this is how I view my role: Worship God. Do my best to present the congregation with an opportunity to worship God. Lead a few songs.