- Soak in His presence personally.
If you are to lead the congregation then you have to know where and how you are leading them. A worship leader triggers the worship and encourages the congregation to tap into His presence. You soak in His presence personally by simply having a daily devotion; an alone time with Him.
- Be friends with the Holy Spirit.
If you are to say that “The Holy Spirit is here.” then you should be the first one to know how the Holy Spirit feels like. It shouldn’t be empty words or spills. Once you are a worship leader, you should aspire to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Before you ask for the congregation to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you should be the first one filled with it.
- Let loose and flow.
A worship leader must learn to sing out of the box. It shouldn’t just be about the sequence, the right note to hit, to up and down of the song… it is never about that. It is about flowing with the music, with your team. Worship is freedom. You just have to let God and the music drive you through.
- Don’t be bounded.
I do believe that praise and worship shouldn’t be bounded by time because you don’t know how or when will God move. Also, what if God asked you to repeat the whole song from the top, but you practiced it with a sequence of Intro-Verse-Refrain-Chorus-Instrumental-Bridge-Extro? If you believe that your God can do the impossible, and that He is endless and boundless… then why should your worship be bounded?
- Be unconscious.
Worship is for Abba, and Abba alone. So what if people just stand there, staring at you, and not clapping or lifting their hands up? Yes, it is your duty to usher the congregation into worship but it is not your duty to tell them what to do. Whenever you are leading the worship and you start to look around and observe people, CLOSE YOUR EYES. Because that act can take your focus away, and that is not the goal of worship. Your goal is to exalt the One, and not the ones in front of you.
- Be one with your team.
Whenever you start turning to spontaneous singing or just simply singing the songs in your line-up, make sure to still be united with your musicians. We are not going for the technical stuff when we are worshipping but if the sound is not united, it produces noise—which can distract the congregation and you as well.
- Know the songs.
You don’t have to memorize every single line in the song but make sure to familiarize yourself with it. It’s not good to stare at your lyrics when you sing in front for your God. Just knowing the songs by heart would be enough. (But please don’t memorize even the ‘ad-libs’ of the original artist.)
- Prepare your heart and spirit.
Never ever lead the worship with hatred in your heart and with an unsure motivation. It’s just simple, don’t lead the worship if you don’t feel right. Heart and spirit check first!
- Focus on Him.
He should be the only audience that you want to impress. He deserves everything even though we always fail to give Him that, but the act of trying to is what matters. More of Him and less of you. Okay?
- Remember that you are the worship LEADER.
You shouldn’t stand there clueless of what you are opt to do. You lead the worship, you trigger the worship. As much as possible, use the time to preach or say an encouragement. Silence is accepted and normal… it means you’re letting things sink in, or you’re letting the Holy Spirit move. BUT… never zone out when you’re leading unless it’s His leading. 😉
I’m not that old when it comes to worship leading. I think I started when I was 11 years old, and then I developed as the years passed. I believe that worship leading is not just about singing, it’s also learning how to be one with the Holy Spirit, and your music team. I’m still in the process of discovering and improving the art of worship leading with God but so far, these are the things I’ve learned.
Of everything in between,