Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Are You Qualified to Lead Worship?

In my position, I get to interact with artists all across the country and I've had the pleasure of worshiping God in many different kinds of services in churches of various sizes, styles and denominations. One common theme seems to run through conversations about how to structure a worship team, however: regardless of style, how do you determine who should be leading worship?

Most worship teams have some requirements regarding musical and vocal ability, but after that, there's a wide range of what might or might not be required of people leading worship.

Some churches require an audition process during which candidates are asked to demonstrate their ability to play an instrument, sing and interact with other members of the group. Some require church membership and/or a personal relationship with Jesus (you'd be surprised, however, at how many don't).

Some actually require participants to have an "up-front" appearance. I'm not sure who gets to judge what that looks like or why God wouldn't be able to use a person who doesn't look like a rock star or fashion model. Some other interesting requirements I have found listed include:

· Being male
· Having a college degree
· Having approval of spouse
· Having the ability to play by ear
· Being able to meet the requirements of a deacon or elder
· Speaking in tongues
· Being emotionally stable
· Being a member of a small group in the church
· Using discretion in dating relationships
· Having finances in agreement with God’s priorities
· Reading the book of Psalms every year

My personal favorite is one worship team that requires "the ability to tell the difference between "in tune" and "out of tune." I've endured enough off-key singing and straining to hit high notes during some services to attest to the fact that not all worship teams have included this requirement yet.

Churches who don't have any requirements or which allow them to be compromised usually:
· Have great musicians or vocalists who they want to use and showcase but would be limited in how they could do so by rules
· Don’t have enough skilled musicians or vocalists and want bodies on the platform

Churches where I have experienced awesome worship and poured out my love, praise and thanks to a God present in the service have been churches with one basic requirement of worship leaders: that they be worshipers. All of the other characteristics needed to be a worship leader come from that. The worshiper knows how to bow before God, how to give Him the glory due His name, how to sing Him songs of praise and how to declare His greatness, love and power to all those who gather.

If you're a worshiper, you can lead others in worship. And it really helps if you can tell "in tune from out of tune." Approach your leadership on the worship team from that reference point and you'll see your team members and congregation respond with a desire to follow your example and to worship with excellence.

"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23-24 NIV)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent! There's some wacky requirements there!

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The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

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Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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