Always Learning

Every single time worship leaders lead worship, there are certain things they could have done better.

This applies to beginner worship leaders and “seasoned” worship leaders. Whether it’s your first time or four-hundredth, there is always at least one thing you can look back on and say “I could have done that differently“.

Beginner worship leaders can run the risk of getting discouraged by all the things they could have done better, and thinking maybe they’re not cut out for it.

More seasoned worship leaders can run the risk of thinking they’ve made every mistake there is to make, and that they’ve mastered the art.

Worship leaders who are just starting out should take comfort in the fact that the process of maturing never stops – and those who have been doing it a little longer should keep that in mind too. No one ever “arrives”.

Tonight I led the music for our monthly men’s ministry gathering. In no particular order of importance, here are some things I could have done differently:

  • The first two songs we sang, “Blessed Be Your Name” and “Come Thou Fount”, felt a bit over-done. I think I’m doing those songs too often, especially at these monthly meetings.
  • The last song we sang, “Here I Am to Worship”, felt really over-done. I should put that song on hold for a while.
  • I got to church too late to do a sound check. Since it was just me leading on guitar, I figured it would work fine this way. My guitar ended up being too loud and my voice too quiet. I should always do a sound check with the sound engineer, if possible.
  • Some of the words on the slides went too far down. Since the ceiling is low, some men had a hard time reading the bottom line or two. We should make sure we adjust the slides when we’re projecting lyrics in that room.
  • I kept my eyes closed for much of the time. I did that this past Sunday night too. I’m getting back into that bad habit.
  • I went too long. I need to be sure I’m wrapping up when I’ve been asked to wrap up.

A lot of these things are relatively minor, and might not have stood out to anyone else in the room. My goal certainly isn’t to make a big deal out of these little issues or beat up on myself. But rather, I’ve found it helpful for my own growth, and a practical way to pursue humility, to be in the habit of asking “what could I have done differently or better“.

Even if there’s only one thing I can point to, and there always is at least one thing, then hopefully God will use that to keep me moving forward on the road of maturity.

4 thoughts on “Always Learning”

  1. “A lot of these things are relatively minor, and might not have stood out to anyone else in the room.”

    Yep, but the point of you noticing it is so that others don’t have too. They are a lucky bunch to have such a dedicated leader in you who is always seeking to do what’s best for them, not himself.

  2. Thanks for your words of encouragement, Jamie. This is definitely a life-long journey and there’s so much to learn.

    For example, last week, I led praise and worship at the beginning of a concert at our church. Once we started singing, I realized that no one in the audience had any of the printed words like we usually have in our morning services. And since there were quite a few people who don’t usually go to our church, I probably made an awkward 10-15mins for them.

    So, let me ask you something. If you don’t close your eyes when you sing, and you aren’t scanning the room (e.g. like you are putting on a show), then where do you look while you sing?

    1. Hey Cyrus. Good question. It’s not that I never close my eyes – it’s just that I don’t want to hold them shut for lengthy periods of time during which a circus clown could ride on a unicycle through the room without catching my attention. And it’s not that I never scan the room, as I certainly want to look around and gauge what’s happening, it’s just that I don’t want to look into people’s eyes as if I were singing them a love song.

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