Maybe I Could Have Phrased That Better

Sometimes worship leaders have to communicate something in a short amount of time. Maybe to the band, the sound guy, the congregation, or the pastor. It can be during a set of songs, or perhaps quickly in between services. Whatever the situation and whoever the person, here are (in my experience) some of the most common phrases, and how they can be poorly worded or more effectively worded.

Bad: I need more of myself
You’re talking to the sound engineer. You can’t hear your voice or your instrument. You want to hear more. So you ask for more. The problem is you come across demanding and like you have a huge ego.
Try: Could you please help me hear myself better in my monitor?

Bad: You played (sang) that the wrong way.
A worship team member makes a mistake. They don’t seem to notice. You need to help them notice. If you say it wrongly you could cause their defenses to shoot up in no time.
Try: Can we look at that (insert relevant section of song here) again? Here’s what I had in mind.

Bad: That won’t work.
Your pastor has an idea. You don’t think it’s a good idea. You want to tell him this. Remember: he’s your pastor. You need to humbly submit. If he’s open to receiving your feedback, you need to share it out of a heart of submission.
Try: So you’re thinking we (insert his idea here. Convince him you’ve heard him out). What would you think about (insert your idea here. He still gets the last word).

Bad: Shhhh!!!
I actually used this once on a backup singer on a men’s retreat. He was singing much too loud and I needed him to back up, so I got his attention and said “shhh!!!” Very bad idea. This is for two year olds, and that’s about where it stops.
Try: Non-verbal: Back up from the mic or use your hand to indicate to lower the volume. Verbal: Let’s (include yourself in it) blend a bit better.

Bad: Please rise.
What are we? Army cadets? No. You can use more normal English to get us to stand up.
Try: Let’s stand together or would you like to stand (I learned this from my British worship leader friends).

These are just a few that come to mind. Please free to share of other ways you can say things with a bit more grace but still get the same point across in a short amount of time.

3 thoughts on “Maybe I Could Have Phrased That Better”

  1. Thanks for the this post, Jamie! I’m going to have to borrow the substitute for “you sang that wrong,” at our next rehearsal. On Sunday, one of our singers unexpectedly added in extra words into the chorus of a song that we’ve done tons of times!

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