You Really Don’t Need To Talk That Much

1Good news for worship leaders all over the world: there’s no reason for you to do much talking. Seriously. You really don’t need to talk that much.

Ask yourself: how many times per month/per Sunday/per service do I interrupt the flow of songs to talk for more than 5 seconds? Like the game of golf, the lower your score, the better. If you get a high number when you ask that question, may I kindly suggest that you reconsider your approach?

There are many good reasons you should talk when you’re leading worship:
– To introduce a new song
– To read Scripture
– To give instruction (ask people to stand/sit/turn and greet neighbors)
– To transition (to a different element of the service, to a different theme in the singing)
– To explain (why are we singing an obscure hymn, what national tragedy are we responding to, why do you want them to just listen to the verses, etc.)

But there are many good reasons you shouldn’t talk when you lead worship:
– It places you front and center in the consciousness of everyone in the room
– Your songs should connect well enough (most of the time) that you don’t need to say anything
– It runs the risk of you usurping the responsibility of your pastor
– When you talk too much you become like the boy who cried wolf. When you really have something important to say, no one will listen because they’re tired of you talking so much
– It can make you unnecessarily nervous. If talking in between songs makes you anxious, then there’s an easy solution: don’t do it
– It places you in a professorial role (i.e. that of a professor to his students), as opposed to a familial role (i.e. that of a fellow brother or sister)

Think carefully about whether or not your congregation would be better served by you speaking or by you letting things speak for yourself. Most of the time, go with the latter option.

6 thoughts on “You Really Don’t Need To Talk That Much

  1. jonscanlan1977 June 13, 2013 / 7:39 am

    A great article . I agree completely. As a worship leader (or as a worship in song leader, as we like to call it in our congregation in downunder in NZ), I don’t want to say to much as draw attention to myself unnecessarily. I think sometimes worship leaders can get in the way of people wanting to worship . My preference is to say not much at all. Maybe a few quick comments in between songs, other times not. However in saying that, we also have other worship leaders who I think do a great job explaining songs and saying things that help shed a bit more light on the songs and their background, and the gospel. I believe it would good for a church to have a balance of both worship leaders who do explain as well as with other leaders who say very little. Great food for thought. As long we all point everyone to the Christ and the Gospel, you can’t go too far wrong.

  2. pietrosquared August 15, 2013 / 1:30 pm

    I think we don’t really have to even PRAY (out loud) that much in services either. I mean… wasn’t the song a prayer? Isn’t the next one a prayer?

  3. Neil Oldham August 15, 2013 / 4:43 pm

    Right on! Talk–if not very limited and purposeful–will simply distract-from rather than draw-to worship. I wrote a slightly different tack on this subject awhile back if you’d like to check it out: http://wp.me/p3yfln-1y

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

  4. Mark J October 4, 2016 / 8:08 am

    I’ve found that the quantity of speaking also depends on the type of audience you are worshiping with. Many times it’s useful to speak to people to encourage and teach during the worship too.

    You make some great points on speaking with restraint.

    Finally, if you must speak, then it’s best to follow the tips at worship blog: https://goo.gl/8JmmR9

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