How to Lead a Church Worship Service: The Complete Guide


How to Lead a Church Worship Service_ The Complete Guide

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

John 4:23(NIV)

How to Lead a Church Worship Service? Worship leaders and every Christian for that matter, need to learn how to lead a church service worship. But why is that? Great things happen in church when we are in the atmosphere of godly worship. Repentance, healing, and miracles happen in congregations where people are worshiping God in spirit and truth.

It could be that you have been chosen to lead a church service worship. But you don’t know what to do, you’re so confused. You want to lead worship the right way, not just for the sake of entertainment or out of obligation. You want to do it in a way that is pleasing to God.

Well, in this guide, we shall look at how to lead a church service worship in a way that glorifies God. But before we do that, we need to understand what worship is and what it is not. So let’s begin:

How to Lead a Church Worship Service / What is Worship

The best way to define worship is to use the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said that true worshippers worship in spirit and in truth. But what does it mean in spirit and truth? It means doing it sincerely that is from the heart. A person who worships God in spirit and in truth is motivated by the love of God that is who he is and what he has done for us.

When leading worship, you need to be led by the Holy Spirit, and whatever you do needs to be rooted in the word of God. Understand that though you have been chosen to lead worship, it is not about you. You are just a vessel being used by God for his own glory. So let what you say and do be centered around Jesus and him crucified. (Colossians 3:23)

Now you may be wondering at this point, what are the benefits of worshiping God? Why is it important?

Benefits of Worship

Worship leaves us satisfied

You will always have a void in your heart as long as you are not worshipping God. Unfortunately, most people try to fill the void in their hearts with other things like cigarettes, alcohol, sexual immorality, entertainment, and the list goes on.

We were created to worship God. So you can have all the fun in the world, but there will always be something missing in your life.

When we spend time worshiping him in church services, we leave feeling satisfied even when things remain the same in the natural. The truth is people, and material things will always disappoint you.

Putting them before God will only open up room for rejection and disappointment. But when we go before the throne of grace and worship God for who he is and what he has done in our lives, we end up being content in our hearts even if life is not going the way we want it to.

It Re- adjusts our Focus

Let’s be honest; there are those times when we go to church just because it is Sunday. Those times when our focus is on so many things but God. People may have had a very hard week, but worship helps them to readjust their focus to God.

It could be that even you, the worship leader is focused on so many things but God. When you lead others in worship, your focus is readjusted, and in the same way, other people in the congregation that are struggling are also able to take their focus off the wrong things and fix their eyes on Jesus.

It could be that you’re feeling unqualified to lead a church service worship because your mind is all over the place. But note that other people in the congregation are also struggling. When David was overwhelmed by what was happening around him, but he encouraged himself in the Lord. (1 Samuel 30:6)

Take advantage of this and help other people who are in the same shoes that you’re in to encourage themselves in the Lord through worship. Remind them that it is all about Jesus and not their struggles.

It invites the presence of God

Okay, so we know that God is with us and that he will never leave us nor forsake us. But here’s the thing, God is with us in our spirit. Worship causes him to manifest his presence in the physical realm.

Churches need to be filled with the presence of God because it’s only when he manifests that miracles and healing take place. A church that does not have the presence of God is dead.

We need the Holy Spirit to move and change the hearts of people so that when the word of God is preached, their hearts can receive what is being shared by the preacher.

When we spend time in worship, we allow God to take over the control of the church.

Types of Worship

When we talk about worship, most of us only think about singing. But there are different ways in the Bible that people worshipped God. Since you’re leading a church service worship, you may not have to do all these things. But it is good to know different types of worship. Why?

You might command people to lift their hands up, and yet some people in the congregation may prefer to kneel down as they worship. Know that even though they’re not lifting their hands up, it doesn’t mean that they’re not worshipping God, but they’re just moving in the spirit.

Of course, some people will not do what you’re doing or be in a posture of worship. But you need to understand that some will worship God the best way they know how to. And it may not necessarily be the way you’re telling them to do.

Don’t judge or condemn people in your heart for not doing what you are doing or worshipping God like you. David’s wife Michal despised him for dancing and leaping before the Lord-the results, she became barren. (1 Samuel 6:16-23)

Here are different types of worship:

  • Raising hands up
  • Kneeling down
  • Singing
  • Reading scriptures
  • Saying different kinds of prayers
  • Shouting loudly

Leading a Church Worship Service

It takes the grace of God for you to stand before many people who have come to church for many different reasons and lead them in worship. You don’t need to be perfect, but you should also not do it just for the sake of it.

Now let us look at how to lead a church service worship:

Prepare

Unless it is an emergency and you have to stand in for someone, you will always be told early enough that you’re going to lead the worship service so that you can prepare. Here are different ways to prepare:

10 Tips to Improve Your Worship Service

Pray

There is more to leading worship than just standing on the pulpit and talking or singing. Spending time in prayer before leading church worship is very important because it enables you to surrender yourself to God.

As we’ve already seen, leading worship is not about you, it is all about God, and you are just but a vessel. Talk to God and ask him to show you how to lead the service in a way that glorifies him.

In John 12:49, Jesus said that he only spoke what his father commanded him. Meaning that Jesus had to first get instructions from his father before he did anything. That is why we see him in various verses spending time alone in prayer.

It is through prayer that God will show you things in your heart that may hinder you from leading a powerful worship service.

It is also through prayers that God will reveal to you the challenges that people are going through so that you can choose songs and scriptures that will help them to stop being anxious in those areas and trust him.

Choose the Right Songs

Ever been in a service where the worship leader kept on singing, but the rest of the congregation just stood by and seemed lost? It is not that the songs were bad; it’s just that the congregation didn’t know the songs.

See you might love certain music, but if people don’t know those songs, then it will only be a one-man show. Get songs that people know so that the worship experience can be inclusive of everyone. Yes, you can introduce a new song, but the majority of the songs should be those that people know.

Another thing that you need to keep in mind when choosing songs is that some songs are theologically inaccurate. So be careful of the kind of songs that you choose because you do not want songs that will feed people wrong messages.

To avoid picking wrong songs, make sure that you listen to each song and ask God for guidance so that you can be able to select songs that glorify his name.

Select Verses that Match the Theme/Message of the Day

It is good to remain within context, so be careful not to go around sharing different messages that are a bit off from the main theme of the day. It is okay to share what God has placed in your heart, but note that most of the time, he will give you something that is connected to the theme or message of the day.

You don’t want to seem like you’re competing with the pastor. So be very careful not to do things your way. Often you will be given you the theme for that service so that you can choose music and scriptures that match the theme.

When picking scriptures, it is better to pick short verses so that you can recite and explain them easily without taking much time or seeming like you are the one preaching.

Practice

In your free time, do some practice on how you will lead the service that day. Doing this will make it easy for you to know how to flow from one thing to another without getting mixed up.

It is good to practice in the presence of someone so that they can give you advice. Be open to what they’re telling you so that you can do an effective job for the Lord.

Start with Words of Encouragement

Understand that not everyone who has come to church that day is in a good mood. People have gone through so many challenges during the day or week, and some of them are crashed in the spirit; they just need a word of encouragement. The Bible tells us to encourage one another. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

When you start with words of encouragement, you can draw people’s attention so that they can immerse themselves in worship and not the bad things that have been going on in their lives.

Use scripture to encourage people so that they can be totally focused on God from the on start. It is okay to start with music. But it is better to start with words of encouragement because you’ll be speaking to people’s hearts what God has put in your heart, and this will start them off on the right note.

Give Simple Suggestions

As we’ve already seen, people come to church with so many things in their minds. Do not assume that when you start worshipping, they will automatically kneel down or raise their hands up as an act of worship.

Give them simple suggestions. For example, you can tell them to lift their hands up or make other suggestions like “please clap your hands for the Lord,” or “just say two or three words to God this morning.”

Please do not order people around and force them to lift their hands up or sing. Some people will never do what you’re saying, so don’t command them to. Simple suggestions will help some of them to start tuning into worship.

Engage with Others

Sad to say, but some worship leaders focus on their singing prowess that they fail to engage with others. And that is one of the reasons why we need to learn how to lead a church service worship before we do it.

You need to engage with the congregation, the rest of the choir, and other people who will be speaking. Do not spend so much time in showcasing your singing talent when you should be allowing someone else to come and say something to the congregation.

We live in a world where people don’t concentrate for long. So ensure to use the time that you’ve been given appropriately so that you don’t interfere with the program. At the end of the day, you don’t want the preacher to come and feed people the word of God when they have already lost interest in the service.

Let the Holy Spirit Lead the Service

Yes, you have planned how you’re going to move from point A to point B, and you want to stick to it. But there are those times when the Holy Spirit will change the flow of the church service. If the Holy Spirit tells you to sing a certain song even though it was not in your playlist, just follow the leading because there maybe someone in the congregation that urgently needs to hear the message in that song.

Remember, this is not about following certain procedures. It is about being obedient to God and following what the Holy Spirit is telling you to do. Obedience is better than sacrifice, so always ensure that you are in tune with the Holy Spirit so that you may follow what he’s saying even if it does not make sense at that particular time. (1 Samuel 15:22)

Difference Between Praise and Worship

Be real

Now, being real doesn’t mean sing songs that resonate with you only. You can choose to be real by telling people how your week has been. For example, you can share a short testimony of the challenges you faced and how God helped you to overcome those challenges.

You can also tell people how you struggle to worship God sometimes, but you do it anyway because, at the end of the day, how you feel does not define who God is.

People will be encouraged when they see how you worship God in truth and spirit, and yet you have your own fair share of challenges. They will be encouraged in their inner being to worship God irrespective of what is happening in their lives.

All in all:

Leading people in a church service worship is not as easy as some people make it seem. You need guidance from the Holy Spirit so that you can know how to lead a church service worship effectively. Spending time in prayer will help you to be in tune with the Holy Spirit so that he can teach you what to do during a church service worship.

Remember, even though you’re leading the service, it is not about you, it is about Jesus. You need to worship God in spirit and in truth because that is the way our heavenly Father wants true worshippers to worship Him.

Take time to prepare for the service so that you do not go astray from the way your church does worship. Engage with others and practice how you’re going to lead the church service worship so that you can do it effectively.

Church worship services are not about singing alone. Get scripture and some words of encouragement so that you can speak to the hearts of people. Also, spend some few minutes in prayer so that people can pour their hearts out to God.

While many people seem to be doing fine on the outside, most of them have been beat up with so many things. They need someone that will speak to them and stir them to pray.

As a worship leader speaking words of encouragement using scripture will cause people to surrender all to God, and they will be able to focus on the sermon that your pastor will be preaching in the course of the day.

Greg Gaines

Father / Grandfather / Minister / Missionary / Deacon / Elder / Author

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