Worship

A Platform for Influence

Worship leaders I ask you this question: “What goes through your head during a worship service or event?” If you’re like many worship leaders it might be chords, song structure, exhortations, transitions or “Please God let me hit this note correctly”, just to name a few. However, I want you to search within your heart. A wise worship leader once said, “A stage is for performance, but a platform is for influence.”

On the platforms of churches across this nation, week in and week out, worship leaders are given the opportunity to influence others; and it’s not just by the notes we play, or the high pitches we can hit while singing. In fact, it’s not even about the most popular song in the worship genre to date. Rather, it’s about the motivation of our heart and the person/thing that holds center stage in our worship.

Through Jesus, we now have access to the very presence of God. As worship leaders, God has given us the opportunity to lead people into His presence by lifting up this name, the name above every other name. Now, let’s be clear: You minister to God and God ministers to His people by His Holy Spirit. Worship leader, you are ministering to an audience of One, and that is God. He does the work. He does the convicting. He moves in people’s hearts and lives. Influence on the platform does not mean forcing the congregants to lift their hands, or ‘make’ them worship; rather, it is a God given opportunity to showcase the glory and majesty of God through the content of our worship. Content and influence go together in worship ministry.         

I challenge you today to sharpen your biblical knowledge (Psalm1:1-2). Hone in on your musical abilities and practice them daily and consistently (Psalm 33:3). Establish and build up leadership and team structure (Proverbs 27:17). These are ways to build up influence with your team and will help you exemplify influence in a corporate setting, because the ultimate goal is to see God gloried.      

My final thought to you is this. Remember, you and your team are the Levitical priests of the House of God. Zach Neese, worship pastor and author of How to Worship a King writes, “Here is the game-changing fact for a priest (worship leader, pastor, evangelist, whatever you are). In reality, Jesus is the worship leader. He’s the High Priest. You’re only responsibility is to obey Him and follow His lead. You are not responsible for the results, God is.”

Here are some worship leader thoughts that I want to leave with you as you lead in corporate worship:

  1. The biblical content of your worship is greater than the musical content of your worship. Both are necessary.
  2. Your motives in worship will display your heart of worship.
  3. Influential leadership is just as important off the platform as it is on the platform. 

 

Tad Ruiz is the owner and founder of Adoration Seminars, where he serves to help develop, structure, and grow individuals and teams musically. Tad also serves as a worship leader at Iglesia Del Pueblo in Mission, Texas. He blogs for www.rgvchristianevents.com. Tad is also an accomplished songwriter. He currently holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music and is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Worship Studies with a Leadership Cognate. Tad’s desire is to see individuals grow to the next level in their lives. You can find out more about Adoration Seminars on Facebook. For more inquires you can email Tad at AdorationSeminars@gmail.com. Coming soon…www.AdorationSeminars.com.

WORSHIP LEADING 101 (Part 2)

The Spiritual:

We believe there are two sides to leading worship which are the practical and spiritual, both of which are equally important. While trying to bring people into worship, we’ve seen that a common occurrence is to ask the congregation to do things such as closing their eyes and lifting their hands. The actions, in and of themselves aren’t necessarily worship because they can be empty movements if the heart is far from the truth. Now, one thing to remember as we are up on the altar singing or playing, is that our job is to lead people to worship God through the truth found in the songs that we sing and that as worship leaders, we aren’t only there to provide good music but to provide an atmosphere of his presence! We strongly believe this next point and proclaim it often, music can move a person’s body, but only the Holy Spirit can bring change into their lives.

To love Him is to know Him.

Another spiritual aspect of worship leading is prayer and the relationship we build with Jesus through it. Pray at home, pray with your team, pray while driving and ask for guidance on what God wants for that practice, service or event. Now, we know it may sound cliché but pray before a practice, service or event and you’ll see how the changed atmosphere will cause the worship team to be of the same heart and mind.               

The blind can’t lead the blind.

There are times when we are swamped with events, practices, meetings and recording sessions and we fall prey to devoting less time to worship in our daily lives. When those times come, we have to ask ourselves, “How can we lead others to worship when we don’t lead ourselves to do it in our personal time?”  One thing that we do with our band Leon to make sure that we don’t fall prey too often is that as we practice a song, we take time to worship along with the song and because we believe that a team that worships together, stays together. A great advantage we’ve found through doing this is we’ve come to encounter God in our practices so strongly that we are assured God will encounter the congregation as well. Another thing we’ve learned is that God loves to be amongst his people and from Genesis to Revelation, God seeks to walk with men, talk with men & seeks for us to encounter his love.

               Enjoy Leading Worship

One of our greatest joys is seeing what God is doing with his people as its happening. Try to not keep your eyes closed for every song. Interact with the congregation by not just singing the song but leading people with the song. Allow the congregation to speak back to you. Over all of these tips and opinions, the one thing we can ask of you is to enjoy leading worship. In the words of King David, “I will celebrate before the Lord.  I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.” Don’t be afraid to throw in a few dance moves or a few shouts. Move around and enjoy the Lord’s presence. God has placed you there for a reason and do not take that lightly for He has chosen you to lead His people into His presence. Pray, grow and enjoy what God has in store for you and your church’s congregation.

 

 - Eliu Gonzalez & Stephen Salinas

WORSHIP LEADING 101 (Part 1)

I was asked to write a piece about worship leading and while brain storming ideas for the piece, I thought of one of my best friends, Stephen Salinas to help me with it. We have served together in many different conferences, church services, worship nights, youth events and including in our band Leon. This is just a small part of what we’ve learned during our time in the ministry and I hope that it is a blessing to you and your worship team as it was to us while writing it.

The Practical:

In our experience, one of the main problems we face as leaders of multiple worship teams is members not knowing their individual parts. Now, we understand that life is hectic at times with work, school, relationships and kids but when making the decision to join the worship team, that member has an obligation to know their parts for the respected songs. Will we ask them to leave the worship team because of not knowing a solo or maybe a lead in the bridge? Of course not but there have been many times that we have walked into a practice setting and spent half an hour or more per song, listening to the original recordings while members learn their parts. Is it fair to the members who separated time out of their week to practice and learn their parts? No, it’s not and in our view, it’s somewhat disrespectful. As we mentioned earlier, we understand that life is hectic but by that same token, showing up to practice unprepared to rehearse and dragging out practice an extra hour or two may cause a members’ day to become more hectic or hinder the band from finishing or having a productive practice. Another thing we have run into frequently is a member(s) showing up to practice extremely late. Is 10 minutes that bad? No but showing up 30 – 45 minutes late is. We just always want all of our members to know that their time and effort is appreciated and respected which is why we try to make sure that all members know their parts before practice and show up to practice on time. We’re not trying to deter you from joining a worship team or to make it seem like all worship teams struggle with these issues but there is always room for improvement. Try to fit in a 5 minute meeting after church or send a group message to your team this week and request for everybody to have their parts down by your practice date, an extra instrument cable, extra picks, drumsticks and to show up to practice 5-10 minutes early to set up and see for yourself how much better your next practice runs.

 

 - Eliu Gonzalez & Stephen Salinas