3 Tips to Balance Leading People & Managing Service Details

If you’re anything like me as a worship leader, you’ve been caught trying to balance between leading people in worship and managing all the details in a worship service.

Is the band playing together?  Was that harmony right?  What’s the next lyric phrase?  Do we repeat the bridge once, or twice?   And on and on and on.

First of all, cut yourself some slack.  you’re not alone.

One of Satan’s favorite tactics is to convince us worship leaders that we are going through these battles by ourselves, and that no one else understands us.

This could not be further from the truth!  If you need personal encouragement, accountability, or just need to vent, join a group of worship leaders on your favorite social media channel.  It’s a great place to stay connected and to be reminded that you truly are not alone!

Secondly, remind yourself the value of a worship service is not dependent on how you sound – it’s wholly dependent on who you are in Christ.

Praise God that if we hit a wrong note, lose our focus for a moment, or (gasp!) go a few minutes over our allotted time, He is still present and at work in people’s lives!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like a worship service went “poorly” from my earthly perspective, but hear from multiple people in the congregation how powerful of a time of worship it was.

There’s no better way than that to remind me that, despite our human weakness, God will have His way with His people.  Take that promise with you!

Finally, use resources that free you from focusing on the details and allow you to focus on worship.

For example, our church uses worship pads by Coresound to fill the worship environment during each song.  If you’re unfamiliar with worship pads, they’re MP3s of textured sounds (keyboards, etc.) that make your music instantly become deep, full, and ambient.

They fill your sound, enhance a mood, and kill dead-space, no matter what key, tempo, or song arrangement you’re using.  Pads free our musicians from having to constantly “fill musical space” and allows them more mental and spiritual margin to engage in worship.

We also use Coresound Pads in between songs so we can transition smoothly from one worship service element to another.  Having a pad playing allows me to respond spontaneously as God leads, without having to give the majority of my focus to filling musical space.  (I typically do some light improv on guitar or piano along with the pads during those moments, but my playing can be sparse and intermittent since I’m not the one laying the musical foundation – the Pad is.  Therefore, my focus can be elsewhere.)

Do these three things, and you’ll be on your way to finding that healthy balance between leading people in worship and managing the worship service details.  It’s not an easy battle, but it’s one worth fighting.

This is a guest post by Mike Graff, worship pastor at First Free Church.