Continual improvement is a quality of every successful leader. This explains why the phrase ‘leaders are readers’ is so popular. And look at you, here reading this post, making this phrase ring true in your life as well.

So, let’s discuss six ways to become a better worship leader.

1. Become a better mentor.

It is common for people to believe that the only quality needed to be a good worship leader is to be a good musician/vocalist. This belief is FAR from the truth.

Although musical skill is important, there are many things that are much more important – one of which is mentoring.

Your worship team is looking to you for leadership, not only in music, but in their spiritual lives as well. Are you displaying the love of Christ to your worship team? Are you patient, kind and always believing the best?

The best way to mentor is to lead by example. Make sure you show up prepared, prayed up and spiritually strong…every. single. time.

You might also like: Mentoring Young Worship Team Members

2. Polish technical skills.

Many worship leaders never take the time to learn basic sound engineering principles. The result: a never-ending stream of frustration with the audio tech team.

You don’t like the way it sounds, but you also can’t communicate how to make it better.

You may be thinking, “I don’t need to learn sound…that is the sound guy’s job!”. This thought is definitely an easy cop-out, but I guarantee that the time you put into learning sound will pay off dividends in the long run.

Remember, you don’t have to be an expert, but you need to know enough to where you can train new volunteer sound techs and communicate effectively when something needs to change.

Here are all of our technical articles to help you get started: Church Sound Tips

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

It is easy to get distracted by things that don’t really matter, like: the fact that one of your musicians wore a Hawaiian shirt last Sunday or the cleaning crew left your cables in a mess.

Believe it or not, we have an enemy that is looking to destroy our effectiveness as worship leaders. And, if he can get you distracted, he has done his job.

Several weeks ago, my drummer called in sick just a few hours before service started. It was also the holiday season and there was no one to fill in. I had two options: get stressed out or go with the flow and improvise.

So, I decided to give the rest of the band the week off and lead worship with just me, my keyboard and my wife (she is one of the vocalists on our worship team). To my surprise, the church loved it and several folks requested that we have this type of worship setting more often.

When we choose not to sweat the small stuff, we disarm the plan of the enemy and the results are unthinkable.

4. Equip the worship team to lead without you.

It is often said that the sign of a good leader is when their team can operate well without their presence. It is no different for worship leaders.

So, let me ask, what would happen if you didn’t show up for a few Sundays? Would worship be just as good as when you are there?

For me, I have some work to do in this area. My worship team can operate without me, but I haven’t given them enough opportunities to become good at it. So, they still get a little nervous when I am not there.

If you are just getting started, the first step is to stop leading a majority of the songs vocally. Pass this off to other capable vocalists. Then, schedule a service where you don’t play or sing, but you are still there to lead rehearsals.

This is the place where I am currently. The next step for me is to train someone on my team to lead rehearsals. From this point, they should be able to handle it all with or without me.

5. Encourage your team more often.

It is far too easy to point out the things that need fixed and forget about the good things that are happening. My goal is to encourage twice as often as I correct. However, this can be a challenge because encouragement should be specific.

For example, instead of saying “Good job.” you should say, “Great job on that guitar solo. I am impressed!”.

You might also like: Does Your Worship Team Feel Appreciated?

6. Develop friendships with those on your team.

Do you only see your team members at rehearsals and services? If so, it is time to start scheduling times outside of church to get to know your team.

Trust me, having a team of friends instead of a team of acquaintances is much more enjoyable and effective. Plus, being a worship leader is much more than ‘getting the job done’. More importantly, it is about serving and loving others (especially those on your team).

What would you add to this list?

Share in the comments below.

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About the Author

Kade Young

Kade Young brought Collaborate Worship into existence with a dream of helping worship leaders around the world fulfill their calling with excellence. He has been leading worship since 2005, is a graduate of Rhema Bible Training College, and currently the worship leader at NoLimits Church in Owasso, Oklahoma.