Over the few years of leading worship, I have found that it’s hard to lead when others are disengaged. If you did not know, I lead worship for my youth group. It has been an amazing journey, but it has not been a smooth one. I have experienced many trials while trying to be a servant to this ministry. In fact, I am in the middle of several trials at the moment.
In a youth group setting, you have those who desire to worship God and those that could care less. It is hard to try to lead worship with an audience that consists of individuals on two entirely different wavelengths. For the past year, this has been my battle.
The band and I practice every Sunday night after church, and we meet sometimes three hours before the Wednesday night service starts. We pour a lot of time and effort into the ministry, and sometimes it feels like it is all for nothing. This is exactly what Satan wants us all to believe. The devil wants to wear us down and try to convince us that our time and efforts are worth nothing. It is a lie!
The fact is that not everyone will want to worship God. When I step up on stage every Wednesday night, I have to realize that a spiritual battle is raging. Satan wants to do everything in his power to destroy our worship for God. Every Wednesday night, I see and feel this battle raging. There are several things that I do to help defeat this battle (and I can only do it through Jesus):
Prepare a Worship Set With God in Mind
In order to defeat this battle, I have to prepare. Most importantly, I prepare spiritually. Personal prayer and worship time is extremely important.
Taking it to another level, preparing an awesome worship set is important. In a previous post, I mentioned some key components to selecting an awesome worship set. The main thing was prayer. God must direct everything in worship. We are simply servants. If a worship set is selected without time in prayer, it shows that God’s agenda is not important.
Pray With the Band Collectively
Prayer is powerful. I have noticed that when prayer is not a priority, then the worship set usually is a failure. This failure can only be measured eternally. Yes, the band might have nailed the transition perfectly, but if it was “musically awesome” only…it is a problem. There have been a few times when we have forgotten to pray before a practice. It turned out that the practice was disastrous!
I now pray with my band before and after practice. This allows time to prepare for sound check and to prepare for worship. The prayer and devotional time before the service has really helped us set our minds on the task that God has for us!
Trust and Follow God
Leading worship is hard sometimes. It sometimes feels like there are so many things to do…I have to sing, play electric guitar, stomp pedals, orchestrate the band (give signals when to speed up…slow down…etc), encourage others to worship, and actually worship myself. It is a lot, and it takes practice to master.
I have learned during the sets to pray constantly. That’s what worship is all about. God wants to hear from us…to worship Him! There is a difference between singing/playing worship and leading worship.
When you have prepared, the last thing to do is trust God. He will always make all things work together according to His will. The main thing is to be prayed up and prepared for each service. No matter if you are on stage or in the audience, it is important to be prayed up and to be prepared for to worship God.
I have found that although many individuals are disengaged, if I am prepared, God is prepared. He has never let me down yet!
How do you prepare for worship?