I am leading worship less these days, mostly because I am not traveling or helping other churches as much right now. The interesting thing about it is this: when you lead once a month or so it feels bigger, and the lack of routine actually makes some tasks harder. So how do you get better when you are not doing something regularly. Here are some things I am doing.
- I am recording a lot, so I am playing a fair amount. As I try different techniques or sounds or voicings, I am trying to find ways to apply some elements to my next worship set. So just practicing your instrument and trying to push yourself to learn new things to bring to the table.
- From a leadership perspective, I am trying to come into rehearsal with a couple of arrangement ideas from which to launch some songs. Whether it be a feel or a custom intro. Although I try to be flexible and let the team have some input, I also try to come in with a plan in case ideas are not easily forthcoming or not quite jiving on the fly. A big part of adding value to the team is always being able to give direction and keep things moving forward.
- It might sound tremendously obvious, but pick winning songs. I try to avoid more than one new song, and I try to have the rest flow well, but also be really well liked. As leaders we are there to engage the congregation and lead them in worship, not prove out own artistic genius or make an artistic statement. Doing both those things might have their place in the music business, but not in worship. (PS if you are really that good, hopefully you do the former and the latter just comes out, and you don't even know it)
- Prepare for rehearsal logistically. Depending on the support your church gives or the culture of the volunteers, prepare packages for your team. Make sure you are all playing off the same charts, and that people are not using "their" version. Being on the same page means being on the same page….
- Know what is going on in the service spiritually and talk about it in rehearsal, at least a little. If the songs are given some sort of spiritual context, it will help then band in their worship journey in the service, which helps you lead as a team.
There are many more things one can do, but perhaps this will help you in the near term if you are looking for some inspiration.