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No worship leader ever stops growing. If they do, they’re in trouble. There’s always more to learn, more to understand, and more experiences to have. Likewise, no worship leader becomes “seasoned” overnight. If they expect to, they’re in trouble. But if you’re a young worship leader and just starting out, and you want to grow as a worship leader, there are some crucially important experiences you have to have.
Here’s a list of 13 of them, in no particular order of importance. They’re all important.
Worship - Retreats - Amount - Planning - Coordination
Lead worship for three or four retreats and you’ll realize that they require an incredible amount of planning, coordination, logistics arranging and flexibility, and leave you utterly exhausted. You need to get good at leading worship on retreats and remember to bring your own pillow.
It’s one thing to lead worship on an occasional basis, and this is a good place to start. But the next step is finding an opportunity to lead a regular congregation on a regular basis with a regular worship team of some sort. It’s a roller coaster of ups and downs that you need to learn how to ride. Sometimes you’ll feel sick, but it’s actually a lot of fun.
Do-overs - Weddings - Funerals - Services - Mess
There are no do-overs when it comes to weddings and funerals. These are profoundly emotional, high-stakes, memorable, photographed and meaningful services. You will mess up at them for sure, but you better make sure they’re small mess ups or there will be people who remember you for the rest of their lives (and not in a good way).
Serving as a guest-worship leader for a church that isn’t yours, with musicians you’re unaccustomed to working with, and using a repertoire you haven’t built is disorienting and a lot of work. Learn how to listen to what they need, serve them with humility, and come back...
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