Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other. -1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
In this article I want to share some very practical ways that you can support your worship leader and be a blessing to them. Being a leader isn’t an easy job, but with you 100% behind them your leaders will be strengthened to be better than ever! Your encouragement can be a difference maker in helping them lead your church. You, yes you, can make a huge impact in worship in more ways than just rockin’ the guitar! Let’s dive in…
Be on time!
When I say on time, I mean be early. Running rehearsals and setting up for Sunday morning can be stressful. There are a bunch of people and details that need to come into place, and sometimes it can be overwhelming for even the best leaders. When you show up just on time or even late, you leave your leader wondering “will he show up?” or “will we have enough time to cover the material if she doesn’t get here soon?” Take a load off your leader and get there early.
I suggest getting there early enough that you can load in, setup, and tune-up all by call time. This means that you can be relaxed and ready to go, and even have time to troubleshoot if anything doesn’t seem quite right. When your other teammates show up at call time you will be relaxed, ready and have time to genuinely say hi or help somebody else who’s running a bit behind.
This is a huge one. Emails, texts, Planning Center notices, phone calls…however your leader communicates with you, take it upon yourself to engage and respond quickly. You are an important part of putting together a service plan and your leader needs to hear from you! Confirm your availability ASAP. Let them know that you got that set list change. Tell them when you love that new song that they sent out. Find ways to engage and let them know that all their hard work isn’t just a waste. Just a simple response can go a long way!
Keep Your Own Calendar
When you get scheduled to play, go ahead and enter those dates and rehearsal times into your calendar. It may be strange to have to say this but sadly I see this as an issue far too often. Your worship leader isn’t a babysitter and shouldn’t need to hold your hand and remind you of every commitment. Those Planning Center reminders should be just a bonus, you should already know when you’re playing and should be managing your schedule accordingly so you can honor your commitment. If you do this, you’ll really lower the amount of scheduling conflicts that may occur. If you do end up with a conflict or need to trade dates (let’s face it, life happens), contact your worship leader ASAP and offer to help them find a replacement for you.
You can really add a lot of strength and confidence to your leader by being well prepared. When you and your teammates know the material well it will allow your leader to focus on leading the congregation and not be worried about carrying the band as well. The best place to start is to listen to the songs in advance. If your leader doesn’t send out tracks for you to listen to, why not make a YouTube or Spotify playlist for yourself or even share that with the rest of the team? Just being familiar with the song goes a long way.
Next, take time to practice at home. Learn the riffs and chord progressions for the songs. Print your own music or look it up online if you need to. Work on choosing your effects and setting them up too. A good rule of thumb is to make sure all of your ‘learning’ time is done upfront at home so that your group practice can be about ‘rehearsing’ or ‘ironing out’ the songs and working on transitions.
The awesome side benefit to this too is that you’ll just look like such a better player (because you will be better) since you will come knowing your stuff, not fumbling your way through. And, if and when last minute changes come to your set, you will be able to adapt more easily since you already had everything else nailed down.
Be an encourager, don’t just leave this to the leader to do. Be somebody who publicly lifts up and encourages your leaders and other team members. This one thing alone will make their day. Give your drummer a shout out for nailing that fill. Tell your worship leader when you love the set they planned. Bolster your bassists confidence by encouraging them when they are struggling through a tough passage. Leave somebody a nice note on their car or even shoot them a text message. You can easily draw the best out of your teammates through simple encouraging words. This will be such a help to your leader as it will encourage them and strengthen the team.
I hope that this article has encouraged you and challenged you! There are plenty of ways that you can support your leader. If you have any other ideas I’d love to hear about them in the comments below! We’re all in this together, let us be encouragers and supporters of one another. God bless, Daniel.