Rick Muchow's Tips for Leading Worship

Below is an excerpt from an article by Rick Muchow entitled, “Seven tips for Leading Worship.” I discovered this great resource on Pastors.com. Enjoy!
By Rick Muchow:
rick_muchow.jpgHere are my tips for effective worship L.E.A.D.I.N.G.:
Let God lead
Jesus said that he is the vine and that we are the branches … apart from him we can do nothing (John 15:5). Being effective musically does not guarantee effective corporate worship. In my experience, God is more interested in the heart than the art. God leads me through my quiet time each day and by his grace. Pastor Rick Warren taught me years ago that the local church belongs to God and that it is only by his grace that he uses us. Our leadership and the congregation’s participation both start with a focus on God.
Engage the senior pastor’s philosophy of ministry
There are many methods and styles of ministry. As long as they are effective and do not violate Scripture, they are all valid. There are many different kinds of churches because there are many different kinds of personalities and cultures. In most cases, the “worship leader” of a church is not the leader of the church and does not set the philosophy of ministry for the church. My role at Saddleback is to support the senior pastor’s philosophy of ministry through worship. Before I came on staff, the most important thing that my pastor wanted to know about me was not about my talent, professional background, or personality but whether or not we shared the same biblical doctrine and if I embraced his strategy, style, and ministry methods.
Align with the other purposes of the church
There are five purposes of the church as outlined in the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. They are magnification (worship), membership (fellowship), maturity (discipleship), ministry, and missions (evangelism). Along with the five purposes of the church, there must be a defined purpose for each event or service. For example, a midweek Bible study might belong to the purpose of maturity. Worship would be incorporated to support the purpose of the event … maturity. While on the other hand, a missions event might need an entirely different approach on worship. Working with a clear purpose and objective for each event eliminates guess work and will help you prepare more effectively.
Define your target
Know whom you are going to reach. At Saddleback, we have identified five different people groups or targets based on their spiritual maturity (Community, Crowd, Congregation, Committed, and Core). In worship leading, the most important reason to identify your target is culture and language. Simply put, an unchurched person (Community) does not understand the church culture and its language. More importantly it is easy for an unchurched person to misunderstand the church culture and be turned off. Although a non-Christian cannot worship, they can watch worship. If they can understand what they are watching, they have a better chance of saying yes to Jesus. All of the target groups are best communicated to at their level of spiritual maturity. Profound concepts can be communicated in simple ways. The Gospel doesn’t need to be watered down to be communicated effectively to the unchurched. It needs only to be stated in the language and culture of the unchurched. This means that the lyrics, musical style, and presentation must be appropriate to reach the target.
NOTE: To read the complete article and discover the remaining three tips for leading worship, go to http://www.pastors.com/article.asp?ArtID=10086

  • Excerpt from Seven Tips for Leading Worship by Rick Muchow (c) 2006.


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