8 Things Worship Leaders Wished Church Members Knew

1. Music is just one facet of worship My definition of  worship is, “Our response to who God is and what He has done, is doing, and will do in our lives.” Our response can be many things, not just singing. It can be reciprocating love and grace to others, especially those who don’t deserve it. It can be dancing, singing, discussing Him or His word. Anything that is a positive  response to God’s presence in your life is worship. Let’s not get hung up on just calling the music portion of church worship.

2. The music is NOT a preparation for the sermon. It’s part of the message of the gospel. We are not an opening act for the sermon. Church is not a show. You should be prepared to worship before church. I’m not there to get you in the mood to listen, or prepare you to hear the word. You should already be ready for that. There is so much of the gospel in the songs, that we could have a service of just singing. Or we could have a service of just discussing. Regardless, the music is not a warm up act. Don’t get in the rut of making the worship team set a fire under you.

3. When worshiping, God wants your undivided attention. Please don’t be playing on your phone or conversing with other congregants. IF you have to, please go out of the sanctuary so not to distract other worshipers. I understand your bible is on your phone. I can’t tell you not to use it. I’m just saying, “Can’t Facebook wait?” For a measly thirty minutes, can’t you put off social networking or talking with a neighbor to sing about how great God is?

4. Tell your heart to notify your face! Although we can’t determine what’s going on in your hearts, we’re pretty sure if your standing there staring at the worship leader with your hands in your pockets NOT singing, you’re not worshiping. Maybe you can’t sing. God said make a joyful noise. He didn’t say sing in tune! Like I’ve already mentioned, there are many facets to worshiping. When you favorite team scores you don’t sit there reverently. You jump and shout and raise your hands.

5. We like encouragement. It’s called edification. Even though we give praise to God, we still like to know we’re doing a good job creating an atmosphere of worship. I know there’s a fine line between boasting and encouraging. It’s a heart matter the worship leader will have to answer to God about. But every once in a while, a worship leader wants to know that he’s appreciated by the song choice, or the ability to lead you in worship. Please feel free to do so.

6. Style of music shouldn’t determine whether you worship. What your singing/proclaiming should. I learned this one the hard way. I will be the first to say that music is a medium that transcends across racial barriers. So regardless if it’s country or rock, rap or accapella, focus on the words and sing as if your singing your prayers to God. I know you like one style. The person beside you might like a different style. Be a servant.

7. Don’t be late. Unless you’re a visitor, you know what time church starts. Please try to be on time so you can be prepared to worship together. When you walk in the middle of musical worship, you are a distraction to those who were responsible to get to church on time. Now your being disrespectful. I understand things happen. But if your habitually late, they make alarm clocks. Please try using one!

8. I’m not a worship song DJ. I actually take the time to pray over every individual song each week, research or write sings, plan or map out the musical portion of church, work with the band for hours, teach music or interpretation if needed, then take action Sunday morning. I don’t choose the song ten minutes before service. That would be doing you a disservice. I am your worship pastor. I respect my position. I spend way more time than you think. Many times, I’ve planned out months in advance. That means while you get to spend time with your family, I don’t. I’m planning and practicing, worshiping in my own time, working with other musicians, and preparing so that I can lead you to the throne of grace.

I searched all over Google and could not find a list of things worship leaders wished church members knew.These are just a few of things I have found that worship leaders would like the church to know. If you’re a worship leader, please feel free to add more. If you’re a church member, please read with respect. I don’t mean to be disrespectful but I just thought you’d like to know what worship leaders wished you did.


About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

16 Responses to 8 Things Worship Leaders Wished Church Members Knew

  1. Michael says:

    I really like this post, and yes, Kevin and the worship team work very hard every week, whether you do or don’t like the songs or the worship part of the service like he said, there’s no excuse for being habitually late, it’s rude and disrespectful, not only to the team, the ones in attendance, but also to God in my opinion, worship is the most important part of loving Him, to me. To me it’s like you’ve been invited to be apart of something big like you’re in a wedding a best man or bridesmaid for example, and you show up late or in the middle of it, to coin a phrase cmon man!

  2. Carrie says:

    I wished everyone could see how much time during the week you do sacrifice. Sacrificing time with your family and things you do enjoy doing. Not to mention down time for yourself and rest. If everyone you lead to the throne of grace could spend a week in my shoes they would respect and serve you more as a worship leader as well as probably your family because we sacrifice a lot to in order for you to sacrifice. Love you baby.

  3. bkwestman says:

    Hey Kevin,

    Great article! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Ben says:

    Great list Kevin!

  5. pastorcarlo says:

    2 Things Pastors Wish Church Members Would Do:

    1. Read Kevin’s list

    2. Apply it

  6. Kellysinging says:

    Ha! I can totally relate to almost all of these. I have to cast down thoughts from the stage all the time. This post should be posted on the doors leading into every sanctuary!

  7. Kim says:

    As a worship pastor I too often wonder if the congregation truly appreciaets the time our volunteer worship teams invest in providing them with music for all services. Perhaps we should do without for awhile… let them complain about something else for a change.

    • Kevin Riner says:

      I’ve often thought of doing maybe one song and leaving it at that. Matt Redman had to go to xtremes at his church when he wrote heart of worship.

      They went accapella until folks understood the importance of worship.

      • Nadine says:

        Kevin… As a ex Singer in leading Worship which i miss terribly .. I am Thankful at the time that Our worship Leader does put into Worship… People Do not understand how much time and preperaion, goes into it.. & the People that really worship, you really wonder if they have any feeling at all … when I can hardly keep from running around the sanctuary at times ,, and they stand there like their in a morgue.sP? it kinda makes me sad to see them like that… You want to say .. Something like would you run to the alter if you saw jesus walk in rightnow….and give him your allll…INCLUDING THE WORSHIP HE SO DESPRETLY LOVES TO HEAR…. They would if it were a game or a protest or something……. I just dont get it…..But God will see that the people that do get it, well WORSHIP GOD LIKE WE SHOULD……… We have to be an example for people i guess….GODS LOVE WILL SHOW THROUGH….one day theyll get it. Theyll Learn how much closer it gets you to GOD. U know..i know your an awsome Leader and I commend you and your time you put in.!!!!! THANKS FOR SERVING….( : GOD BLESS YOU

      • Kevin Riner says:

        Nadine thanks for your compliment. I totally get where your coming from.

  8. Pingback: Music Monday: Introduction | thepartyingchristian

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