Writing prayers for worship calls for the creativity of a poet, the sensitivity of a pastor, the insight of a theologian, and the foundation of a living relationship with God. Weaving together these concerns, this article gives advice to the worshiper who is given the task of writing prayers for public worship. It suggests an approach that will be accessible for beginners and challenging for experienced worship leaders.
Planning worship is sometimes problematic for leaders. Prayer is always the prelude to good planning; but the selection and ordering of songs for worship is also a spiritual activity. An effective leader compiles a master song list, allows a theme to influence his or her selections, anticipates the mood of the congregation, and takes into account the musical and lyrical content of each piece. When these preparations are carried out diligently, the leader will be able to lead the people gently into the presence of God.
Servanthood is a powerful leadership tool. This is because, in serving others, the worship leader becomes like Jesus and walks the path that led to his glorification through obedience. Worship leaders serve God first, then their church’s leadership, their worship team, and their congregation.
Worship leaders should make a priority of developing management skills, and not excuse themselves from this on the basis of their being artists. Rather, they are prophet-musicians in the church, a position that carries tremendous leadership responsibility.
A constant enemy of worship leaders is busyness, for it takes them away from the all-important time spent with God. Other aspects of personal preparation for worship leading include knowing the needs of the congregation one serves; beginning preparations for services early in the week, if not weeks ahead of time (by choosing sermon themes far in advance); and seeking input from others.
In the directives of Moses, priests were specially commissioned for the role of representing the people before the Lord and thus occupied a central position in the worship life of the covenant people.
This article assumes the LORD is doing something new in the hearts of Church leaders: giving some a new desire to gather artistic Kingdom servants into their congregations, and disciple them for His service; especially for the service of facilitating innovative gathered worship. So, this paper looks to offer church leaders six principles that, if followed, will GATHER artistic worship leaders into their congregations, and accelerate releasing them into His service of worship.